The Miriam Webster dictionary defines resiliency as the ability to recover form or adjust easily to adversity or change, or, the ability to return to its original size and shape after being deformed.
We have some morning glory vines at Open Arms. They are resilient. Without maintenance and persistent pruning and yearly pulling them out, they would completely swallow up our fencing, our back deck, and anything else they could wrap their vines around. They are an invasive pest. Yet, at the same time, they are beautiful. The flowers themselves are pink and white and their bold pop of color makes our otherwise drab fence quite marvelous to look at. It offers some beauty in the back alley with an otherwise more industrial view.
Those flowers remind me of the children and youth we work with here in the community. You see, the children and youth we work with are also beautiful. They are also bold. And they are also resilient. There are many people in our world who see Brown and Black children and immediately consider them trouble, like an invasive vine. They do their best to block the children's potential. They "cut them down to size" and tell them in many different ways why they don't belong. But with just a little encouragement, with some positive reinforcement from adults who show them love and give them something to hold on to (hope), these children don't just bounce back, they thrive.
Now, every time I see those morning glory flowers outside, I am going to think of the children and youth we work with. I am going to say a little prayer for their success in life. I am going to thank God for their resiliency, and ask God to help me help them be the strongest, most resilient people they can be. Because sometimes the world can be cruel. So let's do what we can to give these kids their best chance at success.