By Beth Edmonds
Yesterday I was listening while driving to the NPR talk show:Ted Radio Hour featuring Maslow’s Human Needs. I’ve been fascinated with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and often feel it’s intended to flow from the “bottom-up” with not just an individual person at its crux, but as a “we the people” all needing to flow from the “bottom-up” in order for there to ever be self-actualization experienced. It has to be done as a group. There was a part of the program that I resonated with. It was self-actualization, but that it comes only in brief interludes, and in what they called in the Ted Talk as being “in-the-flow.” It was something that you may experience but that it is only a temporary, fleeting thing: being “in-the-flow.” And then you go back to striving for “self-actualization” again. It was thought provoking as I drove into Portland.
This week I’ve been working the Shared Hope International booth at the United Methodist Church General Conference with 8000 people from around the world in attendance. (That’s a whole other story) It was kind of slow at the booth; all the attendees were occupied with church business. But somebody came by the booth so I drew them in with, “Where are you from?” The guy says, “I’m from San Jose” to which I replied, “I’m from San Jose!” He responds with, “I’m the pastor of Santa Clara UMC.” I say, “I’m speaking at your church in June!” He got so excited about meeting me (which really was a needle in a haystack kind of experience) and then asks if he can take a selfie with me so he can take it back to his congregation. It felt like one of those “in-the-flow” moments, and I found that exciting.
Originally the event in June was going to be just me talking to the United Methodist Women only, and then the door opened to present to their entire church, followed by a potluck dinner. That’s progress. That’s movement. Again, it feels like being “in-the-flow.”
This message of Sex Trafficking is for everybody in the church, which is described as the body of Christ – youth, women, men, and clergy. It’s not just for some to get involved, although all of our involvement will look differently.I’m involved in fighting sex trafficking because I feel like I have a purpose when I’m in-the-flow. Some like to call it purpose. I say it just feels right.