Tears.  No sobs. Yep, I will own that.


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I sobbed when Lupita Nyong’o took the stage and accepted an oscar for portraying in her words, “so much pain in someone elses life”. Pure and unadulterated empathy. She took on the pain of Patsy and anyone who saw 12 Years A Slave felt it.  Lupita acted for all the world as a conduit, a translator, and may I go so far as to say, an intercessor. She placed a hand on us, and a hand on pain and helped us understand and feel the humanity of her character.  I, as a human community member, was made better for her contribution.

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But it was her final words that threatened to undo me. She spoke of the validity of dreams. As she spoke, my mind raced to my TEN for Congo sisters here and in the DRC. . I remembered the dreams they shared and the way they felt beautiful as Christine Anderson took their photos, as if it was Oscar night  in the DRC.

I sobbed then too.  When these brave and beautiful women took “the stage” on a dusty cement floor in Rutshuru, portraying their own story of pain. So unhindered in their ability to accept the ache in the stories of the sisters around them.  Pure and unadulterated empathy.  They helped me understand and feel the torture of war, of rape, of hunger and unending spirals of violence against their children’s children. I as a human community member was made better through the privilege of seeing the beauty of their lives as survivors.

What conspired to make Lupita and my TEN for Congo sisters so beautifully connect last night?  The beauty of dreams.

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Well, I believe my eyes were full of beauty, overflowing onto my cheeks, my chin, my couch,my computer.  The beauty of dreams.  As I watched Lupita, the words of my Congolese sisters came back to me as if I were there again.  Each of them had not given up their right to dream. Dream of a hope and a future. Dreams my dear friend Lynne Hybels says,” of the beauty of babies with full bellies, and the beauty of mothers with hope”. Beautiful dreams of peace in their lifetimes.

I believe Lupita glowed brightest as she finished her acceptance speech.  And there was that last undoing word…

“When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid….”

Ah, yes… so very valid. And so very beautiful both here and there.

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