Embracing the Strange

Most of us have heard of the Emma Lazarus poem on the Statue of Liberty: “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free…” And many of us have wondered: “Whatever happened to the American value of welcoming the foreign and the strange?” While we might approach modern celebration of our nation’s anniversary with some sadness for ideals lost, there is hope. If we can remember what it’s like to embrace the strange, not only in others, but in ourselves and the Universe at large, we might finally know what freedom really means.
Guest speaker Cathy Vance has been a member of Bay Area UU for three years. A writer and a teacher, she was recently accepted into the Clinical Pastoral Education chaplaincy program at MD Anderson Hospital.