Y’all….

1Just a few short months ago, I was sitting at one of  my favorite local coffee shops listening to my friend Melisa share her vision of a “family praise night.”

We live in the Yakima Valley. A very diverse place. Our every day is a blend of difference and diversity. Her vision was ONE people – ONE Church. It was a vision we all shared. The three of us that meet for coffee on a regular basis for accountability.

 

Our hope. Purpose. Was to start taking down the walls that we, the collective we, have put up around our own hearts, our own communities, our own families and churches. To erase the excuses like our culture is different, or we don’t speak their language, or our doctrines are a bit different.

Through a series of miracles the evening came and went. Six hundred people in the valley came, and those walls…. those things that made us different…. began coming down… brick by brick. The process of preparing for the event.. brought so many new and amazing people into my circle… of all color, all denominations.

When we woke the next morning.. basking in the “SON-SHINE” of such an event, we were met with the insanity of Charlottesville. The onslaught of media telling us how bad the world was….. people spewing hate as if spitting out sunflower seeds at a baseball game… tearing down history and more. . . {I was saddened by the contrast. The sweetness of the night here in the valley…… against the background of the news.} How do we reconcile the two images? I wondered. everything in me wanted to scream… “hey, y’all look over here.. that is not US.”

Prejudice is alive and well in the US. I have no doubt about it. The problem with it is, that when we go back and try to right the wrongs of the past, we end up just shifting the balance. Someone is always grappling for the top position.  When in truth, with love, there isn’t a top position. All law. All rights. All opportunity, should be equal to all.  If we give someone a legal pass because of past prejudices, then we are advocating poor behavior. Illegal activity shouldn’t be somehow “legal” because of a “poor me” mentality.  In order for there to be true equality, there has to be a plumb line that says wrong is wrong and right is right. No matter who you are. As a nation we should mourn those things in our past that are wrong, and do all we can to build a better tomorrow for all.

While I may not be able to change the world. I can certainly continue to stand on the side of “right” here in my own little world. My prayer is that as quickly as hate can spread, so can love.

Y’all, we are all one. I am glad that I had the visual so firmly planted in my mind of us all on the lawn…… Red, Yellow, Black and white… we are all precious in HIS sight… and even if these stories aren’t shared on the local news, the truth is, that there are those of us, white, black, brown, who do know it, who live our lives accordingly, and who aren’t buying into the media hype that we have all gone to hell in a hand basket.

So many of us think that if “THEY” change, {while pointing our bony fingers outward} somehow our lives would be better. But, maybe we all need to do our part. Take a personal vow to be a part of a better tomorrow. To walk more humbly. To use our manners. To speak only the way we would want to be spoken to. To determine not to play the role of a victim, but as a victor, pulling as many as we can up with us.

We can all find something that we feel we are being singled out for. Maybe, I didn’t get the job because I am not one the “pretty people,” or young, or bi-lingual. Or maybe it was my weight, or because I am short. Maybe the guy hiring didn’t like women, or brown eyes or…..

Life isn’t fair. Trust me, there will always be something, or someone, or….. but it comes down to the lens you choose to look through. So, I humbly say this… turn off the TV.. go sit down at a local coffee shop, or take your kids to the park, or library, or….. say hi to someone new who may not look like you or talk like you or believe like you. Maybe offer to buy their coffee… There is a saying that has been attributed to Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see the world.” Never has this been more true than today.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was so much GOOD out there that even the media would be forced to show it? Lets strive for that, cuz truly if something doesn’t change…

Y’all are gonna make me lose it.

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Wisdom

IMG_2880 I cannot stop thinking about them. They are branded on my heart… seared into my every thought. Every detail. Every Act. Every thoughtful thing they did. Perhaps the imprint, not necessarily that of their own, but rather how they chose to be Christ to me.

How precious those memories are. They become more so with the passage of time.  I am older now then most of them where back then. Yet, their wisdom surely surpassed what I feel like mine is at this stage.  In every way, they emulated those women in Titus… reverent, loving, pure and honorable.

In a recent conversation with a young mom, she shared her desperation for having communion with Godly older women. “Women who have survived the early years of family and marriage and feeling as if everything is on hold while they raise babies.” That amazingly busy “Summer Season” of our womanhood.

Her desperate cries compelled me to search for the answers for her…. as my mind dusted off the files, it occurred to me again.. She needs me.

I could feel my own heart thump louder, almost drowning out her voice….panic set in. In a quick darted prayer, I could hear my own voice cry, “Surely I am not THAT women.” Feelings of lack flooded over me.. The enemy leans in suggesting, You my dear are certainly not “pure” enough. Wise enough.”   In defiance, I felt every fiber of me fight back……Really?  Surely I am seasoned enough. I have lived enough life. I’ve shed enough tears. I have had to pick myself up from my boot straps enough times.  I have prayed, and swore, and promised to change, and changed…. enough.  I have enough awareness to see the times that God has carried me through the things I never thought I could see the other side of.  I could feel the enemy shrivel. He isn’t used to me fighting back. That in and of itself is growth.

The truth is, this young mom needs the same thing I needed when I was her. Someone who can listen. Who can assure her that there is life after… this season. That she is doing a good a job, and that she is more “normal” that the enemy would like her to believe. That no, she isn’t the only one who cries herself to sleep some nights out of frustration and fatigue. And no, she isn’t the only one that feels she has nothing left to give. And, yes, she is enough just the way she is.

I am learning that the thing I need the most, in order to step into this new season of my life,  is the acceptance and the gratitude that all those things that I cried out to God to provide, he did.  The awareness that while I wasn’t 100% the woman I needed to be in the moment, I was enough because God picked up the slack and moved me into being “her.” He knew who I could be. And, that is why with confidence he could tell me I was enough. He always knew, who I was becoming.

The enemy can confuse us by reminding us that we are still praying the same prayer all these years later. “Make me more.. God.” In truth, if we will be honest, we should all be praying that we become…. MORE.  At every stage of our life, we should be asking God to fuel that desire to be more…. More giving, more available, more aware, more wise…. More like Christ.

We just have to ask.

“If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask.”