Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wearing Symbols to Share Our Stories

Photo by Jeff Norris
I have preached quite a bit in our Unitarian Universalist churches about how important I believe wearing symbols of our faith is in our lives. When we wear symbols we are showing other people what is important to us and telling them a little bit about who we are. We are also giving each other an invitation to share our stories and be in community with each other.

Many different groups and causes such as breast cancer, the Livestrong foundation, and autism, have rubber bracelets which people wear to raise awareness about their cause. The Alzheimer’s Association is no different and I have come to realize over the last year just how important those rubber bracelets and other symbols can be.

We have noticed people wearing shirts from the Alzheimer’s Association, or the purple Alzheimer’s Association bracelets throughout the year. This has been a wonderful way for us to make connections with other people dealing with some of the same things we are dealing with. This has allowed us to be supportive of each other and hear each other’s stories.

Wearing these symbols tells each other that it is alright to talk about this illness, no one needs to be alone. It tells us that there are other people who will support and care for us. It shows others a little bit about who we are, without us having to say anything. The symbol says, “Alzheimer’s disease affects my life.” 

Whenever I see these symbols, I am reminded of the benediction by my colleague Rev. Wayne Arnason:

“Take courage friends.
The way is often hard, the path is never clear,
and the stakes are very high.
Take courage.
For deep down, there is another truth:
you are not alone.”
- Unitarian Universalist Hymnal: Singing the Living Tradition, #698

By wearing these symbols, may we continue to raise awareness and create a community of support and care. I look forward to sharing our stories with each other.


Rev. Katie

No comments:

Post a Comment