In my previous blog I wrote about help that leads to healing. Below is more detail of my thoughts. This isn’t exhaustive. There are many issues to address. The big point in this blog is that we will not resolve the moral wounds of our city by only providing physical relief. Here are three ways that individuals or groups can get involved with the healing in Baltimore.
1. Time addresses the wound of indignity. You’ve heard it before, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Giving is easier and expeditious. Teaching requires time and patience. The act of teaching someone enables them to see their ability to not only receive but to also provide. This understanding benefits their family, their community, and their future. So I recommend investing time in mentoring people or invest money in those who do.
2. Bridges address the wound of ignorance. We need people to be bridges of understanding that close the gap of ignorance. Ignorance isn’t stupidity, it’s just a lack of information. We live in a city where the strength of our diversity has been weakened by the opposition of our differences. People who are bridges don’t stand on either side of opposing views. Instead, they have a footing on both sides, the flexibility to span the differences, and the resolve to bind in agreement. We need to be bridges for the gaps of understanding between economic classes, races, generations, and cultures.
3. Consistency addresses the wound of abandonment. Addiction, imprisonment, and irresponsibility have heightened the levels of instability in our families. Too many people have been hurt by abandonment. It’s happened in my life and I hear about it in the lives of so many others. I’ve learned that the act of showing up has more impact than the abundance of my words. Consistency dispels the lie that people are not worth the commitment. Many people have showed up in the city this week–and it’s beautiful! I am grateful for the help. If you want to be a part of the healing, then keep showing up. Whatever support you’ve offered this week–offer it for the rest of the year. Assure the community that you aren’t supporting them out of pity for their pain. But you support them out of purpose for their potential to be fulfilled.
I should admit that these are not just ideas. These are principles that I’ve learned and practiced as I serve in Baltimore. People are the invaluable resource in the success of these three principles. So even if your only resource to offer is money, then invest it in people who are taking time to teach, building bridges, and continue to show up.