WE WALK THIS ROAD TOGETHER by Rector Chris Girata
WE WALK THIS ROAD TOGETHER was published in the Katy Trail Weekly, "The Good Word" Column, January 29, 2021
Chris Girata is the Rector of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas, TX.
No matter your politics, this new year brings with it an exhaustion that is unmatched in recent decades. The weight of 2020 was felt by us all. Whether you felt isolated and scared because of the pandemic, stressed about the economy or heavy from the uncertainty of the election, 2020 wore us out. Into that moment of exhaustion came a shot of hope.
With a clear and present voice, Ms. Gorman told our story. She exposed our imperfections not to shame, but to enlighten. She aspired to point us in a direction of growth, rather than leave us in the mess. “And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know, to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.”
Brokenness is not something we should fear, but rather a human condition we must accept.
As we begin this new year, we cannot deny the chasm that divides our country. We have gotten to a point in our common life when conversations are precarious, and we worry about saying the wrong thing to a stranger or bringing up certain topics with a friend. Some of us are sensitive not to upset the apple cart of our relationships, while others are happy to cut people out of their lives. What has come of us when we can no longer engage with those we once loved? What has come of us when we settle for division, rather than work for common ground?
Into this painful void, we heard the words of a poet that challenged our way of being and of a future that holds the promise of being better than our past. “If we're to live up to our own time, then victory won't lie in the blade. But in all the bridges we've made, that is the promise to glade, the hill we climb. If only we dare. It's because being American is more than a pride we inherit, it's the past we step into and how we repair it.” It’s time we work to repair what is broken.
Brokenness is not something we should fear, but rather a human condition we must accept. We are only human, and our humanity means that we are all broken in unique ways. Yet, in our brokenness, we find the unity we all need to heal. We are not alone in the struggle of life. We walk this hard road together.
We walk this hard road together.
My faith reminds me of one thing over and over again: “Do not be afraid.” Fear is the great tempter. Fear is a debilitating anchor that keeps us from being able to move forward toward healing. Our inherent fear has been fanned in unprecedented ways in 2020. Yet we have the strength, together, to recover.
As I look out onto this new year, with so much promise to shift out of our pandemic reality, I hope you see the light at the end of the tunnel. The dawn brings new opportunities and new hope. “When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid, the new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it.” We can be the light for one another, and together, we can rise.
"The Good Word" Column is published bi-weekly, and can be picked up at the Saint Michael South Entrance.
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