Faith has not been easy for me, and calling myself a Christian has become harder over the years. As I find myself more and more “on the edge of the inside” of Christianity, I’ve collected some sparklets of truth that keep me from giving up. These are my lamp posts- welcoming me further into the […]
“But how do we remain contemplative and engage in activism?” A question I didn’t even know I had until I heard myself ask it. Better to say The Question I didn’t know I had. Or maybe I did. Maybe that question is what some of my earlier writing was asking, but I was not ready to hear the answer.
When I was 14 years old I went to the beach with some friends from my youth group. Once unpacked, we laid our towels down on the sand and spread out, soaking up the glorious Florida sun. We laughed, passed fruit around, and talked about Jesus.
About 30 minutes in a man came up to us. He pointed up to the pier and told us that there was an old white dude taking pictures of us. When we looked in the direction he was pointing we saw the man quickly put his camera away and walk briskly in the direction of the parking lot. How long had he been there?
Here we are again
A nightmare we know too well
The familiar mix of emotions
Here we are again
An anchor of resignation pulling us down
The familiar questions
Is this enough?
Here we are again.
A broken man.
A broken world.
And now, hundreds more broken people.
Friends, I am so tired.
Ever hear of Bluma Zeiganick? Yea, I hadn’t either until a few months ago. Bluma Zeiganick was one of the first women in Russia to go to a University. Upon graduating she became one of the first female psychologists in the world. Our dear Bluma discovered the Zeiganick Effect which links memory to incomplete tasks (and she had the audacity to name it after herself!) Basically, your brain remembers uncompleted or interrupted tasks, going back to them again and again. You haven’t finished the laundry, you’re about to fly across the country, and so it stays on your mind all day. Conversely, once you cross an item off your list you’re less likely to remember having done that task. Perhaps this answers why so few of us can remember what we did the other day, but we can remember what we still need to do.
During my first year of college, I had an 8am (!) Biological Anthropology with the intimidating, serious, not-messing-around, Dr. Madrigal. She would start each morning with a fierce “It’s 8 o’clock lets begin” and boy did she.
It was from this formidable woman I first really learned about evolution. I had gone to a Christian school growing up, so all of my experience with the subject had been focused on poking holes in evolution and trying to convince us science was the devil.
I’ve started this post five or six times, each time I am at a loss for words. My heart and my soul grieve.
How is this happening again? What have we done?
When ‘45’ publicly sympathized with Neo Nazi’s I was stunned. Stunned, but not surprised. I’m not proud of this, but my first reaction was one of superiority- “See?! We told you this guy was terrible! I bet they really feel like shit for voting for him.” I practiced what I would say the next time I saw a Republican family member or friend, the snide comments I would make. I took great pleasure in imagining exactly how I wanted to make them to feel- ashamed, remorseful, embarrassed.
You know that feeling you have when your hand finally finds your partners after a long day? I believe God is in that moment. That one painting that has always moved you- the colors, the energy? Pretty sure God’s there too. Your favorite spot, on your favorite hike, during your favorite time of year? Definitely. The smile of your child early in the morning. The smell of the first rain of the season. Good food with good people. That moment when the peony is just about to burst into a fury of feather soft petals? Each and every time, the Creator is there.
History repeats itself.
We’ve all heard it our whole lives, usually said with a sigh of resignation or a hint of disdain.
Tied up in this refrain we hear a note of condescension directed toward those poor, unenlightened people who came before us. They didn’t realize what we know so well, and because of their ignorance, history did, in fact, repeat itself for them. Time and time again.
I am passionate about my faith, my spirituality is the richest part of my life. But can I share a struggle with you? So often, when sharing my thoughts with others, I am met with a resistance to unorthodox idea. Which puzzles me because I know we are all just trying to live out our beliefs as best we can. But in my pursuit of conversation, I am confronted with a confining black and white way of viewing a world that is rich in color.