This man is my refuge. He reminds me that it’s not only women who are tired, worn and confused. The men in our lives need compassion and grace as they lean into social movements they weren’t raised up to understand.
Gentle men like him are often holding space in quiet ways fully aware of the privilege they hold. Privilege he recognizes as potentially harmful if it means others who are perfectly capable of speaking for them self were to become dependent on him.
He has a desire to be available to help if he can, but he’s equally willing to simply stay out of the way if that’s what the situation holds. He does so in strength, not indifference.
There are times that leaves him a little bit lonely and wondering if his work has value. That’s the price he’s willing to pay for the joy he finds in watching others rise up to what they were sent to earth to do.
He’s proud of me, our children, and so many of you. He sees us and believes in us.
I hugged him close this morning and said, “thank you”. He smiled and said, “yep” and got back to hands and knees planting greens in the tunnel.
For the sake of us all, he goes to God for comfort, in prayer he finds approval. Praise be.
This is a portrait of Michelle Howell, a hardworking farmwife, mother of five, author, and advocate. On the left side of the bust you can read text from the poem “Anyway” that was on a wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, India. “If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.” “The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.”
Leslie Nichols, Artist