Transforming Poisons to Healing Medicines

There were three different groups of travelers walking along the same path at different times. Each of the groups of travelers carried offerings with them.

The first group of travelers came upon a tree that they recognized as poisonous. Because they recognized that the tree contained some poisonous elements, they motioned for everyone to go far around the tree, which they did. The first group of travelers offered avoidance

Days later, the second group of travelers encountered the tree, and they too, recognized that the tree contained some poisons elements. This group saw the tracks of the first group that went far around the tree. The second group of travelers decided to tie a blue cloth to the tree to warn future travelers that the tree is poisonous. The second group of travelers offered labels.

A little over a week passed when the third group of travelers came into the vicinity of the tree. From a distance, the third group of travelers saw the tracks that went far around the tree, as well as the blue cloth warning them that the tree is poisonous. The third group recognized that the tree contained poisonous elements, but after much prayer and contemplation, the third group of travelers decided to make camp around the tree. The tree became the center of their camp, and they shared an entire season with the tree. They learned that the poisons the tree contains can be transformed to healing medicines when cultivated with the care, patience, and the courage only love can provide. The medicine this tree produces cures sicknesses that there was once no cure for. With honor they approached the tree, and with equal honor they parted ways with the tree. Before they left, the group sang a thank you song and tied a red cloth under the blue cloth, marking the tree as whole and Holy – a significant reminder of the truth that Heaven and Earth are forever connected by the sacredness within all living beings. The third group of travelers offered relationship

And so it is with our youth and young adults: We can avoid them, label them, or we can spend a season with them and cultivate relationships in love, compassion, truth and honor that will transform any poisons that have been imposed upon them back to the healing medicines they’ve been endowed with by the Creator. 

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On Earth as it is in Heaven

When people become as passionate, outspoken, and supportive about ending sex trafficking, homelessness, hunger, and domestic violence as they are about money, political elections and professional sports, we will have heaven on earth.

Every youth emergency shelter and domestic violence shelter is almost always full. There are millions of homeless, runaway, sex trafficked youth, and victims of domestic violence. Yes, it’s a pandemic. I am fortunate to work side by side, day and night with others whose mission it is to serve, yet the laborers are so few. And as programs that tirelessly work to serve others struggle to keep their doors open from year to year, I watch the news and see that politicians generate millions of dollars in one evening just to campaign. People will pay $50,000 for a plate of food and to listen to a candidate they support talk for an hour and take a photo with them, while we have children who are homeless, hungry, and being bought and sold; while we have women being beaten and murdered; while the masses turn a blind eye to the abuse, exploitation, and murder of women, children, and elders and say, “That’s not my business,” or more common is people saying and doing nothing.

One of my favorite artists, KRS-One, in one of his songs, speaking about why his music isn’t mainstream and isn’t played often on mainstream radio said,

You know why they’re shutting down KRS-One?

Because I’m not sexy, thuggin, or dumb.”

What came first, the marketing and branding or the consciousness of the masses? I mean, either society has been overtaken by marketing and branding to the extent that money, sports and politics is now what resonates with a ferocious passion within the masses, overriding common sense, compassion and the needs of those who are abused, exploited and marginalized, or the masses within society have always been shallow and the marketers and branders simply followed suit. Why is there is a media frenzy about missing sports jerseys, political ideologies, “get rich quick schemes,” religious differences, yet not a peep about the pandemic of missing, homeless, hungry, sex trafficked youth and victims of domestic violence? Is there any challenge that we as a humanity face that is more important than missing, homeless, hungry, sex trafficked youth and victims of domestic violence? I don’t think there is.

Protest, march, do what you want, just take an extra look around you and make sure in your efforts to make a stand you don’t march right past the most marginalized and traumatized people in our society. One day, I hope soon, there will be as much passion about homeless, hungry, sex trafficked youth, and victims of domestic violence as there are about so many other things.

Why is it that flyers of missing children barely get any shares on social media but a quote from a politician or professional athlete gets millions?

When will we, as humanity, campaign together to end the suffering? Whenever that day comes is the day we will see, not just say, On Earth as it is in Heaven.

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