Social

When I’m feeling nervous, bored, tired…pretty much when I’m feeling any feeling at all, I reach for my mobile phone and hop on Facebook. It literally doesn’t matter the time of day or where I am…isn’t it funny how I never feel so compelled to pick up my bible with such frequency and such urgency?

– soo

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On Ferguson

I have been hesitant to comment on Ferguson, MI and the Michael Brown shooting because I’m still sorting out my feelings, but when a black, affluent Facebook friend of mine posted this ….I felt compelled to comment 

You don’t think black people have anything to do with the perception America has of us as a people that encourages us to get gunned down in the streets, Yet you post:

Hood videos from world star hip hop

Ratchet random hood fights & arguments

Niggas in line fighting over Jordan’s

Unsigned hood rap artists doing drugs and free styling in video

Bullshit challenges like black people setting themselves on fire

Half naked pictures of our black women

More about love & hip hop than CNN

You #turnup in the club but you don’t:

Turn up to work on time

Turn up to vote

Turn up to class and graduate

 

My friend has some fair points. Blacks don’t do much to help public perception. Stereotypes of the baby mamma, deadbeat dad, reckless and rowdy teen are stereotypes for a reason. We need to turn up to work, to our kids lives, turn on to world events and local civic affairs…

But it doesn’t take away the fact that we live in a country with a deeply entrenched and pervasive hatred/ fear/ prejudice of people of color.

Yes, we need to do better, but this country also owes us better.

– soo

The Uncertainty of 29

On my 29th birthday, I was in total awe of how my friends and family rallied around to make my day ultra special. But under that awe…that sense of immense gratitude was a feeling of unworthiness…why me? Why would people so lavish me with love and gifts and attention and favor? I didn’t deserve it…I kept thinking, I’m not as great as everyone thinks I am…I’m mean sometimes, weak sometimes…ugly sometimes.

Even my hubby’s love, so deep and overflowing that it scares me sometimes… how could I ever be deserving of such elaborate love? How could I ever repay him for his kindness? 

Then a voice that seems both close and distance whispers to me, “Because you are my beloved.” God, who knew me before anyone else and who knows me more deeply than anyone else loves me. Lavishes me with good things. Comforts me when I am scared. Needs nothing from me, but my acceptance of his love. Isn’t it funny that we are always hoping to earn the one thing that is absolutely priceless, absolutely free.

I then realized that I could spend my whole life trying to earn favor, earn love. I could search the world, ravish the depths of my heart, for some shred of worthiness, but there is none to be found outside of God’s grace. If not for Christ, I would not know what it means to be a friend, to love my neighbor, to open my heart to love and receive love in return. All of my goodness, all of my worthiness, all of my loveliness was and is because of the loveliness of God. I don’t need to be anything more to deserve it and my momentary failings could never steal it away.

– soo

A Prayer from Thomas Merton

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me, I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Delayed

Few things shatter our illusion of power than seeing the words delayed flight flash on the screen.
We groan.
We shout.
Form a line at the counter.
Tell whoever can hear us that we must get on the next flight out.
As the line snakes around the terminal, some of us grab our phones.
All of us feel a tightness, the air in the place is growing thin.
We must get on the very next flight out.
Some of us do, but most of us relent.
Find a seat beside the window and let someone else determine our fate.

– soo

Do black people tan?

I made a friend at the pool today – a golden haired eight year old whose name was Hannah. She asked me if I liked to swim and whether I had on enough sunscreen. She agreed to be the referee as my friend and I raced from one end of the pool to the other.

Here we are, in a remote lake resort in Indiana and this beautiful girl doesn’t care that I am black. She wants to make sure I am ok. That I won’t drown. That my skin will be free of burn. I love children. Their innocence and their unquestioning acceptance. I felt 100% human today.

– soo

Letting Go

Forgiveness is simply the religious word for letting go. To forgive reality is to let go of the negative story line, the painful story line that you’ve created for it. If that story line has become your identity, if you are choosing to live in a victim state, an abused consciousness, it gives you a false kind of power and makes you feel morally superior to others. But let me tell you, it will also destroy you. It will make you smaller and smaller as you get older. You will find that you have fewer and fewer people you can trust, fewer and fewer people, if any, that you can love. Life itself becomes a threat. Your comfort zone becomes tinier and tinier.

Thankfully, God has given us a way to not let the disappointments, hurts, betrayals, and rejections of life destroy us. It is the art of letting go. If we can forgive and let go, if we don’t hold our hurts against history and against one another, we will indeed be following Jesus. The wounds of the crucified Jesus symbolize sacred wounds, transformative wounds that do not turn him bitter. After the crucifixion, there’s no record of Jesus wanting to blame anybody or accuse anybody. In fact, his last words are breathing forgiveness: “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

If we are to follow Jesus, he says we’re simply to forgive one another as God has forgiven us. He says we should forgive one another not seven times, but “seventy times seven times” (Matt 18:22). What that implies, first of all, is that God is all mercy and all forgiving in God’s very nature. But it also implies that Jesus knows we are going to make mistakes. He assumes human beings are going to hurt one another and do it wrong—maybe even seventy times seven times. This should keep us all humble.

Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation

Adapted from The Art of Letting Go: Living the Wisdom of Saint Francis,
disc 6 (CD)

Gateway to Silence:
Let go and let God.