It can be hard not to feel that way, when you look back on a life of attempting to create belonging. Doomscroll where we are at this societal crossroads today closer to Imperial Star Wars than Star Trek Federation and wonder if, you are not simply irrelevant? These thoughts have been cascading for a while in my mind, it can be hard not to as I battle the great fear of my life as Dad, outliving my child (in the case of both my kiddoes) or my son outliving me (and leaving someone not seen as person, in the care of the system that holds this to be true).

These ideas came stronger, after seeing a simple tweet this morning, something akin to Gen X’ers aren’t okay, as all that we fought against, and created a better forward, has been ripped away with worse returning. It is true, we at a whiney minority vocally level are letting the bullies shape the world. That which we were always taught to stand up to, push back into the beneath the rocks where they existed and were dying under, now allowed back out into the sun, and like the worst garden choking weeds are thriving in the rain pain of the world.

How can a world of belonging be created? Is it still possible?

I have to say yes, not just because I am an eternal optimist, but I was also raised with a firm belief that evil does not win in the end.

Yes I am exhausted. Yes I am tired in a world, where we have to tirelessly advocate for my children to be seen as people, where we continue to exist in the tension of life expectancy for my son. Where systems fail to support staff, and as such, as we explain reality, well damn it, at this moment and time corporation or government I do not feel like being your staff’s counsellor or pastor as they process the reality of my son’s lifespan.

But I digress, for I also worry, looking back at a time in my life of about 2 year where I wrote op-ed pieces for a local paper. Where I spoke out in support for Angels in America, LGBTQ Rights, and marriage equality (that last one almost cost me my life) in the mid-1990’s. Fast forward to 2022, and once again, I worry of the violence or death that may be visited upon my youngest and their friends.

We live in a world where The Orville: New Horizons Seasons 3 episode 5 “Tale of Two Topa’s” should be seen as timely or necessary, but especially for extremists and church, take view, and know, in the world of Klydon and Bortus as parents, be a Bortus. The closing image one of the most powerful of belonging on screen:

See Topa is a Mochlan child, who wants to join the union when he is old enough, yet he knows something is not right. If you have viewed previous season episodes around Bortus and Klydon’s child you know. See Mochlan’s are all male. Or are they? Topa was born female, and underwent a gender reassignment surgery to bring him in line with other Mochlan’s. Even after another female Mochlan would testify it was unnecessary. It never sat fully with Bortus, but for Klydon a true believer (and himself, a surgically altered female shortly after birth) a necessity.

A Tale of Two Topa’s is a story of truth, reconciliation, and being who you were created to be. It also shows how fear and hatred can shatter connection, as Klydon walks away from his child “I wish you were never born”…but the Orville Family, as seen in the image, calls Topa to the bridge, for her to belong.

If you fear authenticity in the image of God, why?

It is a powerful episode, and raises some hope that stories of power can still be told, though like, Deep Space Nine episodes seeming current and timely in the social justice issues they confront, it does become exhausitng. Though as watching, there was another aha moment that clicked for me.

So often when we have pilgrimaged/journeyed to other spiritual centres, some would chastise us, that we should not be leaving when they are not accepting due to this or that of one of our family members. We should stay and fight, for how will change happen? Simple, our spiritual centres are a space for connection, belonging, and renewal. I have no issue educating or equipping, but I am not there to fight, there is sapce for us and we will be there and present. If we are not wanted, that is fine, at some point the segregation, isolation, fear and hate, will runs its course within certain spiritual centres, and they will close (and yes we have outlived a few).

The other show that hit hard this week, was the latest Star Trek Strange New Worlds, and it was around Hemmer, the Aener engineer:

The Magic of Science “Abrakadabra”

Reading an interview with Canadian Actor, Bruce Horak, who plays Hemmer, about the character’s sacrifice in episode 9 (a well plotted horror inspired episode with the Gorn). Where infested his only choice was to end his life, that his character was created for a specific purpose. Hemmer, noted his purpose in the series when talking with Cadet Uhura “I fix broken things”. A foreshadowing statement, for a character created as a mentor for Cadet Uhura on their journey to open up to connection and belonging.

Which, in your own vocational and life formation, opens up two questions for you:

  1. What is your life purpose?
  2. Who are the mentors that helpded you in discovering and entering this purpose?

This has been a rough week or two journey for me. Where the word irrelevant has preyed upon my heart. Making me wonder if it was worthwhile, if I could still do something valid. Especially as it appears that our world is darker than it should be as anger and hate push for control and power.

“Your employers actions will show how they value you, more than their words”

Yet,

in these moments, a question from so long ago, on a night shift in a Calgary shelter, as I spoke with a guest rings in my soul:

“How do I ger hope?”

Hope.

A simple four letter word.

Can we regain it? Where do you feel it?

Can we emerge into the light? And see one’s simple intrinsic value in the beautiful diverse mosaic that we are created in the image of? Are we, even more powerfully, able to look in the mirror, and see that in ourselves?

“I wonder if Alberta Separatists wishing your Happy Canada Day, hear the hypocrisy?”

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