MLK Jr. Day has become a special day for me over the past decade. It was at an MLK celebration over ten years ago that I became painfully aware that the seeds of racism were still buried and growing in the soil of my soul… and my own unawareness of it was hard to accept. It wasn’t just that I was ignorant; for the first time I saw what a luxury it was to be ignorant. Being able to ignore race matters is what you might call a privilege.
As I became more aware of the real and subtle presence of racism today – in this country and also in my heart – it led me to learn more. After all, that was my real offense, wasn’t it, thinking it was all fine because it was all fine in my white world?
The obvious next step was to Continue reading “The Already and the Not Yet of MLK”
I’ve gathered my favorites from 2018 and I’m locking them in, “final answer”. I tend to categorize and collect in life, and that may be reflected below. But it’s also because I have such a bad memory, this list is basically a note to myself to remember later. If you’ve liked some of these too, let me know!
Books | Movies | Podcasts | TV Series | Music
Continue reading “2018 Favorites”
The rules say how you think and what you believe are the most important things.
The dare looks at how you live and who you love, and later looks back later to notice, “Oh, that’s what you believe”
The rules say Continue reading “The Rules”
In the grand scheme of things, I’d only just found you, but today was our day. At age 24, I could barely call myself a man as I woke up for the last time as a single person. Just out of college, I’d had a trip to South America, a year-long city plunge in L.A., and a summer camp job bizarrely combining night security and children’s music.
I was finding myself, as they say. I wanted to leave all Continue reading “Who You Are”
I’ve been feeling out of control lately. Increasingly aware that loving someone means part of my heart is strapped into the passenger seat of their car. Though seat-belted, there is nothing safe about it. They are at the wheel, and their impulses affect my outcomes.
There is much in life I can control. I like those things. Even if they involve hard work. I can study to learn a skill that takes my career in a new direction. I can, with help from a good counselor, learn to speak up for myself and break the cycle of people pleasing. I can save some money, buy a map, and go on a trip to Ecuador.
Lately though, I’ve felt so out of control that I’ve done something desperate: Continue reading “10,000”
Today we visited a church to hear a family we love play music. Man, the music was so good. Filling the small, high ceiling sanctuary were the organs of gospel music and the cadence of Americana. The fat and tender guitar riffs drifted into my soul. God was pressing on me, as he had many times before in worship. It nearly always took the form of tears, and this time was no exception.
Though the music was modern, some of the hymns were not: we sang “Standing on the Promises”, familiar from my childhood days at small Bible Chapels on the east coast. Back in those days, I’d memorized God’s promises from scripture through clubs like Awana: “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. The promises were God’s, given to a different people at a different time, but we were taught to take them on as our own.
But today I heard the promises in a new way. Continue reading “The People are the Promises”
When I was a young parent, the beach we frequented hosted a Pride Festival once a year. On that day we would go to a different beach. I can’t remember all that we were afraid of, but the answer is probably somewhere close to everything. We didn’t know what our young child might be exposed to, so it was avoided. (To be fair, it also wrecked the parking)
As that very child came of age, the ineffectiveness of protectiveness was revealed. She is attracted to other women, and covering her young eyes would not change that. And so, twenty years later, I found myself volunteering alongside her at that very same Pride Festival. How did I get over myself?
Continue reading “What I learned from my first PRIDE Parade”