Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I'm sorry.

I'm so, so sorry.

I'm sorry for the times you felt hated.  I'm sorry that you felt you couldn't be yourself; I'm sorry if you felt devalued or unimportant.  I'm sorry you were criticized instead of cared for.

I'm sorry you felt like you couldn't speak up.  I'm sorry that you felt your clothing, or your piercings, or your tattoos, or your divorce, or your unplanned pregnancy, or your sexual history made you invalid or unwanted.

I'm sorry that you were encouraged to feel that way.

I'm sorry that, instead of treasuring you, we branded you with your mistakes and set you in the corner - a warning to those who might follow in your footsteps.

I'm sorry that, when you needed a friend, you got a sermon.

I'm sorry that, when you needed hope, you got judgment.

I'm sorry that we who call ourselves by the name of Christ don't always reflect Him.

A few weeks ago, I came across a group on Facebook which purported to belong to a Christian community.  Although I could not verify if it was genuine, it was really disturbing.  Due to the content of the page, I can only hope that it's bogus, designed by non-Christians in an attempt to mock or discredit Christianity.

It was nauseating.  I refuse to post any links here or even identify the organization because I don't want to give them any traffic, but the page was covered in anti-homosexual, anti-woman, anti-adoption, anti-immigration, anti-formula-feeding, anti-rock music, and anti-government propaganda.  The posts were juvenile, taking scriptural verses dramatically out of context and using them to shame and slander those who would disagree.  

The more I think about it, the more disgusted I get.  First and foremost, I am ashamed to even imagine the idea that people might come across this group - whether they are genuine or phony - and think they are an accurate representation of Christianity.  Or any religion, for that matter.  Secondly, I'm so heartsick that, if this is a real group, these people have been so violently deceived by...well, whomever heads up this cult.  Slapping the label of Christianity on this group is like hearing Nicki Minaj's fake British accent and assuming she's the Queen of England.  

I've posted about this before and been very open about my beliefs in person.  I do believe that the Bible is the Word of God.  I also believe that simply quoting it to people is not an effective way to share God's love with others.  I believe there is a right and a wrong, and there is an absolute Truth that really does supercede all of our individual belief systems.  That's generally considered an outdated way of thinking nowadays, and I acknowledge that.  I'm okay with it.  What I'm not okay with is that, because of the actions of some high-profile, low-morality "church" groups, the label "Christian" has become synonymous with "bigot", "hateful", "judgmental", "hypocritical" and "narrow-minded".  

For those of you reading this blog who feel that way, I am sorry.  I truly am.  Although no one's perfect, Christians by the very nature of their faith are supposed to live as closely to the ideal of Jesus Christ as possible.  That doesn't mean condoning what they disagree with, but it does mean treating others with love.  The simplest definition of love, I think, other than the word "God", is this: "to wish someone well, regardless of circumstances."  To be able to love someone doesn't preclude one's own convictions.  

I can disagree with your religion, your lifestyle, your decisions, your parenting, your fashion sense, your bumper stickers - and still love you.

It's my hope that the Christians in your life - if there are any - are sharing the Gospel with you out of love, not a sense of superiority.  Or obligation.  Or guilt.  

Or judgment.

I want to be more like Jesus.  But I am NOT Jesus.  He has the final say, and my job is to try to point you to Him.  To live a life that makes you want to know more about my faith - not less.  To express myself in a way that is honest and clear, not cloaked in mystery and metaphor.  To share my beliefs in a respectful, no-nonsense, accessible way.  To understand that every single person in the world has been given free will and can and will make his or her own decisions.  

Like I made mine.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Leaf on the Wind?

Over the past several weeks, I've been struggling with my role as a stay-at-home mom, a wife, a daughter, and a friend.  As an introvert, even though I love my family and friends, I truly value my alone time.  I'm learning that's not really a great thing for a new mom.  Women in this position need the company of other adults - and it doesn't even always have to be other mommies.  

I've been re-evaluating my relationship with God and the church.  Instead of feeling closer to God these past few months, I've felt further away from Him.  I'm back at church but still dealing with a spiritual "blackout" that I want to push through.

I've been wondering why I haven't been writing - even when I have time.  I identify myself as a writer.  I love to write.  I have lots of ideas.  I just don't sit down and do it.

I think a lot about how to be a better mother to my son.  What kind of person do I want to encourage him to be?  Is it possible to walk way from the Mommy Wars and still be involved in the motherhood community?  Can I refuse to take sides without going AWOL?  Can I put aside my own insecurities and raise my baby boy to be a gentleman who respects women and his elders?  Who looks past appearances and treats others with love?

Image from
With all these thoughts swirling in my head like the leaves that will soon fly through the autumn air, I'm taking on a bit of a new identity.  A new symbol.  A new inspiration.

The feather.

Feathers are the means by which birds can fly.  Not the only way, of course; bone structure and anatomy play a role.  But a featherless bird cannot fly.  Birds that can fly doesn't think about flying.  It's part of their genetic make-up.  They just do it.

I need to stop thinking about being able to do something - and just do things.  I've spent too much time trying to talk myself out of things that seem too hard for me.

Feathers also represent writing and fighting.  Words and warfare  Feathers, once altered, can be used as quill pens to spill a soul on paper, or the means to guide arrows to the hearts of their targets.  I am a writer and a fighter.  My husband once told me he married me because I'm strong.  I don't always feel strong, but frequently, fighting just to get through a bad day or a period of difficulty is enough to qualify us as strong.  We don't have to be heroes.  We don't have to be faultless.  

Feathers also represent God.  As believers, we frequently turn to Psalm 91 as a prayer of protection and safety. Verse 4 reads: "He will cover you with his feathers.  He will shelter you with his wings.  His faithful promises are your armor and protection."  In my mind, I see the image of a worn and weary refugee, huddled beneath a pair of majestic, shining wings.  It's an image of rest and peace.  Those bright feathers promise hope.

So, instead of a leaf on the wind, I'll be a feather.  Ready to fly, or be honed into a tool for writing or fighting.  Flexible, faithful, true.