Sunday, December 21, 2014

Come Back Soon

Today, I once again join those who mourn. Lives taken. Families suddenly without their loved ones. I pray with the families of officers Ramos and Liu.

I leave space because silence in the face of tragedy is necessary. Even Job's interlocutors weighted with him quietly for days.

I have no words. I probably shouldn't have even written these because I am expressing everything inadequately. Even as I read over this post, I know that I'm not writing all that I feel or think, or all that is probably right. Nevertheless...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Full Inheritance of the Psalms - Lament, Praise, Despair, Trust, Gratitude

I wasn’t going to post anything today. My heart has been too heavy. But then…

This morning, Abby woke us up by standing at her bedroom door and singing in her sweet little voice:

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise God all creatures here below…

When I got to her door, before she even asked to be picked up and held (which is her usual first request), she asked to hold my hand. She asked to hold my hand like we do at (almost) every meal. She asked to hold my hand like we do when we sing:

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise God, all creatures here below;
Praise God above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.”

It’s as if she knew that today was a day meant to emphasize the gratitude that we try to remember as a family each and every day. But, of course, she couldn’t have known. And for THAT I am grateful. I am grateful that she woke up singing “thank you,” as if it were any other day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Swimming, Protesting and Labor Pains

Feel like I'm swimming, except every time I turn my head a bit to come up for air, the air has been replaced with more water. Head down - two kids, one a newborn, loved ones in the hospital and a recent death in our family. Head up - racism; violence; confusion between peaceful protestors, rightly angry citizens, and those who just incite to take advantage of the moment; posts calling for cop killing on the one hand, posts calling for killing of blacks on the other.

O God, we are drowning. I can't imagine facing this drowning every day. But people do. People face this every day. I am only, for the first time, entering into their pain.

And yet. Small, beautiful moments. Friends. Gratitude, grace, generosity. Wise messages from trusted mentors, calling for concrete action instead of just more words.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

7 Last Words: Strange Fruit Speaks - A Reflection

Last night, I attended the event 7 Last Words: Strange Fruit Speaks, sponsored by the Princeton Theological Seminary Black Church Studies Program, Black Lives Matter, Shiloh Baptist Church and the Urban Mission Cabinet of Trenton. What follows are my reflections. They are necessarily incomplete and full of errors. They will be read into both fairly and unfairly. My biases and my own faults will be laid bare. Hopefully they stir a conversation. Hopefully they stir us all to listen and to discern, to pray and to cry out.