||My Freedom Is In Your Hands
by Jacques Verduin
[Listen to Audio!]
What if this virus had a hidden agenda other than spreading fear about how it might compromise our health? What if, hidden in its drive to be contagious there was another message, urging to be heard?
Whether we come running or are being dragged, this virus teaches us to consider each other in a whole new way. Much like prisoners, we are being asked to give up our personal freedom to protect society from ourselves. We get a brief taste, with these temporary ‘shelter in place’ orders, what it might be like to be confined for decades on end. Please consider what it is like, to be elderly or in bad health—and trapped inside prison? How does it feel to be punished for being sick?
What if, after this virus is gone, we learned it had changed our DNA in such a way that it forever altered our ability to consider each other? Consider each other no longer just as strangers, but in a new way, as in closer to our hearts?
I wash my hands for you.
Every time I wash my hands, I think of you, the other, as myself And I smile.
My freedom is in your hands and yours is in mine.
Every bit of care I bring to this gesture, I dedicate to the mystery of you, the other, who invites me to connect with you.
I reach out to hold you and rejoice in how the water blesses both of us in this practice.
I can no longer disregard you.
I can no longer wash my hands of you, and your fate. I wash my hands for your fate;
My freedom is in your hands, exactly where it belongs.
We don’t control circumstance. That’s one thing we’re learning right now, for sure. But we do get to take our stance in the midst of circumstance, in the midst of everything that begs us to be considered, and reconsidered, in these rapidly changing times. May that be a calm, grounded and loving stance and may it help people find their stance, including those folks you have never even touched or met.
My willingness to consider your fate announces my ability to mature as a human being. It frees me. Perhaps redemption is not a process that happens after everything is painstakingly measured and the final tally is made up. Maybe it’s a quality of consideration that we enter into every moment, by choice and by choice alone. Every moment that offends me has in it the grace of redemption. All it requires is my willingness to find it.
We are all human beings, you and I. We are all human beings, searching to be safe and to come home to each other, and be forgiven now, already, for every trespass made and every pending failure yet to come.
About the Author: Jacques Verduin is a subject matter expert on mindfulness, restorative justice, emotional intelligence, and transforming violence. A father, community organizer, and teacher, he is founding director and Minister of Transformation for "Insight-Out" which helps prisoners and challenged youth create the personal and systemic change to transform violence and suffering into opportunities for learning and healing.
|Latest Community Insights
|My Freedom Is In Your Hands
How do you relate to the notion that every moment of offense carries within it the grace of redemption? Can you share a personal story of a time you became aware of your responsibility toward others, and theirs toward you? What helps you remember to consider the fate of others when making your decisions?
| Jagdish P Dave wrote: We all are interbeings. The face of intrabeing is also the face of interbeing. What I do has an impact on the other and what the other has also an impact on me. We all are intertwined. If I am aware o…
|David Doane wrote: I believe we are essentially and inseparably interrelated and interdependent. Everything I do affects you, and everything you do affects me. In offending you I offend me. In forgiving you I forgive…
|Share/Read Your Reflections
Many years ago, a couple friends got together to sit in silence for an hour, and share personal aha-moments. That birthed this newsletter, and rippled out as Awakin Circles in 80+ living rooms around the globe. To join in Santa Clara this week, RSVP online.
Some Good News
Video of the Week
Global call with Kay Lindahl!
Join us for a conference call this Saturday, with a global group of ServiceSpace friends and our insightful guest speaker. Join the Forest Call >>
Back in 1997, one person started sending this simple “meditation reminder” to a few friends. Soon after, “Wednesdays” started, ServiceSpace blossomed, and the humble experiments of service took a life of its own. If you’d like to start an Awakin gathering in your area, we’d be happy to help you get started.