Dear Summer: Part 3



Dear Summer,

I understand if you needed to get up to speed, but as the days went on I noticed that it didn't take long for you to come around and figure out what was happening. I'm sure it felt like your arrival was unannounced and you came in without a formal invitation because the entire world was still in March. Don't worry, I noticed the day you showed up and that's one of the things that I enjoy about you is that you don't go unnoticed.

I have to admit that I was excited for you to arrive, but, like the world, we almost forgot that you were coming. COVID-19 had put the world on pause and lifestyles changed, including the way we use social media and the emotional, mental, and physical stability of how we as humans process change. And so. Much. Has. Changed.

The Black Lives Movement has opened eyes, hearts, and minds to the tangible racism that still exists in America, a country that still has a lot of healing to do in facing the foundations of our history and redefining what it means to be an American. But I think you'd be proud. You have waited for this. To see sons, daughters, mothers, fathers --humanity--  to accept and challenge the ways we have gone living while a significant portion of the earth's population is still targeted, profiled, and underrepresented. You were there while people cried and marched in the streets for justice, change, and a hopeful future. You were with us while we tried figuring out how to do life again, how to talk to people again, and how to stand for justice when lives were taken. 

I'm sure you noticed there weren't as many people outside to enjoy the longer days and the heat. There have been empty beaches and fewer visits to your favorite places. I could say that you weren't easy, which many people can say, but one of the main reasons why I felt like I could anticipate your arrival better than I thought possible was all because of you. 

I feel like these past few years, you have been there for me. You helped show me the tenderness of your warmth and the fun you bring. I remember the nights when I got to look up at the stars and ask them if they knew how I'd fall. I'd keep my sunroof open hoping the planets would speak as I drove from late movie nights and Dutch Blitz Competitions. I remember that under the stress of new adventures and day hikes, you continued to make the weather warm enough to enjoy. I remember how you taught me to look towards the One who created me. I'm sure you rooted for me while I enjoyed a stroll through town. You leaned in close to make sure I wasn't alone.

So much has happened and I know you wouldn't miss it for the world. So, I want to be there for you, too. You will be remembered as an ongoing time of change, disappointment, plans rescheduled, and pain-- all within six feet. But you will also be remembered by the deep desire for unity that lives and craves in every human heart and we still have a long way to go. But with every day we are given, a new level of hope, belief, and family is released to us. We are all still learning, which is probably the best thing we can do in a time like this. So help us. Help us to remember to be kind, patient, and forgiving in the moments when we hurt people and when people hurt us. Part of being human is making mistakes-- BRING ON the mistakes because we can grow from them. 

I still can't believe that we're about to begin August, but I was grateful that you still showed up and the way you held the sun. You probably didn't have a choice, but I feel like you made the decision to show up because you wanted to. Thank you, Summer, for being gracious, brutal, and kind. I know your stay with us is coming to a close, but I hope when you come back, you'll see us way better than where we are now. 

With Everything That I Am,
MJ

P. S.
I have attached links for organizations, books, articles, and videos that have blessed me in trying to understand and learn how to navigate this time. These links are by no means a special key to understanding everything, but they are somewhere to start. But one of the greatest resources are people. We are in a challenging time, which calls for social distancing and quarantine, so call a friend, Facetime or Skype and have conversations that will lead to healing, truth, and tangible change. To those who have been impacted by COVID-19, I can't imagine the pain of loss, the what-if's, and  physical pain you've had to endure. To my brothers and sisters in the Black Community, I stand with you and forever still. I pray that all and every unjust act, profile, and slander against you is eradicated from this world, which was based on your skin-color alone. I have held onto your stories and pain. I mourn and grieve with you that if you need a spine to stand or lungs to breath, I will without hesitation give you mine.


Organizations
GO VOTE

Black Lives Matter

Outdoor Afro


Books
Mbue, Imbolo. Behold the Dreamers a Novel. 4th Estate, 2017.

Adichie, C. N., & Sirotti, A. (2015). Americanah. Torino: Einaudi.

Articles
Colarossi, Jessica. “Comparing How Media around the World Frames Coronavirus News.” Boston University, 25 June 2020, www.bu.edu/articles/2020/comparing-how-media-around-the-world-frames-coronavirus-news/.

Hennen, C. (2020, July 08). Resist! And support black-run initiatives and nonprofits. Retrieved July 31, 2020, from https://www.7x7.com/black-lives-matter-bay-area-resources-2646147346/resist-and-support-black-run-initiatives-and-nonprofits

Obama, Barak. "How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change." Barak Obama,         1 June 2020, https://obama.medium.com/how-to-make-this-moment-the-turning-point-for-           real-change-9fa209806067

Videos
Bethel Church 

Boston University School of Public Health

Chroma Church: 26th July 2020 | 10:30AM | Live Stream

Transformation Church | Warning: Read the Manual Before You Touch the Product // Relationship Goals Reloaded (Part 1) 

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