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The Messiness of Microaggressions

1 Corinthians 12:12, 26 NRSV

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

 

The author

The author

Hey there, friend. I have news: we are all a mess, and you are messy, too.

I feel called to tell you that because I love you, and I love the people with whom you come in contact.

While we may know each other well, marginally, or not at all, the fact that you were willing to click on this link and at least start reading this think piece means that I can trust you with a bit of truth. I am guessing that something intrigued you to mentally and spiritually lean in towards a topic that most of the world would still choose to turn away from, minimize, or utterly deny.

With that in mind, I am going to assume the very best in you; I am going to trust you with my truth. Because, as we see being played out in government (45, I am looking at you), the media, and in the comment section of almost any page online, communication has no worth without an explicitly expressed value of trust.

Along those lines, let’s establish our starting place, friends. I am assuming that you and I have a shared value for what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. named the Beloved Community. That is, the kind of community that respects the intrinsic worth of all members of humanity. The King Center writes, within the beloved community “racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.”

If this is not your shared stance on humanity, please feel free to exit this article because it will be a waste of your time, and probably only offend you. Honestly, I love you enough to let you be who you are. If the work of edifying the beloved community of humanity is not your shtick, then this is conversation is not for you.

I will give you a few seconds to go if you need to: 3… 2… 1…

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Like Mother…

Happy Mother’s Day! Last night, while Simon and I wandered through our local mall, I wondered what I would give you as a token of my thanks this year. On and off I have debated making you a pair of the fingerless gloves you asked for at Christmas, but I just couldn’t convince myself that fingerless gloves were a good gift idea in May. (For the record, I have the yarn, a perfect non-scratchy cotton and wool blend in a beautiful blue. The gloves are on their way, just not on this occasion.)

Each year on Mother’s Day, I do my best to thank you. Usually the thanksgiving is for all of the extraordinarily ordinary things you have done for your children. Considering that we are all, as Dad puts it, “successfully launched” as young adults with careers, homes, and bank accounts that are mostly independent of you, I think that you and he both have a right to be proud. Guiding three children in their journey through adolescence into young adulthood is no small feat. This year, though, I have a different thanksgiving to share.

Here’s the thing. I work with young adults day in and day out, and I know that we exist in a generation where parents have far more contact and daily control over our lives than ever before. Sometimes this parental involvement is a great thing and sometimes it’s the helicopter-parent-who-never-lets-little-Suzie-go bane of my existence. To be honest, I think there were moments when you were both, mostly because I needed someone breathing down my neck.

I know, that doesn’t sound thankful; I’m getting there…see, somewhere in my true young adulthood, those early young adult years between 22 and 25, we came to what I thought was an amazing mutual compromise. We agreed that I was an adult, and that as such, I would behave like one and you would treat me like one. Read more