Sunday, October 28, 2018

the water is receding

I attended my first NAACP banquet this evening.  It was an important and inspiring evening.  NAACP was founded in 1909 to defeat hate...and it appears quite obviously that 109 years later, its voice and mission is still desperately needed.

Tonight's keynote speaker was Dr. Ivory Torrey Thigpen, son-in-law to our community's Rev. Belinda Creighton-Smith.  Dr. Thigpen is a chiropractor, preacher, and current Representative in the South Carolina House. 

"The water is receding" was Dr. Thigpen's reoccuring phrase.  "There is a strange phenomenon before a tsunami...the water recedes.  Coastal waters draw back, and it serves as a warning sign.  You suddenly see stuff on the ocean floor that was always there, but it is no longer under water.  It's easier to see."

"The water is receding."  

Thigpen proceeded to talk about the need for each person to take action.  

"We can't sit in comfort and convenience.  It will never take care of itself.  Don't ignore the overwhelming warning signs.  What affects your neighbor will, in fact, ultimately affect you.  Those who have survived a tsunami are those who acted.  They moved.  They didn't stand there watching and waiting.  The water is receding."  

What action will you and I take to defeat hate?   

Romans 12:21  Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

the power of forgiveness

This past Tuesday's keynote speaker at the Iowa Justice Action Network conference was Jeanne Bishop.  With the conference focus on restorative justice, Jeanne shared her journey toward forgiveness and mercy after her sister, Nancy, her brother-in-law, Richard, and their unborn baby were murdered.  
I wanted Nancy's name to live on and his to die," Bishop said. "At the trial, my mother said we'll never see him again."
That would not change until Bishop was given a book written by Randall O'Brien. One of the book's passages stuck with Bishop, and it reads, "No Christian man or woman is relieved of this obligation to work to reconcile with those who wronged them."
"I was incensed," Bishop said. "I called Randall O'Brien. He called back. I told him my story. I said, 'I'm supposed to reconcile with him? What would this look like?' He said it would look like Jesus on the cross."   (excerpt from Chicago Tribune article)
Here is a 33 minute video of Jeanne sharing a similar message to the one she shared with us Tuesday.   This talk was powerful, moving, challenging...what might this work to reconcile look like for each of us?  

Friday, October 12, 2018

lean into it

In August, after following my son back to Boulder with a load of his personal items so that he could move into a house with teammates for his second year of college, he and I enjoyed some coffee together for a few hours before I hit the road to come back to Iowa.  

I thought I would be the one being strong for our young adult twins through this divorce, but they have both proven to be strong for me.  They have been listeners, grace givers, forgivers as I've poured out my mistakes and failures to them, and they've been encouraging as I've struggled to find any way forward.  Sara's met me on the floor when I was in a puddle, making me stand and repeat positive sentences back to her, and Nathan spent time with me at that Boulder Starbucks listening to me tell him that I have three words currently.  The words are "wait for it".  Through my tears, I told Nate that I know from experience that God is faithful and that Jesus will eventually refresh and restore me; I just need to trust and wait for it.  Nathan in turn, told me had 3 different words for me: "lean into it".  He reminded me that God and His promises are there and available for me; that I just need to lean into them.  He encouraged me to let go of guilt and sorrow and embrace forgiveness and healing.  He encouraged me with a vision of a good future and a life that waits to be lived large and fully.  

Seriously, when did our children become wise and strong and emotionally intelligent?  

I will attempt to lean in.  You?

Sunday, October 7, 2018

fierce....and broken

I have a cousin who has been an incredible part of my pit crew through these dark days of divorce.  On one occasion, I opened up a package from her and found that her encouraging message to me in the form of a framed FIERCE had been broken somewhere in the process of there to here.  

I was about to take it apart so that I could buy a different frame, when I very clearly realized that this was just exactly what I needed- as is- on my shelf.  Who of us has not been broken somewhere in the process of there to here?  Who of us does not need the encouragement that we can be FIERCE right in the middle of that brokenness?  

Thanks, Cousin Kate.  

"Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."  Hebrews 4:16