The focus of today’s devotional was Community. As a Baha’i a major theme for us is the Unity of all Mankind, thus the discussion took the shape of community as more than our neighborhoods but our nations and world as a whole. Grand stuff I know.
I find it appropriate that this was the topic for today as it mirrors my thoughts for the last couple of days.
Last night I received a call from my buddy Ben who is currently volunteering in Tanzania as a teacher for students preparing for college. This kid from Wisconsin has the opportunity to be of service on the other side of the world. His knowledge is becoming their knowledge and his community now includes the local villagers and the other volunteers scattered through Tanzania. Simply amazing.
I was also recently reminiscing about Haiti. In 2013 my friend Rick and I traveled to Haiti to participate in a three day run. We ran from Port-Au-Prince south through the mountains and ended in the Caribbean hamlet of Jacmel. It is a beautiful and challenging run and I suggest you check out their fancy new website Run Haiti. The pictures are gorgeous and of course do not do justice to actually being there.
Back to topic: the run was put on by a group of volunteers that found themselves in a foreign land with a shared love of running. They came from various points in the United States to a new land with new people and languages and were there to help. These beautiful people had such love that they asked if anyone else was interested in not only running but learning about the people and countryside of Haiti. They called and we answered.
When I ran it in 2013 it was their first venture bringing in others. What a community of runners we were! Americans, Canadians and Haitians, Nurses, Therapists and Doctors, Constructions workers, Photographers and my pal Rick who I think was at General Mills at the time making cereal (you’re welcome).
It was a broad spectrum of people all come together in a common cause despite having been born and living in vastly different worlds and despite not even being able to speak to one another (my Haitian Creole is non-existent).
In an effort to stop before I ramble (too late?) I will stop with this:
Somewhere, there are people
to whom we can speak with passion
without having the words catch in our throats.
Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us,
eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us
whenever we come into our own power.
Community means strength that joins our strength
to do work that needs to be done.
Arms to hold us when we falter.
A circle of healing. A circle of friends.
we can be free.
–Starhawk, Dreaming in the Dark–