Showing posts from June, 2017

"Go Out Into the Hedges and Highways"

One Tuesday morning I woke up a 36 year old African American woman and 4 hours later became a 75 year old white male. How? I participated in training on poverty. I quickly settled into my new identity because I had a new life to live and I had to survive in my new reality. I was asked to leave my true identity at the door and mentally become another person. The requirement to take on a new identity was part of the rules of engagement for this poverty simulation. We had to put ourselves in the place of real people. We had to live their reality. We had to endure the struggles they encountered daily just to meet our basic needs. We spent our "days" and "weeks" going from one place to another trying to care for our family. Our community was comprised of businesses, community agencies, and a place of worship. When the whistle blew in the room it began and ended our day. It was organized chaos. It was a room full of people frantically moving about to pay their bills, goi…

Sexual Bondage...If I Only Knew

Can I introduce you to Samara* She's a lady I saw for a split second, but through my friend she slipped me a couple pages of notes to share with me a snippet of her life. Samara is a resident of a transformative community I volunteer for named Butterflies15. Samara wishes she could turn back the hands of time…just for a moment…just for a second. If she could have just a moment of her life back she would make a different decision. She wouldn't have stepped into that car…not that car…not that car with that person.
Samara writes to her younger self…
I'm writing you this letter to warn you…to warn you about that warm August day as you were walking home. You had made up your mind to walk, but when that person pulled up and offered you a ride…you let your tired feet and hot body take a seat in his car. Why walk when you can ride? After all I know him…or least I thought I did…
You see he looked so harmless, so why not get in? I mean it's not like I was hitch-hiking…I know him…

Holy Ground

"Our first task in approaching another people, another culture, another religion is to take off our shoes, for the place we are approaching is holy.
Else we may find ourselves treading on men’s dreams. More serious still, we may forget that God was here before our arrival. 
We have to try to sit where they sit, to enter sympathetically into the pains and grieves and joys of their history and see how those pains and griefs and joys have determined the premises of their argument. 
We have, in a word, to be ‘present’ with them.” 
 ~The Columbian Fathers

Dying to Live

Yesterday I attended a training on Latino culture. One of the topics covered included illegal immigration. We watched a film entitled, "Dying to Live: A Migrants Journey" In this video, a father described the pain he felt when his daughter looked at him and cried, "Daddy I'm hungry. Can I have something to eat?" The father describes how helpless he was because not only did they not have any food, but he also didn't have any money to buy food. Can you imagine?

I often get frustrated with my son because he will play with his food and throw it on the floor when he's done with it. I do not like wasting food because I've traveled to countries where people often have very little to eat. While I need to teach my son about the blessing of having food, I also need to be grateful that he has more than enough.

I certainly don't have all the answers to address the immigration problem in the US. However, I do know I felt emotionally paralyzed when I saw the …