Eyes Open

Re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul.

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Wisdom resides in the heart of the discerning; she is known even among fools.

Proverbs 14:33, Holman Christian Standard Bible

Over the past several years, I’ve been on a journey. A journey of growth and stretching and learning and unraveling and untethering. It has brought a lot of internal conflict into my emotional and spiritual life as I’ve grappled with my convictions and held them up against things I’ve been taught from an early age and tried to make sense out of the gaps.

The more I do this wrestling, the more I understand that what I’m experiencing is just growing up. Growing into my own person. Being guided by the Holy Spirit into a new, holy life that is based not on religious or cultural traditions but by the Word of God and the Spirit. It’s uncomfortable and scary at times, pulling me away from church affiliations and previously held beliefs out into a bigger, wider expanse of the world that I’ve not experienced. But living any other way would be a shell of a life.

Our nation is facing its own sort of reckoning right now. Holding up its practices and policies against the values its said to have had, values like freedom and equality and human rights, and finding gaping holes. And if we don’t get to work on walking out into a new way of life, our country will rot from the inside out.

It starts with us as individuals. Choosing to open our eyes to injustice around us. Educating ourselves on other people’s experiences. Listening to people’s stories and believing them. Owning our responsibility in making change happen. Apologizing and righting wrongs we’ve committed against others out of hate or ignorance or indifference. Making sure that our homes are places where racist words aren’t spoken and racist ideas aren’t given any weight. And voting to make sure that our government leaders are doing the same kind of work.

The journey is long and tough at times, but it’s the path towards God’s heart. Come join us.

Published by

Ellie Talley

Ellie is a writer and teacher. She lives in Tennessee with her husband and children.

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