I sat in the nosebleed section of an old church in downtown Minneapolis last night and didn’t even bother to wipe away tears as Brene Brown spoke from her heart about courage and vulnerability, loneliness and doing hard things . . . She admonished about the ‘sorted-ness’ of our culture, about the destruction caused by dehumanization, and the power of speaking honestly with kindness, regardless of the outcome. It was powerful. And it got me thinking about My People.
“You’re My People!” I like to say . . . most often to those who look and think and believe like me. But tonight, as I shared about Nine-Eleven with my two oldest kids and we cried together, I realized that idea—My People—is much, much bigger. And I need to use it with more generosity and with more frequency. So here goes:
To the girl in the Walmart bathroom line with the gorgeous smile, the long black and pink cornrows, and the quite words of encouragement for your friend when you didn’t know I was listening: you are My People.
To the mover-guy who helped haul a piano into my house today and commented on my tattoos, and then unashamedly flashed a few of your own: you are My People.
To the woman a world, a religion, and a war away who I KNOW spoke in soft tearful tones with your children about this same day sixteen years ago (just as I did tonight)—about the futility and brokenness of hate: you are My People.
To the guy and his partner a table away at dinner, who raised a glass of wine and toasted to Life in my direction, smiling warmly, happily, without agenda or fear: you are My People.
To the girl who cried beside me in that nosebleed balcony last night; who met my gaze without apology who acknowledged her need and mine in the midst of shared loneliness; who hugged me tight as I hugged her back: you are My People.
This world is big. And beautiful. And broken. And falling apart in all the ways and in all the places. But it’s not lost, if for no other reason than My People. You. All of you. So keep on keeping on. Maybe, if we can just acknowledge our need for one another beyond all of our hurt, we’ll realize we’re closer than we thought.