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JUST US: Starlings

It is really hard to listen to the news. I have to take it in carefully so that I’m not swept away by it. Even so, sometimes I am. Currents of injustice, inequality, accusations. Defensiveness and hate. It seems all too pervasive to change. Alone we can feel overwhelmed and ineffective. We need each other. Community is essential to supporting one another and engaging a movement. Jesus commissioned his community to carry the gospel into the nations. And so they went, one at a time, two at a time, inviting others along the way. Nature has something to teach us about community movements, too…I learned from watching starlings. I invite you to take 2 minutes (literally) of silence to watch this wonder-full dance

Swooping and swirling in beautiful unison. Defined, synchronized patterns. Yet there is no single leader directing what seems to be an orchestrated dance. Each single starling is in energetic connection with 7 of its neighbors, and each of those 7 with 7 more. Each one shares its energy with those around it, 7+7+7…until an entire flock (a phenomenon called ‘murmuration') is unified in motion. The shape of the movement is not created all at once by a choreographed script. The shape emerges organically as each bird murmurs in connection with those around it. Each one IS the movement that spreads throughout the flock as it moves dynamically with the currents.

Be the change you wish to see in the world, Gandhi murmured. Gandhi lived nonviolence. People like Martin Luther King, Jr. followed and movements swelled in the current of the day. The Samaritan woman at the well murmured, “come and see,” and many in that city believed. Follow me, Jesus murmured as he and created the dance of a peace-maker and there were many who followed him. Jesus’ way became a movement as he lived God’s love and shared his energy with those around him. Jesus lived the hope of mercy and justice he wanted to see in the world and one by one people flocked to his side.

When news is disheartening, even despairing, we can take some time to lament and rest our wings. Then contemplate, what does our murmuring sounds like. What kind of flock do we want to attract? How can our dance respond to the currents of the day?

Thank you for taking time out of your day to perch here a moment (ok enough of the puns!). What movement is stirring within you? I welcome the chance to hear and share energy and be JustUs for the Common Good.

In this together, Amy


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