Community Care is Self-Care
And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25
The other week, I hit my limit. With my personal life spinning out, my political engagement seeming overwhelming, and my work load steadily increasing, I started spiraling out. I reached out to another queer doing work of anti-racism and community engagement saying that I didn’t know what to do, and I was stuck.
“Have you tried coloring?” they asked. “Write out all your stuff!”
So I did. I drew a tiny figure of myself and a big cloud full of all the negative self-talk and overwhelming trauma that surrounds what it means to be attentive to the state of the world, today.
But then, in the middle of coloring, I got a text from another queer in the movement, who is advocating for the transgender community and their right to exist in public spaces, asking for prayers because she was overwhelmed.
I stopped what I was doing and wrote out a prayer for her.
My art then shifted into a testimony of survival and the care of my community. I remembered that we can’t do this alone and we must ask for help. That care for our communities is self-care. We’re intimately connected, one to the other, and God is the energetic thread of love that binds us together. We meet each other where we are—sometimes in the shit and the muck and the mire—and love each other into remembering who we are and Whose we are.
Someone was there when I needed help and love and prayers, and I can be there when someone else needs help and love and prayers … and we are able to roll up our sleeves and get back to work, for the sake of the world we vision with God.
God of our ancestors, give us the words to ask for help when we need it. Give us the strength to hold each other in the work. And infuse our relationships with your love that surpasses all things, so that we may together build the world that you imagine for us. In your name, Amen.
Chris Davies contributed this devotional to Rise Up! Spirituality for Resistance, a collection of devotionals to keep you burning bright without burning out, whether you’re leading a justice effort at church or heading out to join a local protest. You can order Rise Up! from UCC Resources.