Miranda Christy, a Nashville attorney, has previously appeared on Volume and Light sharing nuggets of wisdom after surviving a uniquely challenging school board election.
I asked my friend if she would again be so kind to contribute by offering a message of hope for the new year after a brutal 2016 and a 2017 that has already waged war on the moral collective.
Suffering. The word and feeling weighed heavy on my spirit as I got ready for church on Sunday morning.
The day before I’d volunteered for a monthly clinic where I met with veterans, non-citizens, and other decent folk to discuss their legal problems. Despite the difficulty that brought them there, we were able to laugh and share stories about our lives, work, and families.
As I reflected on my time with those folks and prepared for church Sunday morning, I got word that a young man I came to know through my campaign had been shot and was in critical condition. My heart sank. Because he is a formidable young man with his whole life ahead of him. Because his mother is an extraordinary person. Because the young man I mentor had been shot the week before, though he’d been much luckier.
I went to church with a smile on my face. But between feeling the human suffering of those I’d met the day before, knowing yet another family in our community had been affected by senseless violence, and watching political events rapidly unfold before I can get my mind around them, I was on edge.
I sat there, mindful of these feelings, and realizing that 2017 will be another year spent in the trenches.
I have always committed to and fought for causes that are important to me, but in 2016, the fighting was more public than private, prompting many friends to ask how I was able to handle it.
Over the years, I have learned to take care of my insides before anything else – because without some self-awareness and inner balance, I can’t do anything well, much less “wage peace” for an extended period of time.
I wanted to share this passage from one of my go-to books because judging from my social media feeds, I have not been alone in feeling “on edge.”
It is my hope, as we confront events in the days and weeks ahead that promise to affect each of us differently, that we will look inward, then get about the business of easing suffering and waging peace.