I wake up every day to do what I have to, and what I’m supposed to, do. If I’m lucky I do something I want to do.
I go to work. I pay my bills. I give to charity. I help others I can help. Sometimes I might be the one in need of help. I am busy not sitting back and doing nothing.
I wake up eager to live and explore, to do, and to be a part of making something better. My father always told us to leave a place better than you found it. Some days maybe I don’t make it better, exactly. But with the energy expended on life, if I go to bed, close my eyes and say “thank you Lord for not letting me make it worse down here today” I count that as a win.
Work, and life, and helping, and doing, don’t wear me out.
But I am worn down.
I’m so very tired of being told what I am. I wake up every day to news reports, “opinion” papers, social media memes and “news” telling me what I am.
Because of my race I am this.
Because of my gender I am that.
Because of my nationality I am this, that and something else.
I’m tired of taking punches for something I am. For everyone throwing the blanket statements over me and raising their noses in righteousness, you don’t know what or who I am when you cover me with your itchy and weighted blankets.
What I am is a white, female, American. I was not given a choice in any of that. Those things did not protect me from losing my home, from being abused, from having to clean toilets for a living, from having identity and self worth issues, from being snubbed, from being looked down on, and having some pretty inferior, humiliating and frightening life experiences.
My experiences in life have helped me with empathy, humility, gratitude, acceptance, faith in the human spirit, and hope. My growth as a human gives me the courage and respect of others to apologize for what I have done wrong, or take responsibility for my actions. I cannot apologize or take responsibility for what I have not done. It doesn’t work that way.
Please stop punching me for what I am, and see me for who I am.
Isn’t that what part of the preaching is all about?