Love one another, and do not fear are the two most common calls to action in our Gospel texts. Lately, more often than not, I’m overwhelmed by news stories of reasons to be afraid and reports of greedy and spiteful behaviors of all kinds, and I’m honestly not sure what to do anymore. Discovering how far into greed and corruption our society has fallen, I want to participate in some big action that will clearly turn the tide. I want a clear direction to go, and I want to know that my action matters.
But, we didn’t get here in one big action, and we won’t get out by a linear path. In InterPlay (a creative/body/spirit movement discipline), we have a principle called “Incrementality.” It means we get in and out of trouble in little, tiny steps…To this principle, I’ve learned that though everything adds up through tiny steps … we realize where we are in one big “ah ha.”
There a lot of big “ah ha” moments happening these days. The problem with realizing where we are in a big “ah ha” is that we are tempted to believe that the way out is just the right “ah ha,” and we’re easily discouraged by all these little tiny steps. It’s definitely important to help organize, and show up at rallies and marches. These public acts help shape and change the narrative of what we care about. And, we have to practice using our voices in order to be ready for the moment when they will be most effective.
But the little things matter too. Your volunteer hours and care and participation in our church may feel small at a time when so many big things are happening. But participating in a healthy, loving community is actually a pretty radical act right now. And you’d be surprised how healing it can be to bring a friend…not just for you to feel your community and connection widen just a bit, but for those outside our community who are longing for a place where people care.
Being passionate about loving one another and pushing back against fear and hate in steps both big and small is not only worth it — it’s what will ultimately walk us back to where we want to be.