Friday, May 09, 2014

For the Girls - Why a hashtag matters




Already there is debate about the usefulness of #BringBackOurGirls.
The Internet is loaded with arguments on either side of the fence.
Which makes me cringe.
Sides.
There are sides.
Why are their sides??

Don't people ever get worn out of arguing?
Can't we all just do good and be kind? Cut each other some slack?
Can't we all just acknowledge that we feel helpless and that we are doing the best we can to find a way to help?
That we are trying to reach across the gap to the mother's whose arms are empty, to the girls who are alone and scared, saying We See You. We Hear You. We Stand With You. We Are Calling for Help on Your Behalf?

But still there are sides.
And while they each have good points, I have decided that this is one of those times when I have to pick.
I cannot sit on on the fence and get a spiritual wedgie (though I am a self-confessed damn moderate.)
This time I have to choose.

So here it is.

The question has been asked dopes #BringOurGirlsBack change anything?
Does it help in any way?

I think the answer is yes.

Every time I see #BringOurGirlsBack I am reminded that they are still gone.
And this changes the thought patterns in my head.

It changes what I think about when my feet hit the floor in the morning and I go to wake my children up for school. Shaking them in their warm beds, yelling at them for the third time to GET UP ALREADY. Out of their safe beds. Where I can hug them and kiss them.

It changes the conversations I have with the girls at my school.
The 13 and 14 year old girls who come into my office daily bringing their drama and problems. Problems that now seem so much smaller compared to their sisters in captivity across the ocean.

It changes how I talk to my sons about their responsibilities to fight for the rights of women and children and all of humanity.

It changes how I speak about my sisters and my mother and my friends and women in general. Am I building up or tearing down?

It changes my priorities, standing in Target debating whether or not to buy another throw pillow.
Is this what I want to use my voice for? Choosing this pillow? Who made this pillow? What women in what factory in what country made this very pillow? What are their lives like? Are their daughters at risk?

And when  I see #BringBackOurGirls, it changes how I pray. 

And who I pray for.

For the girls.
For the families.
For the captors.
For the men buying the girls.
For the diplomats and the negotiators and the people who make their coffee while they spend countless hours trying to figure this out.

Will a hashtag bring back the girls? I don't know. Maybe not.
Does it hurt their chances? I cannot answer that.

But for me, what the hashtag does do is wake me up to the realization (again, again, again) that - as Hilary has said -  "the rights of women and girls  are the unfinished business of the 21st century."


So I will post #BringBackOurGirls. 
I will repost news and blog post and calls for prayer.
And I will pray.
And I will work however I can to fight for the rights of women and girls however I can.
And I will try my damnedest to be a good steward of the voice and the privilege that I have to make the world a better, safer, kinder, more just place.
Not because I believe it is guaranteed to happen.
But because I believe we are called to try.

And I think that is what changes things.


*****************************************
other post worth reading on #BringBackOurGirls
what Sarah has prayed.
what  A Church for Starving Artist has shared.
what Kristen has shared.
Caitlins reporting


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