This week marked the opening of the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, projects led by the Equal Justice Initiative. Many observers noted the painful and compelling need for such monuments, the often silenced stories that are being brought into the light, and the effective design that helps visitors to engage more deeply with a powerful subject.
A few reflected more personally, with at least one noting, “you’d turn and run right out of there if you could.”
Our hearts are powerful, and most of us have built strong walls and locks to keep them safe. When something pains me, I want to move through it quickly, brain-first, so that it doesn’t have a chance to sink in and hurt. Sometimes this is a blessing, keeping me from getting stuck for silly small reasons. But sometimes this same quality leaves me only half-there, when the situation demands wholeness.
Dear honeybees, if we feel a familiar pang this week and are temped to quicken our steps, to turn the page, to move along, let’s stop and stay there a minute instead.
It might be a long and painful minute. But it might lead to something needed. Something beautiful.
* You can read more about the museum and memorial here and here. Bryan Stevenson also has created an unforgettable TED talk and written compelling book, Just Mercy.