The Growing Edges
Dear Kaleid Ladies,
Good morning! We pray that all is well in your homes--in your comings and your goings.
“Look well to the growing edge.... It is the extra breath from the exhausted lung, the one more thing to try when all else has failed, the upward reach of life when weariness closes in upon all endeavor. This is the basis of hope in moments of despair, the incentive to carry on when times are out of joint and men have lost their reason, the source of confidence when worlds crash and dreams whiten into ash.” — Howard Thurman, For the Inward Journey
Do you sense the growing edge? Green places of awareness are pushing past time-worn barriers all around us—in our hearts, communities, homes, and churches. It is a hopeful but precarious time. A weary time for people who have been speaking from the margins for years…and years…and years.
Perhaps for you the growing edge is an awakening desire for fundamental realities to be different, wrapped in spools of confusion about what sort of different is even within reach.
Perhaps for you the growing edge is the humbling awareness that your actions emerge from bigger things called “systems,” wherein you have both broken complicity and holy agency.
Perhaps for you the growing edge is a dawning realization that the urge to “do something” is best accomplished by learning, sitting at the feet of those who have been at work for lifetimes.
Perhaps for you the growing edge is the urge to weep with those who weep, crying angry and mournful tears, that pushes through the reflexive impulse to muffle turmoil or amplify normal.
At Kaleid, we fundamentally believe that seeing ourselves, others, and our city through new lenses will yield deeper levels of clarity and courage in our journeys of following Jesus. And so, together, we ask God for sight.
But, “seeing” can be hard because it means a willingness to gain honest understanding about ourselves, others, and our cities. When we “see” in this vulnerable way, we always encounter the corresponding need for courage. Because this is hard, and none of it is neat. This is layered, and none of it is simple. Growing edges can be super scary.
This week, at Kaleid, we have been grateful to meet growing edges with honesty and courage, together. We’ve practiced lament and we’ve begun learning about whiteness. For those of you who haven’t been able to join us, we offer you two opportunities to “try this at home,” because, please, please DO try these things at home! Your steady vision and your sighted presence matter very much in your world.
First, we offer you a practice of personal lament. It’s worth noting that the only emotion in the Bible with a book named after it is “Lamentations.” So, exhale a deep breath and relax, because there’s space in the faith for giving voice to strong, sometimes very painful expressions of hurt in the face of life’s troubling realities. You are invited to lay it out before your faithful God.
Second, we offer you a few questions on whiteness. Take a few minutes and reflect.
When have you been aware of being white? What does whiteness mean to you? What do you notice about your body’s reactions when you are in spaces where race becomes obvious to you? What about your emotional reactions? What do you wish you understood about race in America?
There is so much online offering lists of resources exploring race, and we hesitate to add more. A good place to start, though, is with the books White Awake or Be the Bridge. Both can help in processing whiteness and where we are in this cultural moment, so that the “growing edges” bring forth life, breaking through layers of fear or weariness or suspicion.
We’re glad to be on the journey together.
The Kaleid Team