You Make Today Better

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My friend Jamie sent me this t-shirt as a part of To Write Love On Her Arms’ 2019 World Suicide Prevention Day campaign. When I am gifted with a new piece of clothing, I wear it nonstop. My friends and family have always laughed at this. Everyone knows when I’ve acquired something new, because I wear whatever it is every day, for weeks. Last week, after working out in my new TWLOHA shirt, I told my wife, Brandi, that I felt like I was in a bit of a conundrum because all I wanted to wear for our dinner party afterward was… my new TWLOHA shirt.

So, I took a shower and put it back on. 

The shirt came with a bracelet and a sheet of branded card-stock. On one side were instructions on how I might be able to help garner awareness for this year’s fundraiser. The other side is a blank page, save a short writing prompt at the top: 

I Make Today Better… 

It is my job to fill in the blank space and show the world why I make today better. 

That evening, as I brushed my teeth and stared at myself in my new favorite shirt in the mirror, it occurred to be that before I would be able to show the world why or how, I must first believe that I do.

Which begged the question: do I?

While trying to answer that question for myself, and the journey that has gotten me to the answer “yes,” I wrote twenty pages worth of what can only be called memoir, and while I think it’s got potential, it’s too much for right now. My wife was wise enough to point that out for me, and part of my making our day better was to heed her advice. :-)

In the meantime, though I still sometimes struggle to believe it, I’ll say this:

I make today better for Brandi, a woman who has loved me through things that I thought might be final straws. I make today better for my mom, who is a shining light in this world, and whose light shines on me. I make today better for my sister, who told me how much she loved me yesterday after a nightmare she didn’t want to repeat. I make today better for my nephews and nieces, for loving them to the degree that I am able to. I make today better for my friends, by caring about them and co-suffering alongside them when and where I can. I make today better for my fans/followers, by trying to write words that convince them of their inherent and invaluable worth in this world, and striving to create places and experiences that facilitate radical inclusion for whoever he/she/they may be. I make today better for my in-laws, by trying to love them and their daughter/sister well. I make today better for the body of Christ, by striving for unity among her oft-divided members. I make today better for my clients, by trying to wrap my head around theirs, and helping them better deliver the stories they have to tell. I make today better for my pets, by feeding them food. Haha. 

You make today better, too. 

The true you. 

The one you’re scared to let out. 

The one God made you to be. 

The one who just is. 

The one who struggles with the same things I struggle with. 

The one who’s further into this messy road that I’m on – you who look at me and say, “this idiot has no idea what he’s in for” – and the one who’s further behind. 

Your presence on this earth makes today better. 

Whatever your beliefs are.

Whatever your belief about what I believe. 

Whatever your skin tone. 

Whatever your bank numbers. 

Whatever your follower count. 

Whoever you love. 

Whatever you have done or left undone. 

Whatever questions you have.

Despite what they told you. 

Despite what you tell yourself.

If you write for everybody you write for no one, so this one’s for the both of us.

I make today better. 

I hope that, in some way, my believing so has made today better for you, too. 

It’s all worth living for.

together, personalLevi The Poet