Politics…

I am so average.

I’m the girl who gets mistaken for every other white girl with brown hair that you’ve ever seen.  Weekly, not kidding, someone comes up to me and either assumes I’m someone else or tells me that I look just like… I love it when people tell me who I look like and how they feel about that person. “You look just like a girl I used to hate…” Great…

My parents always told me that I was “smarter than the average bear.” Which I realize is not saying much because bears, though very intelligent for mammals, are not smarter than the average human.

Kevin Dietrich/SOLENT

So when it comes to politics, I usually don’t feel smart enough to make a strong opinion.  Mostly because almost nothing is black and white.  I almost always feel that every option is a lose/lose situation.

Let’s take our most recent executive order on immigration. Before you state your extremely strong opinion, look at the facts* with an open mind. My prayer is that during the current 90 day ban he will have wise advisors come up with a reasonable way to vet incoming immigrants.  My fear is that currently people who have already been vetted are at risk of being sent back to the wolves. I’m also aware that the current vetting process is already all politics.

I hate politics. I trust no one.

It’s a mess.  It’s not good. It’s lose/lose and it always seems that way.  In this case the loss is great on one side, much more than the other.

So what do we do?

I know I’ll get push back on this statement, but today, I don’t think you have to have an opinion on the executive order.  We can just quit talking about it. But don’t just sit there.

Love your Muslim neighbors well.  I mean give them a hug and stand up next to them.  My neighborhood is having an interfaith feast at the local Islamic Foundation.  I’m gonna be there.

If you feel strongly one way or another, let someone know. Emailing and writing our representatives is not pointless, but calling them on the phone holds a little more weight.  Tell a story about how this affects you and the people you love. Make it meaningful and personal.  Remember that the policies can be gray so be specific about which parts you oppose or support. (This is implying that you already know the facts about the policy.)

Put your money where your mouth is.  Help refugees who are already in the states.  If you care so much about the ones who aren’t allowed in, make sure you’re loving those who live down the road.  A staggering statistic from the link in the last sentence says: It is estimated that less than 10% of the refugees living in St. Louis will ever be befriended by an American.  That’s yuge. We can do something about that at no monetary cost to you.

The point is that the executive order affects people and now we’re all thinking about those people.  Let’s do what we know we are called to do and love them well in the ways we are able. Period.

 

 

 

 

*One thing I always have a strong opinion on these days is how far the media stretches facts and how we can’t trust so much of what we read and hear. Don’t let opinions and strongly stated articles form our beliefs for us on such important subjects.  Please continue to seek out full truth before making judgements and strongly posting them all over social media.

Like a Girl

I am a woman.
I am American.
I am educated,
Capable, and strong.
More than anything, I am blessed.

I am not less than.
I am not weak.
I am not an object to be won
Or to be grabbed.

There is nothing nasty about me.

I strive to be slow to speak
And wise with each word
But I will not stand silent
When my voice needs to be heard.

I did not march, but I do stand.http://www.dailydot.com/irl/womens-march-washington-photos/

She who does not have the same rights as me,
I stand with her.
She who will never be vindicated for what was taken from her,
I stand with her.
She who is paid less than her male equal,
I stand with her.
She who is culturally different from me,
Getting less opportunity than me
In my own neighborhood,
I stand with her.

She who is limited because people believe
That the progress Jesus was making in the first century
Stopped
Then and there.

Forgetting that we are called
As His ambassadors of
Reconciliation;
To make things more right.

I stand to make things more right for her.

It is within my being
To long to be a
“Wife of Noble Character”
But it is not lost on me that the verses
That describe the strongest woman on earth
Are preceded by these
In Proverbs 31:

Speak out on behalf of those who have no voice,
and defend all those who have been passed over.
Open your mouth, judge fairly,
and stand up for the rights of the afflicted and the poor.

And so I stand.
Like a woman worth far more than rubies.
Like a girl.
Stand with me.

The Curse

I have not been able to put my thoughts on the Women’s March in writing yet.  I’ll get there but it is taking time.  In the meantime, I keep coming back to this piece I wrote years ago about Genesis 3:16-19 and my experience of being a woman…

It all seemed so exciting.
I prayed.
I practiced.
I waited.
The test was positive, I made the call.
He was dumbfounded but this is what we had been waiting for.

I was tired.
I was hungry yet nauseated.
Then it kicked.
Like the thrill of a first kiss
It did flips inside of me.

Suddenly, it was no longer an “it“ but a he.
I could not hide the smile on my face.
My growing belly contained a name, a human, a separate being.

Nine months I waited.
He grew.
I grew.
Stretch marks…
My body was bursting at the seams.

Then the day came.
It was time.
I was well prepared for this.
You are told to have a plan.
My plan included drugs.

I labored.
I felt pain.
My pain was relieved.
But in doing so, this stopped my labor.

The doctor pumped my body full of meds to try to move the process along.
It didn’t work.
The nurse stopped the flow of all medication to my veins.

Then I felt pain.
Like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

The curse.

I felt the pain, but in some odd way
I was thankful for it.
It was my action that resulted in a curse.
Experiencing it first hand made me feel like
In some way,
I was paying the price that
my
sins
incurred.

Hours later, the curse,
The pain
Was overshadowed
By the perfect being I held in my arms.
The miracle of birth, of life, of this boy.

My awareness of the curse did not last very long.
That time.

Still, every spring
I am reminded.

I plan and shop.
I till and weed.
I fill, and plant, and water, and feed.
Why do I not reap what I sow?

The sun beats down.
The weeds grow tall and numerous.
My hands are blistered.
My neck is browned.
The only thing that flourishes is poison on my land.

My miracle son comes inside at night
Filthy, from dirt and sweat, and heat.
His body is torn and bruised and the poison has found it’s way inside.
Bumps form, up and down his legs.
His arms.
His face.

And my fruit withers and dies.
The unripe growths that do form
Nourish the bugs, the deer, not my family.

There is no need for me to toil and sweat
In the dirt, with the weeds.
For I can purchase any and all food that
My heart would desire.

Still pulling the roots that run deep
Through my soil,
I feel as though I am experiencing the curse
And in some small way,
I am paying the price that
my
sins
incurred.

Even still I am aware every now and then
When I think about my future.
When I think about my gifts
Of this curse.

I’ve been told since childhood
That my dreams would be limited.

“And he will rule over you.”
Period.

The curse.

Still, I take my sentence.
Dutifully. Like a man…
With my hands in a fist as I experience this side of the curse
In some small way,
I feel that I am paying the price that
my
sins
incurred.

As I sit now and curse my nature
And curse this world
And curse this blasted curse
I am reminded that

An hour of pain,
A season of sweat,
And a lifetime of wanting more
Does NOT pay the price for what my sins have incurred.

My
Sins
Incurred
Death.

There is nothing I can do
To
Make
Things
Right.

Between me and the ground.
Between me and this world.
Between me and my God.

Because it was already done for me.
The price —
Death
has already been paid.

For me.