We are tired, we are exhausted with asking for justice, lobbying. My reading and writing blogs from my Covid-19 bunker feels futile, while black and brown essential workers are forced to work or lose their incomes. Every day, another word for the White House brings bile and anger to my stomach. I am tempted to hide, as this darkness in our nation feels like a prison, a raging fire or epic war where breathing love is impossible.
The Growing Edge Podcast introduced me to Valarie Kaur. Her words were so helpful to me that I want to share them with you and send you to three ways to learn more from this amazing young woman from whom I catch hope.
Valarie Kaur was 20 years old when a family friend, Balbir Singh Sodhi, was the first person killed in a hate crime after September 11, 2001. Shortly after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Kaur delivered a Watch Night address that went viral with over 30 million views worldwide.
Those words, speak to this moment in our lives:
“So, the mother in me asks, what if? What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb? What if our America is not dead but a country that is waiting to be born? What if the story of America is one long labor?
What if all of our grandfathers and grandmothers are standing behind now, those who survived occupation and genocide, slavery and Jim Crow, detentions and political assault? What if they are whispering in our ears “You are brave”? What if this is our nation’s greatest transition?
What does the midwife tell us to do? Breathe. And then? Push. Because if we don’t push we will die. If we don’t push our nation will die. Tonight, we will breathe. Tomorrow we will labor in love through love and your revolutionary love is the magic we will show our children.”
In her new book, See No Stranger, Valarie chronicles a movement that reframes the tradition of nonviolent social change for our era. Tested and tempered by suffering, yet rising up with hope and joy, Kaur shows us how to love others, opponents, and ourselves in ways that will bring us closer to the Beloved Community.
There are three ways (ok four if you buy her book) you can listen to Kaur speak about Revolutionary Love.
- FIRST, in a few days, Valarie Kaur is speaking LIVE at our Oregon Idaho Methodist Federation for Social Justice Annual Meeting on ZOOM. You are welcome to join us (all FREE) on Wed. June 24, at 6 pm (Pacific Time) for Social Time, then 6:30 pm for Valarie Kaur, followed by our Annual Meeting.
- You are welcome to come just at 6:25 for Kaur’s words as she reflects on the recent darkness/ birthing in our communities where many streams of justice seekers are intersecting. Then skip the business meeting!
- Register using the button below!
- Kaur is donating her time and offering a generous discount on her upcoming book. When you register you will have the opportunity to order the book and it will be mailed directly to you. Your $19 purchase helps us cover the cost of her live (ZOOM) presence with us.
- Listen to the Growing Edge Podcast with Kaur, hosted by Parker Palmer and Carrie Newcomer at https://www.newcomerpalmer.com/episodes/episode-22-revolutionary-love-a-conversation-with-authoractivist-valerie-kaur
- Go to Valarie Kaur’s website and explore her TED TALK or her words at the Interfaith Watch Night Service, Dec. 31, 2016. https://revolutionaryloveproject.com/
Valarie Kaur: “Revolutionary Love can be taught and practiced and engages all of our emotions: Joy is the gift of Love; Grief is the price of love; Anger protects that which is loved; Wonder returns us to love.” From the Growing Edge Podcast
Valarie’s words invite me to turn my mind and heart toward hope and wonder. “What if America…is in one long labor?”
What if this as a birthing time, a time of transition (deep pain and demanding our full attention body and soul) rather than a battle ground, a war, a defense. What if we are called to open up ourselves to let go and breath into some new and still to be born way of being America, being community, being alive in partnership with all the beings on this planet earth?
I am excited to hear her speak to us in this dangerous yet amazing moment in our world. Please sign up now and I’ll see you on ZOOM next week (Wed. June 24)!
PS – I am hosting the “Social Time” at 6 pm – come early and say hello!