Standing Up for the World We Want
by Rev. April Bolin, LCSW
With the recent acquittal of George Zimmerman, I find myself trying to get a handle on a whirlwind of thoughts and feelings. It feels surreal to me that the simple act of walking down the street could result in someone being confronted and killed because of prejudice surrounding the color of his or her skin.
Rev. April Bolin
How can we say that the life of Trayvon Martin lacks meaning such that his murder is justified? Why is there such an incredible devaluation of human life of some? How can we look at any of our brothers and sisters (be they Muslim, African American, Latin American immigrants, Asian, and so on) and decide that they are “less than”?
I have been thinking about the overpowering fear that people possess which causes them to seek comfort in arming themselves. Fear feeds the notion that we are separate from each other. We are not!
There is only one life, and it is the life that we all share. In opening our hearts to those whom we were taught to judge, we find a connection with the Spirit that links us all.
The spiritually deceased – “dead men walking”, you could say – cling tightly to beliefs that do not represent who they are at their spiritual core, with which they have lost touch. Fear gives rise to thoughts, prejudices, and misguided beliefs that people who are not “like them” do not belong. Externally, this shows up as hostility, hatred, and efforts to exclude people.
I am a firm believer that the Spirit which lives in each and every one of us does not discriminate – nor should we in this human existence. Everyone has a place at God’s table. No one should ever be singled out as unworthy because of race, ethnicity, religious/spiritual beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
I can’t help but think that in some spiritual realm, a realm that in this human embodied experience we feel disconnected from, Trayvon said, “I will be a part of this movement to bring about healing on our planet, to stop the hate, to get people to talk about loving one another. Use me, Lord.” We have experienced such warriors throughout the history of mankind. Today, Trayvon’s death has meaning for many. The ripples from his passing will leave change in their wake.
As Martin Luther King stated, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Each of us can find ways to do our part, as simple as they may seem. A prayer goes a long way. Meditation is powerful. Speak up. God is listening, and love will defeat hate.
Let’s gather to end discrimination, racial hatred, Islamophobia. Let’s not fight for our cause, but instead set an intention to gather in peace, with God at the center of our efforts.
Amazing things can happen where two or more are gathered in peace, in alignment with the Divine. I leave you with this passage, quoting Jesus, from Matthew 18:19 and 20:
“Again I say to you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the middle of them.”
May peace be with you.
Rev. April Shon Bolin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the San Francisco Bay Area with 24 years of experience in the fields of mental health and child welfare. Having spent many years as a psychotherapist working with LGBTQ communities, homeless youth, adults with disabling HIV, and people with psychiatric disorders, April now focuses primarily on Psycho-Spiritual Healing, an integrated approach which takes into account mind, body, spirit and emotions. Through her Forgiveness Workshops, she has guided participants along the paths of anger management, shame-reduction, relationship dynamics and spiritual wellness. April lives in the SF Bay Area where she enjoys being a soccer mom, walking the family dogs, being active in her spiritual community, and traveling.