She was trembling and tentative, clinging to the wet hood of her car for support in the mayhem of te parking lot. The younger woman, less wrinkled and somehow more secure in her footing offered an arm. A moment of kindness. The movement of the Spirit in the grace of movement.
Movement, individual and corporate, is the kind of thing only noticed when it is compromised, lost, or stolen by time. And yet, it is inextricably linked to the best in ourselves: the pause in the supermarket line to let another go first; thank you for the “invisible” service people behind the counter; lifting bags of mulch for a fellow gardener.
Those things represent the active practice of what Christians sometimes term “acts fo charity”. The tiniest of movements can bellow the deepest of messages: “I see you. I can recognize a need, and I can have a purpose beyond my own concerns or vision.” There are thousands of such moments every day that happen; for us, celebrating the good, the possible, often take a backset to headlines and memes that are neither accurate representations of the goodness of humanity nor movements that add to the collective understnding of self. The temptation to believe that the victim hood each suffers outweighs the experiences of another has narrowed our own capacity to find an accurate refelction of the movements that occur within and among us.
The United States is far more than the images touted on FaceBook or manipulated in social media. It is a deeply engrained identity, and it is more than the arrogant and irresponsible images curretnly attached to who we are. As we struggle to re-define ourselves in a 21st century glowing with innovation and urbanization, there is a chance that we can begin to look into a mirror that readily acknowledges flaws but also celebrates what is most dear to each succeeeding generation. That, too, could be the grace of movement within and among us.