Welcome From Haywood Street:
1. You can now support the Haywood Street Ministries by sending a text to 828-330-9335. Text GIVE to support the core programs or FRESCO to make a gift in support of the Haywood Street Fresco.
2. September 20: ‘Golf for Awareness’. Registration now open!
3. Trip To The National Memorial For Peace & Justice. More…
4. Great story on the Haywood Street Fresco via WLOS! Access it here.
5. Interested in joining the 2019 Welcoming WNC Procession? Learn morehere and send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to participate. We’ll follow up with directions on when/where to meet.
A HAYWOOD STREET REFLECTION FROM: LINDA
|Do You Want to Help the Arc of the Universe Bend Toward Justice?|
Martin Luther King, Jr. said that the arc of the universe bent toward justice. Sometimes I have trouble believing that. But one night recently, Bryan Stevenson spoke at the University of North Carolina Asheville and posed that larger question during his speech. He then explained how it could be done. None of what he said sounded easy, but it all sounded possible. So now I ask you, would you like to bend the arc of the universe toward justice?
If you do, this is how he said to do it:
1. Be proximate. Go TO those who are vulnerable, the hungry, the stranger (immigrant), the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned. They have been turned away so many times that they’ve given up asking for justice. Meet them where they gather in missions or under highways or in quarries or by the river or on street corners where they sleep. Or go to soup kitchens, church services, hospitals, needle exchange programs, and prisons. To know what to do to make the world more just is to learn from those who have been treated unjustly. Only they know what must be done to undo the injustices. You might find that some who you think deserve their due have multiple reasons for being where they are, reasons of which you have no knowledge. Or maybe, just maybe, they are there for reasons you have experienced, but you had a cushion from the consequences. If that is the case, you have discovered just how privileged you are and how close you were to being them.
2. Change the narrative. Once you know that there are complex reasons for people being hungry, naked, immigrants, sick, or imprisoned, remind everyone you meet that your experience with people who have been treated with injustice is different than the reasons that have been assigned to misfortune. People will say “those people” have made poor choices. Yes, it may appear a poor choice if you have a huge array of choices, but if race, age, poverty, experience, or any number of other things limited the choices, then the choice they made is the best choice they had at the time. They are not “those people.” They are “us” without the advantages. We are all God’s children and He loves all of us.
3. Remain hopeful. This is the hardest and the easiest thing to do. It is hard because most people who are comfortable won’t want to change their thinking to include these unexplored truths. When one meets the walls of solidified beliefs, being hopeful is very hard.
Yet it is easy, also, because when you have met the vulnerable where they are and realize how like you they are, you won’t be able to contain yourself telling people about them, telling them what you have learned about their lives. And one day you’ll see how treating someone with dignity causes them to smile or to visibly relax and your hope will be restored for all people.
4. Get out of your comfort zone. Becoming proximate and changing the narrative will take you out of your comfort zone. Count on it. Be grateful. You are bending the arc of the universe toward justice.
Haywood Street Congregation is a place where the arc of the universe bends toward justice. But it moves one even further–toward Grace. Come and see!
For more faces & stories from our Congregation, click here.