A message from Pam Manus.
Recently during a downsizing sprint, I unearthed some of my old cassettes. Peter, Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and John Lennon. Just listening to the words and music, singing along, I realized that they touched my soul then and now.
“How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see?”
I remember tears streaming down my cheeks as a large group I was with sang these words and held candles high trying to ignite the spirit of integration, justice, peace and dignity for all mankind in the hearts of others.
Looking back on that time, those ideals and that passion, I wondered if we had made any difference. Hopefully some, but was it enough? That lead me to wondering if Jesus ever felt discouraged, frustrated, angry, that it wasn’t enough? And I believe the answer is yes. I know he trashed the temple and argued with the priests, was rebuffed, but each time he prayed to his Father and renewed his efforts to bring God's love and peace to those around him. Jesus never asked anything from his disciples that he wouldn’t do himself. Which brought me to ask what has been asked of me? Fix it all? No. Only that I love the Lord God with all my heart, soul and mind and that I love my neighbor as myself. There are times that loving an unknown neighbor seems easier than loving myself, but I know God loves me and that renews me. I can be open and honest. It gives me energy to reach out and help others. There are so many issues that are in urgent need of energy and effort, but I have chosen to be active in helping the homeless. It’s why I joined the movement of Family Promise, the national group helping families who are homeless get back on their feet. I work at the Homeless Cold Shelter and cook at the Friendly Kitchen. I see Jesus in the people I meet and am eternally grateful for the love of God and the example of Jesus’ life that moves me along this path which is open to all. Walk with Jesus and recognize him in others, not as easy as it sounds, but so worth the effort! Imagine the world we could live in.
"I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one"