Where do you do your best growing?

mugs oppositeOur normal is dichotomy. We define who we are in distinction from who or what we are not. It’s the way we were born. The way we learned to discern our place in the world. I am distinct from my mother. I am one with my fingers and toes. They are me.

Who is me? The list of ways I may distinguish myself is long and growing longer:

homed or homeless
white or non-white
wealthy or impoverished
introverted or extroverted
middle western or northeastern/southern/western
traditional or non-traditional
teacher or learner
adult or child
scientist or artist
thinker or do-er
churched or non-churched
female or male
sporty or sport-free
English-speaking or non-English speaking
American or world-citizen
married or single/divorced/widowed
young or old
free or bound/confined/constrained

Yet….
my places of most growth are places of “opposition.”

As a person with a home,
I learn the most about patterns of need
from the homeless.

As a person with white skin,
I learn the most about patterns of racial discrimination
from persons with non-white skin colors.

As a person with wealth,
I learn the most about patterns of poverty
from persons who live in poverty.

The same holds true for every condition I can list.
And more I have left off the list I am sure.

What I know is this:
those who are different from me, distant from me, or distinct from me, hold the key to my growing in faith, in courage, in knowledge, in understanding, in action, in intention, and in truth.

I owe it to myself to get to know them.

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It’s never too late

I’ve grown soft, Lord,
forgive me
I’ve been indifferent, Lord,
forgive me
I’ve become complacent, Lord,
forgive me

I am forgetful, Lord,
remind me
I am fearful, Lord,
protect me
I am neglectful, Lord,
correct me

Guide me toward wonder, Lord,
revise me
Lead me toward newness, Lord,
challenge me
Rekindle the heart you created, Lord,
reboot me

All that I am is yours.
Lord, be mine for all time.
And I, yours.

We are All Learning to Walk

Walking,
it’s as natural as breathing.
Put one foot in front of the other.
Move it on out.

It wasn’t always this way.
Once, we couldn’t hold our head up,
couldn’t roll over
couldn’t sit without toppling
couldn’t rock on all fours
could not even crawl.

Imagine,
there was a time
when we were stuck in one place,
couldn’t move without help,
needed someone to pick us up
and carry us.

We went where they took us,
when they took us,
had no say in the matter,
just happy we got to go
for a ride.

crawling baby

But once we got creeping
and then on to crawling,
we were going places,
places on our own,
pulling our self up,
cruising along the coffee table,
going who knows where?
didn’t care.

What if you let go?
who SAID that?

What if you let go?
are you CRAZY?

What if you let go?
with both hands?!

What if you let go?
I let go

and there I stood.

Look at me!
and then, I went!
one foot, then the other…
Where am I going?

Moving on out…

Falling
getting up, and
getting up again,
rolling, rocking,
toppling, crawling,
creeping, cruising,
pulling up to
standing.

Walking,
it’s as natural as breathing.
Put one foot in front of the other.
Move it on out.

We are all learning to walk.
First we must stand.

baby walking beach

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