My favorite church service of the entire year isn't Christmas, or Easter, or any of the "big" Christian holidays.
It's the Sunday before Martin Luther King Day.
For the past 13 years, my Congregational church has been coming together with our sister church, an African Methodist Episcopal church, in the hour which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dubbed 'the most segregated hour in America'. Sunday morning, the church hour.
Why is this outside of my comfort zone?
Well, because it is two races coming together, deliberately, because we are aware of segregation. Aware of the wage gaps. Aware of racism. We come together because of and in spite of these things. They are in the room with us.
In this room, I am very aware of my whiteness.
We have made an issue of our color, and have made an issue that it is still an issue.
We sing "We will overcome," while crossing our hands over our chests, and then clasped in the hands of the person next to us. Our passings of the Peace are hugs, not handshakes. We mingle together over sandwiches and prayers, balloons, and cake.
On the day before Martin Luther King day, we pledge to make that time the least segregated hour in America, by joining our two church communities. We form bonds and friendship which last all year long.
We continue to overcome.
We continue to overcome.
And for one day, we create the world we wish that our world was.
As writers, we do this all day long. Create and recreate the world.
What responsibility do we have to use our words? What impact do we want to make on our world? What can we achieve, if we each write deliberately?
If we leave our comfort zone?
I remember reading Heinlein as a teenager, and loving that the women there were taken just as seriously as the men. These women were strong, intelligent, and treated as such. Reading those books changed something inside of me. I read a world in which I wanted to exist--a world which could exist.
It empowered me.
This responsibility is not just about race relations, but about empowering all individuals to see themselves reflected in our worlds.
Write outside of your comfort zone.
You'll never know how exhilarating it can be, until you try it. :)
Can I get an Amen?
What is your comfort zone? Do you stretch outside of it? Do you see yourself as having some responsibility to write deliberately?
On the goal front, I am loving ROW 80. I love the spirit, and I love that I am making my pledged 2 hours of progress every day. Well, except the weekends. I might have to amend my goal to not include weekends!
How is your progress? What inspires you? Music? Church? Writing outside of your comfort zone?