Rise Up

I’m on a journey of trying new things in this new season of my life. This particular morning, I decided to drive to Italian Village a neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio and found Fox in the Snow Café. The pastries were mouthwatering. The list of coffee was eye-opening, however, what struck me was the organic atmosphere of individuals sitting around tables joining with one another in conversations.


I couldn’t help but think of how amazing it was to sit and watch people from different backgrounds, nationalities, ethnic and cultural groups enjoying a morning coffee, tea, water, and each other. When I placed my order, the barista asked, “May I call you, Gail?” after running my credit card through the Square machine. It was as if the entire place heard him mention me by name because the moment I begin looking for a place to sit many were inviting me to join their table by saying, “Gail, there’s a seat here.” People started moving their purses and backpacks to allow me room at their table.

If there was a place for a single or double to sit down at a table, you were more than welcomed to join in. If there was a table for two and only one seat was available, the person seated signaled for you to join them. Not only to eat and drink but to partake in the conversation. At one point it was standing room only, and yet no one felt slighted or appeared irritated.

Immediately I started thinking. In this place, everyone was welcomed to join in without judgment. It looked like the United Nations in this café, and I loved it.


The atmosphere of this community got me to thinking. How is it that strangers can come together in a café, but the American border is causing trauma through separation of families; especially mothers or fathers and their children? On a national level, life is in a crisis for individuals experiencing the separation at the border, and those of us watching it unfold around the world. On a local level, we can put everything aside and communion with each other. How can we on the local level begin to make a more significant impact on the national and international level?

ChildMigrantsI’m afraid the enemy has lied to us far too long to the point that we get sidetracked by the illusion of being unable to do something tangible. I consider the words of my book Who Told You That and my spirit is stirring believing together we can make a change. Could it be our methods aren’t working? We say, “Resist!” and I’m all for resisting, but sitting in the café this morning I am beginning to wonder if the word resist is too negative. Experiencing this collective community space and watching the smiles, and listening to passionate conversations, and laughter I wonder if maybe we should transform resist to rise.

To rise means to move from a lower position to a higher one’ come or go up. I believe former First Lady Michelle Obama was on to something when she said, “When they go low, we go high.”

It’s time to rise and go forth with the passion we have to serve alongside one another. I believe we can do this by modeling the community gatherings we engage in on a local level. Let’s resist by rising to the occasion and take action where one would find it difficult to turn their back or to walk away.

I’m seeing something new in this new season. I hope you will come along with me and experience it together. It’s time for action. It’s time to rise.

How will you rise? Please join this conversation by listing ways we can engage effectively in making this world a better place.



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