I was transfixed recently by a Netflix documentary on the Nobel prize-winning author, Toni Morrison. Two quotes stuck with me.
“She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.” — Toni Morrison, from Beloved.
“If you can only be tall because someone else is on their knees, then you have a serious problem.” — Toni Morrison.
We are indeed a mystery to ourselves. I am grateful for those folks who gathered pieces of me and gave them back in the right order. I took too little notice of their gift. They are the people who see the best in us when we can see little in ourselves. Friends of the mind are indeed friends; they have been teachers, lovers, and family on their best days. We spend far too much energy in our lives attracted like moths to the flame of those folks that tear us down. Social media banks on it. Human power dynamics trade in this currency. It also occurs to me that congregations, at their best, are friends of the mind, rooted and grounded in grace; at their worst, good religious folks stand by tearing others down. May we be friends of the mind. For those who have been so to me, including SLOUMC, thank you.
Rev. Mark F. Sturgess