Tuesday, January 12, 2010


We all have them. Some of us are given them at birth. Some of us acquire them along the way. Some come from no fault of our own, some come from choices we make. Some are given to us by others, accidentally or unfortunately, on purpose. But eventually we all become one of the walking wounded.

This is not a sad soliloquy that follows. This is an affirmation that we carry our scars, our imperfections for a reason. God, Goddess, Higher Power, or Collective Humanity. Whichever you subscribe to, assigns no shame on where you are or where you have been. You have a story and that is what is important. You have insight, that is what is important. You have advice, that is what is important. Your imperfections, your scars are a gift.

Some of us can just roll up our sleeves and it is obvious from the cigarette burns, razor slashes or track marks. Our stories are easier seen. Some of us need to unzip our bodies to show the scars on our psyche, our hearts, our souls in order to assure those around us of our commonality. Some of our struggles are ongoing. I would venture to say, most of our struggles are ongoing. Some of us need a drink to steady our hand, some of us will crave something for the rest of our lives even though we have turned away from the tray. Some of us will flinch if anything moves quickly on our periphery.

These scars, these experiences, we should not hide out of fear or shame. These are gifts we can bring to others. So many of us feel alone. Isolated. Misunderstood. We feel less than, looked down upon, judged, minimized. These scars you bear could be your brother's salvation.

"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Matthew 5:14-16

Nina Michelle
The Herald
published January 2010
First Congregational United Church of Christ


Tonight, there are people who will sleep in their own beds for the last night. There are people who are truly depend-ant on the kindness of friends and strangers. There are people with overflowing gifts of abundance to which society assigns no value.

There are also people, who are only just one paycheck away from the fate that awaits those I have spoken about above. Is it you? You don't think so? It *is* many of us. Don't fool yourself.

"Am I my brother's keeper? ... Yes, I am my brother's keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, notby maudlin sentimentality, but by the higher duty I owe myself. It is when you have done your work honestly, whenyou have contributed your share to the common fund that you begin to live. Then, as Whitman said, you can take outyour soul; you can commune with yourself; you can take a comrade by the hand and you can look into his soul and in that holy communion you live. And if you don't know what that is, or if you are not at least on the edge of it, it is de-nied you even to look into the Promised Land." - Eugene V. Debs, speech given at the founding of the Federal Coun-cil of Churches, Girard, Kansas, 1908

So what do you do? Greet them as you were greeting Christ. Let them know, you are there. Don't pick them up and carry them off. Don't try to fix them. Remember, they might not be broken. They may have lost many things but they have not lost their dignity or their sense of self. Be worthy of their trust. Live true to your word. Walk in faith that they may be guided to feel safe to ask of you anything they may need. Walk in faith that you will be able and ready to give to them what they ask.We are a reflection of each other. Look deep into your brother's eyes. You will see yourself looking back at you.

Nina Michelle
The Herald
published December 2009
First Congregational United Church of Christ