Let Me Change One Thing I Can

A clean heart create for me, God;
renew within me a steadfast spirit.
Do not drive me from before your face,
nor take from me your holy spirit.
Restore to me the gladness of your salvation;
uphold me with a willing spirit.
– Psalm 51:12-14

Jesus said to the Twelve:
“Fear no one.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
– Matthew 10:26-30

Change your heart, look around you
Change your heart, it will astound you
I need your loving like the sunshine
And everybody’s gotta learn sometime
Everybody’s gotta learn sometime
Everybody’s gotta learn sometime
– The Korgis, “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime

A former student has used Facebook to post a couple of heartfelt expressions of concern over our current conditions, and her dismay over the state of relations among Americans of all races.

First, I admire, greatly, her expressions. This person is someone who really “found their voice” at Benedictine, and, really, anything she does that builds community and understanding does not surprise me. Honestly, having worked closely with her as an undergraduate, I have pointed out to her that my expectations of her work and outcomes are higher than others in her class, and she delivers.

That said …

While expressing concern, disappointment, and frustration at what is, I directed her to what can be, with all people of goodwill taking constructive action to make something, a single thing, better, now. I suggested she help lead the organization where she works to choose a dilapidated home, line up volunteers, and spend the time need to improve one life, one outlook at a time.

It’s an action that doesn’t fit on a sign, or appear top of mind in a march.

My admonition to her is: In order to change others’ hearts, you must change yours. I reminded her of a lunch conversation some time ago where I pointed to her leadership qualities, her outward presentation of her inner beauty, and that she should not be afraid to show the world what goodness can do, one act at a time.

“You can do this” was my final comment.

She promised to arrange with her organization to explore the possibilities. Knowing her, it will get launched.

Image: Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, mission trip to Tanzania.

Michael Throop