“I speak not for myself but for those without voice … those who have fought for their rights … their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated.” ~ Malala Yousafzai
I grew up in a relatively obscure church with the unwieldy name of The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Whenever I was asked about my church affiliation, I cringed a little for two reasons; the name was so long, and everyone always assumed I was Mormon.
The church changed its name a few years back to Community of Christ, which, even though I no longer belong, made me happy. It describes their mission so much better than the original name.
I could go into a long history lesson about why the church originally adopted that long name, and how they are related to the Mormon church, but you can look that up for yourselves. The thing I want to write about is my love of the church seal pictured above.
Even though I chose to leave the church for wider spiritual horizons, the seal of the church, has always had a special significance for me. After I was baptized at eight years old, I believed that I was going to live to see the prophecy of Isaiah, which the seal symbolizes, come true. The lion WOULD lie down with the lamb and A LITTLE CHILD would lead us to peace. And I’d be there to see it all happen. Maybe even help it happen.
Here is where the inspiration for the seal came from: “The coming of the virtuous king.” Isaiah 11:6 – 9 The Jerusalem Bible
“The wolf lives with the lamb, the panther lies down with the kid, calf and lion cub feed together with a little boy to lead them. The cow and the bear make friends, their young lie down together. The lion eats straw like the ox. The infant plays over the cobra’s hole; into the viper’s lair the young child puts his hand. They do no hurt, no harm, on all my holy mountain, for the country is filled with the knowledge of Yahweh as the waters swell the sea.”
I must have been dreaming about young people like Greta Thunberg, in fact, I must have been dreaming about all the recent events on the teeter totter we’ve been going through lately, because this morning when I awoke, I felt I was seeing the beginning of the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. The animals and young people of this time are leading the way to peace just as the Community of Christ seal shows.
Just for fun, before I even got out of bed, I went to YouTube and searched for unusual animal friendships. I’ve been seeing these kinds of videos with increasing frequency lately and I wanted to know if it was a trend, or if I was seeing isolated video stories.
I didn’t find a video about a lion/lamb friendship, but I found lots of other unusual friendships, including a tiger and a goat. If I’d wanted to I could have spent the day watching the videos that popped up, including unusual animal/human friendships. The list of videos was long. I would still have plenty more videos to watch for perhaps days to come if I wanted to.
But the idea for this post was really prompted by Greta Thunberg’s visit to the U.S. this week. She is one in a line of amazing young people who are shaking up the world with their demands for action on everything from taking care of the environment, to curbing gun violence, to cleaning up our oceans, to finding cures for cancer, to spreading love even in the face of terrorist control, to the little four or five year old boy who got his parents to agree to make sandwiches for the homeless in his community.
There are days when I’m exhausted by what pops up in my news feed. I want to crawl into bed, cover my head and sleep until the world has changed for the better. I’m not alone in feeling this way. I saw a news story this week that pointed out a trend of people experiencing bad news fatigue just like me. And yet, there are so many great things happening all around us if we take the time to look.
The idea that one way to heal our wounds by helping others is not a new one. A couple of weeks ago I showed the movie, Now Voyager in my dramatic structure class and was gratified when one of my students said, “I could watch that movie every day.” It’s a 1942 Bette Davis movie in which her character, Charlotte, has a nervous breakdown. She gets better, but just when she thinks she’s going to have a second one, she meets a young girl who reminds her of herself at that age. She decides to help the girl and that opens up a whole new world of love, joy, and service for Charlotte. Meeting and helping this girl completes her healing.
Though I get overwhelmed sometimes juggling teaching with writing and recording my audiobook, because I’m not a good mult-tasker, teaching is one way I can help bring about a peaceful future. The young people I meet are amazing. And I’m thrilled that I get to live to see us moving toward peace. I’m grateful for those young people who are brave enough to speak up, march, and do what they can to change the world for the better.
Maybe I’ll even march with them one day like the 90 something man who was arrested at the large rally held last week. He said he was thrilled that so many young people are rising up to change the world and he wanted to support them. It’s as if his heart is as young as theirs, even though his body isn’t. That’s inspiriting too.
Welcome new followers. Thank you for your likes and comments on my posts. I hope you all have a restful and joyful weekend.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.
The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.