Time to breathe
By Ariane Williams
It is time to confront the past in the present in order to build the whole for the future. Some have become silent, some have become uncomfortable in this new place of voice. When we become uncomfortable, there’s a balance that must take place for us to get into a position of transformation and change. It is time to breathe.
As a leader in the educational system, I have always listened to the voices of my students. I allowed them to speak so that I could truly hear who they were in the classroom. After all, I cannot teach them if I do not know them. I cannot teach them, if I fail to acknowledge who they are outside of my classroom. I allowed them to breathe in my classroom no matter the color of their skin. You see, the moments that I understood them were the moments that in silence, they shared their world with me through words, stories, hurt, pain, mistaken identities. It is time to breathe a new thing into the educational system and live in those moments to understand their voices. It is time to breathe.
Within the last week, I began to form a new voice. I felt it inside, but I could not articulate it. The other day, I traveled to the grocery store to get some groceries. As I was riding, I started to cry uncontrollably. There was no music. There was no physical person next to me. There was only silence. It was in silence that something became loud to me. It was in silence that the Holy Spirit began to breathe time into me. I felt something deep inside of me that I knew the world could never understand or did not want to understand. The Holy Spirit said, “daughter speak to me.” The pain was like that of contractions trying to birth something new. I saw images of the future in my mind. I felt the pain of the world. Flashes of time with flatlines but then, there was a new beat.
Then, there was the question I asked that started it all, “Holy Spirit, how do I get beyond what I have done to get to where I need to be?” He responded with this, “I want you to stand on the voice that I have given to you. I want new voices to be open in the atmosphere, tell my people to go and speak, but be wise.” But where do I go, Holy Spirit? He said, “Your voice will take you to the places where I need you to go.” But will they listen? “Not everyone listened to me, but that did not change my call,” He said to me. He is looking for a unified voice. It is a unified voice that brings change. We must birth new dreams and new visions during this time, and those things set the foundation for change for those that will hear.
When I asked Him, “what do I say?” He said, “I have given you a gift that can heal the world, use it, and I will prepare the voice; I will prepare the traveled way.” I have called you during this time. Yes, “you” who are reading these words right now. Now is the time for your call. Now is the time to show examples of change. In my dreams, I saw gardens with words of peace. I saw buildings painted with words of healing. I saw businesses with signs of hope in their windows. I saw little children making bracelets that represented peace. The greatest image that I saw was the one in silence as we all held hands. There were no words spoken, but we understood each other for our differences, but then I woke up and now I’m here in the middle of an empty room ready to breathe. God has already prepared you. Speak.
Ariane Williams is a teacher, minister, published author and liturgical dancer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.