What gives you hope?
Thanks to Oliver for linking me to GivesMeHope, a kind of antithesis to FML.
About two years ago I made a post to an online community, talking about my experience of feeling invisible as a result of male-centric language. Many people commented; some agreeing with me and some confused or saying that I was making “too big a deal” out of it. One commenter engaged me in a several-comment thread, but at the end, still didn’t understand what I was saying, and we had to kind of “agree to disagree.”
I received a comment notification on Monday to that old, old post, and it was that person. S/he was commenting to thank me for the post let me know that after two years, s/he finally understood what I was talking about, and apologized for questioning me.
To be honest, I hadn’t even remembered that I made that post! But that person obviously remembered, and my sharing of my experience helped him/her to understand how male-centric language can be damaging to women. That is just so cool, and I think it really fits in well with a Biblical message, that we act as both “sowers” and “reapers” and sometimes we actually get to reap what we sow, but sometimes we don’t, and we can trust that what we’ve sown—the seeds we’ve planted—through sharing of ourselves, our experiences, and our ideas, can be cultivated in that person’s life over time.
Sometimes being a fat activist feels like an uphill battle. As soon as I feel like I’ve gotten a foothold or made some inroads, something fatphobic will happen in my family, my church, or my community, and my own body insecurities will flare up. It often feels very much like “two steps forward, one step backward.” But I really do believe that we can trust that God is working through us when we speak the truth, whether we get to see the results or not, and that a lack of immediate results doesn’t necessarily mean that we are ineffective.
I recently attended Jubilate, a worship arts and music conference, and we sang a choral anthem called Harvest Time by a man identified as Brother Van, which included the following lyrics:
Over and over, yes deeper and deeper, my heart is pierced through with life’s sorrowing cry. But the tears of the sower and the songs of the reaper shall mingle together in joy by and by.
This gives me hope.
What gives you hope?