As I rode my bike through downtown Atlanta looking for the Health Day site, I saw a sea of people in medical scrubs and immediately knew I was in the right spot. This was my first time in three years attending Health Day after moving back to Atlanta from a stint in Washington DC, and I had forgotten what a celebration of life that it is.
Just days before the event, Allison McGill had asked me to help document the day’s activities through Lazarus’s social media channels. I feel like I was blessed with one of the best jobs of the event, since I got to tell the story of Health Day in real time as the day unfolded.
After I arrived, Ben Parks shared with me Lazarus’s focus on kinship. What does that mean exactly? Dictionary.com defines kinship as “the state of having common characteristics or a common origin; a family relationship”. This was so interesting to me, because in my own work as a communicator for an international humanitarian organization, I always strive to tell the stories of the international people we serve in a way that portrays their dignity and builds global kinship. It’s not us here, and them over there, but rather we are all humans with similar struggles and desires to be known and loved and longing for community.
So I began to look at Health Day through that lens of kinship, and as I observed how people interacted that day, everyone blended in as though we were all truly were part of a family. We were all one big tribe, celebrating life together that day.
The normal divisions of groups that you often see at a party don’t exist at Health Day. This notion of kinship could be seen in the way the medical volunteers provided health services, to the way people shopped for clothes together, shared career advice, treated themselves to pedicures and played games and danced.
I’m not a medical professional, but I am a dancer, so my favorite place to be was near the stage with the music. It all started with a little Michael Jackson…and there was one dude who stayed on the dance floor the entire day. His joy and stamina were both impressive and inspiring. During the karaoke session, there was a young man who moved the crowd to their feet with his own original number, called “Superblessed”. Then the day concluded with a joint worship session from the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church choir followed by a sermon from Kris McDaniel, the lead pastor at Trinity Anglican.
One of my favorite moments I captured on Instagram was the dance party that included kids and adults from all walks of life at the event, and I thought “this is what Health Day is all about”…people coming together no matter where you come from or what you’re dealing with, feeling good and celebrating the gift of life that God has given us. It was a good day.
You can view more pictures of this beautiful day here.