Freedom & Privilege
I left my front door open all day. Not simply unlocked and not wide open, but open enough that anyone could have walked up to the door and pushed it open without turning the door knob. I have done this twice recently. TWICE.
In the morning flurry of getting my stuff together for work and my daughter dressed and ready for daycare and both of us out the door on time, I completely forgot to shut the front door. TWICE.
I came home at the end of the day and took my keys out to unlock the door. Instead of needing to use said keys, I just cautiously pushed my front door open and stepped inside. I looked around to find that everything was in order. Nothing had been stolen or damaged in the hours that I was at work. TWICE.
This could be a story about my need to slow down and pay attention in the mornings. The reality is that I’m not a morning person. I move slowly in the mornings until I realize that I have 30 minutes to be somewhere, but it takes 45 minutes to get to that place. Then, I’m The Flash. My daughter is two years old and she moves at her own pace; a pace that is generally inconsistent with efficiency or timeliness. All of that to say, my morning forgetfulness is not likely to change, although I will try harder to make sure I close the front door. We all have moments that make us slap our foreheads and remind us to slow down. This is not that story.
When I walked into my wide open house to find that nothing had been damaged or stolen for the second time, I felt grateful. And then I thought about the moms who hustle to get themselves and their children out the door on time every morning who live in neighborhoods that look a bit different than mine. Moms who work just as hard, who have kids just like mine who might not be as privileged as me.
A refugee mom who might come home to find her home vandalized with racist and xenophobic graffiti.
A single mom, working two jobs, whose kids might get home from school before she gets home from work. What might those kids be walking into?
A mom in low-income housing who might come home to find that an opportunistic thief has emptied her home of everything valuable.
I can’t pretend to know what life is like for moms like this, but I do know that the privilege I live with is real. And it makes my life easier in numerous ways. Celtic Christianity reminds me that we are each born with the image of God, regardless of our level of privilege. Celtic Christianity asks that I extend hospitality to everyone, regardless of our level of privilege.
My privilege demands that I step out of my bubble to remember, to listen to, and to lift up those who live with less. In country that wants us to fear one another and to think only of ourselves, my prayer is that those of us on the Celtic Christian journey would move from awareness to action with those in marginalized communities. The freedom that comes with knowing that the image of God resides deep within you unleashes a desire to set others free.
Kelsey is a Celtic Way contributor. Read more about her here.