Grateful to bring you our next installment in our bi-weekly messages with a prayer, an ancestor and a song speaking to our spirits. We hope these resources may offer what we need in order to be courageously, steadily, humbly, on the side of love. One ancestor to lean on, one prayer for our messy lives, and one song to strengthen and soothe. Today we dive into sacrifice - what we are able to offer, what we are willing to do, and who we will become. Check out a bonus recommendation below from Southern Foodways podcast, Gravy.
“But the real sacrifice was the huge danger, the risk that they undertook in putting us up…those are all sung heroes. Heroes every one of them." - Elizabeth Holtzman in conversation with Rosalind Bentley.
What we have to give and what sacrifice means for us can look so many different ways. Check out this podcast about Hostesses of the Movement, Black women who took leadership and risks to resource and support organizing throughout the Civil Rights Movement.
Lydia Maria Child was a white Unitarian author, editor and activist committed to abolition, women’s rights and Indigenous sovereignty. She was an outspoken critic of Unitarianism in her day, including deep concern with Unitarian leaders’ unwillingness to explicitly and fully embrace abolitionism and their “cold intellectual respectability”. In her writings, she called upon readers to address the contradiction of the institution of slavery within Christianity, the extraordinary moral and physical degradation it perpetuated, sexual violence and the responsibility of the North in maintaining the system. There is much to learn from Child’s work today. You can read more about her here.
Like Lydia Maria Child, may we find ourselves committed to knowing our purpose and taking bold action connected to our principles and values.
What We Must Do by Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen
Spirit, help me to look at sacrifice.
What a heavy, dangerous thing.
We know that it is harm to diminish ourselves.
There is no justice in making ourselves little.
Even less in making someone else small.
And still we know this to be true: someone sacrificed for us.
A grandparent went without.
A parent crossed a border.
A sibling let go of a dream.
She worked a second job.
They gave us theirs.
He rarely rested.
They should not have had to. But they did.
Some of us were taught that we can have every good thing and not give up anything.
When we fight for each other as family, sometimes we find another way.
A sacrifice we choose: A paycheck. An afternoon. A year. A year of paychecks.
A gift in the name of life, freely given.
No martyrs, no saviors.
And if we have a lot, we may be asked to give it.
Some of us can give more because we have it: privacy, rest, mobility, money, time, attention.
Sometimes we give because if we did not,
We would sacrifice something else:
May we be treat one another as family - offering when we have to give and taking freely when it is ours to take.
On our way to creating a world that believes abundance is a birthright for every body.
May it be so.
Sade is a spiritual guide for our hearts and spirits. She released her first song in seven years as part of the music for Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time and we can't keep playing it. Check out Flower of the Universe and the film as soon as you can!
Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen, Senior Strategist, Side with Love
Nora Rasman, Campaign Manager, Side with Love