It is late and it’s been a long day. Ever have one of those weeks where you just know it’s going to be super long and the thought is, “God help me” its only Tuesday… yah that’s me today.
Plus I woke up today and it was raining. The perfect day to stay cuddled up in bed, and yet I had to get up and face it.
And it continued to rain… all day.
Normally I get started on this post a lot earlier on my Tuesday, but today was full, so tonight we’re going to keep this Townhall short and sweet.
Here are some people I found and read this week. Many old favorites continuing to lead with their always wise and thoughtful additions, as well as some newer voices adding to the mix.
From the Blogosphere:
Author and activist Bryan Stevenson was recently interviewed on The Daily Show, and in his conversation with Jon Stewart, noted that Americans often have a difficult time acknowledging and confessing those corporate injustices—like racism— that are a part of our shared history and a part of our present-day culture. As I watched, I found myself thinking about how the Church, with the age-old sacrament of confession and the tradition of corporate lament, is equipped to speak powerfully and counter-culturally to this very issue. ~ Rachel Held Evans
This interview is both intriguing and powerful. I am definitely going to be adding this book Forgive Us to my list. Growing up rather ignorant or learning a whitewashed version of American and Christian driven injustices made for a painful awakening during college, where I began to learn a much different picture of history, the church, and humanity than I had ever previously learned of. It has been so difficult to learn how to talk about it, and so I always appreciate how Rachel opens up her space for others with experience and practical wisdom to share on such important discussions such as this one.
Mental illness is just not something we Christians talked about when I was growing up.We talked about weak faith, doubt and disobedience. We talk about trusting Jesus, writing gratitude journals and praying more as a way to “increase joy.” But we rarely think of mental illness as a real illness. If we did, we wouldn’t advise our depressed friends to just go for a walk and count their blessings. ~ Elizabeth Esther
This post spoke deeply to me this week. There is a history of mental illness that runs through my family in different shapes and forms, and I deeply appreciate Elizabeth’s vulnerability to share her journey with her own encounters with it. Given I grew up with the same ignorance and negative stigmas towards mental illness and therapy, I so appreciate that Elizabeth has been willing to venture outside of the norms and to learn more about herself and even just her mental needs. Pursuing education, therapy, and alternative paths to wholeness and health are recurring themes I am beginning to see among individuals coming out of similar circumstances to mine. There is a bad enough stigma in that world I grew up in against going to a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist — so I really appreciate those out there who venture into finding those services despite opposition and become better for it.
To be completely authentic, there is a part of me that is just tired of this conversation. I don’t want to have it any more. I feel like it is a horse we keep beating to death. I’m exhausted of it. I’m tired of being asked my position as a pastor. I frustrated by the tone of the conversation. I’m resigned about any possible future where people aren’t divided over the issue and so I want nothing more than to simply let the conversation be and walk away.
And I can.
But my LGBT friends can’t.
Their family members can’t just walk away from this conversation.
If you want a definition of privilege it is simply that you can walk away from a conversation and not be affected by walking away. ~ Nate Pyle
Nate has done it yet again. He has been on a role lately with really good, really thoughtful posts. I have been reading several posts and seeing a growing twitter feed over the past few days that are discussing the issues of homosexuality, Christianity, and the future in regards to either the Mayor of Houston or other newsworthy events. This one in particular stands out to me because Nate takes the emotion of this issue and brings it home with a challenge for any on the outside of the issues at hand to consider how we often have a choice of walking away, whereas those directly affected by it do not have that luxury.
What situations do we put ourselves in over and over, what problems could we solve or avoid, if we just paid attention to the evidence before us? What answers to prayer are handed to us, right in plain sight, that we overlook again and again? ~ Kelly O’Dell Stanley
I always love Kelly’s writing. This week her piece was short, but powerful and poignant in its message. There have been a few things recently that I have found myself stressing over, mulling over, and getting distracted by. This post was a great reminder of how losing perspective and getting distracted by just what we see and feel at the moment can often be the greatest hinderance to actually addressing the underlying issues.
I wish I could say that I’ve gotten better at un-othering people. I wish I could be that voice of reason in my own head, but I constantly have to stop myself from believing that someone who has suffered from a mental illness is broken. I am not broken. “They” are not broken. Most days I believe that. Most days I can say that out loud.
And when I find myself getting twitchy and uncomfortable in my own human-ness, I need to remember. . .
We all come here for a reason. ~ Ashley Robinson
Ashley’s blog is a new voice I have found thanks to the outstanding Synchroblog going on over at ShelovesMagazine this week. I fell in love with her site, as it definitely strikes a chord with similar harmonies running through it. This particular post resonated with me along the same lines as Elizabeth Esther’s. However it spoke to me even more just in the sense of how often I have felt like I’ve needed to explain myself or jump to defend myself in a moment where I feel ignorant, naive, or exposed, oftentimes apologizing because it is such an ingrained habit whether I’ve done anything “wrong” or not. For years because I felt so different than my other peers I began encountering once I left home, I devalued myself as something and someone of less value due to how foreign I was and felt. Ashley’s post reminded me that not only do I need to work on not seeing myself as an outside “other” but also to recognize and be aware of when I am doing that to someone else.
From Around Here:
Along the way I have found that there will always be days and moments where the voices seem louder and the aloneness feels so much greater than any other truth out there. ~ Kallie Culver
- What have you been posting this week?
- Any voices or posts from the synchroblog at SheLovesMag this week that spoke to you? There are so many good ones and I am still reading them…
- For those of you in transition from a stricter childhood to building your own life as an adult individual, what are 1 or 2 key lessons you have learned along the way?
- How do you Other yourself?