Healing is a lifelong process. We will be healing as we take our last God-given breath. We are all called to heal ourselves and others, especially during this time of heightened awareness of racial and ecological challenges. As a deacon in the Episcopal Church living in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco, my life experiences have been enriched by my diverse neighbors. Our neighborhood has united in awareness and acknowledgement of the issues that threaten our community: lack of clean drinking water, health care, and day care; unsafe playgrounds and schools; gang violence; and racial violence.
Healing starts with self-awareness and listening. Owning and operating Bayview Mission has been a lesson in getting out of the way.” I am known as the “witch” when people gather, and there is a verbal confrontation: people automatically call for the “witch.” Healing starts with self-awareness and listening. It is important to give an opportunity for each person to speak and then listen to their point of view. Many times, there has been a misunderstanding and healing takes place through the act of listening.
There is one rule: no judgement. During this time of pandemic, I invite you to take a moment: close your eyes, take a deep breath, slowly stretch out your arms, cup your hands and imagine yourself laying them on the head of a stranger or loved one, saying the words, “I lay my hands upon you in the name of the Holy Spirit…” Healing is self-awareness, loving others, and advocating for their basic needs: clean water, clean air, access to food, health care, and housing.
In all that you do: remain kind, joyful and grateful for one another.