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Dear Christine, Dear Brett

Dear Christine Blasey Ford,

I believe you.

For the same reason Bible scholars offer to believe the first disciples, witnesses to the resurrection of Christ. Though they could not produce physical evidence other than their first-person testimony (which varied from evangelist to evangelist) and could not provide tangible proof for investigating authorities. No, they are to be believed because no one would lie about something that cost them so much. Nearly all of them died brutal deaths for the testimony they refused to recant. “We have seen the Lord; He is risen.” (See John 20:18, Matthew 28:6)

The testimony you have given has cost you dearly. May it bring you closure and peace.

***

Dear Brett Kavanaugh,

I am sorry.

Our young lives should not direct the course of our whole lives. When we do things we may regret later, encumbered by still-developing minds, bodies and souls, should we have to answer for these?  I’m not sure. But I know this: denying them is deadly. Womankind is now being encouraged to be vulnerable, to share, to face our fears, and we are. (Thank you, Brene Brown.) This is bringing us health and strength and stature. But mankind is trailing behind. Vulnerability, honesty, and sharing are something men — especially men in powerful positions — still avoid if they want to continue their pursuit of wealth, power and worldly success.

I wish, for your sake, that you didn’t have to wipe this incident from your memory. That you didn’t have to find reasons why political foes would put someone up to saying this about you. That you didn’t need to save face by glossing over facts and inventing new truths. I wish you could look back on your life, face up to all that’s happened and live out of its lessons. For we are all meant to. I wish, for your sake, there was a Brene Brown for men.

Then, you could look at Christine Blasey Ford and apologize for the hurt you caused, the harm you may not have been aware of, and then you could share how you have allowed the incidents of your life to shape you. In-form you. Make you a wiser you. And we could believe you and hope that you would bring this maturity of self and clarity of character to our Supreme Court.

I wish our world was a better place for men, as it is fast becoming a better place for women. Unfortunately, in our current circumstance, now one question remains. If a sexual harassment indictment is brought against a Supreme Court Justice, can he (or she) be removed from a lifetime appointment?

Sincerely,

A Concerned Citizen

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Use Your Words

wordTwo kids play in the sandbox until one wants the toy the other has and helps himself. Dispossessed kid shoves the other to reclaim the toy. “Use your words, child!”

Happy family out to dinner and the time is getting late. Junior fidgets, whines then tantrums. “Use your words, child!”

Children changing classes through crowded halls. One shoves the other launching his books across the floor. His reward is snickers and laughter. “Use your words, child…”

What words?

Boys tease. Girls taunt. Don’t.
Friend shuns. Date advances. Hush.
Boss berates. Spouse lambastes. Quiet.
Neighbor is passive aggressive. Mute.
Gossip in lots of words. Nope.

What to do with our
Impatience, frustration, boredom, anger.
Words unused leave us with
Distrust, bias, hatred, vengeance.

“Use your words,” we tell them.

Learn to speak your feelings,
express your anger,
portray your emotions.
Because what’s inside is designed to come out.

Our human nature reacts.
Our instincts respond.
And our real-time world doesn’t wait for
us to craft the perfect expression.
It spits, fights and lashes out.

As it did in the sandbox,
at the dinner table and
in the school hallway.

If we don’t learn to use our words and
we don’t practice using our words,
we forget how to use our words.

Use your words to speak up.
…All voices matter.
Use your words to speak out.
…Justice demands to be heard.
Use your words to speak to me.
…I am listening.

Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely. ~ Psalm 139:4

Child, use the word I have spoken to you, spoken in you, and am yet speaking. Speak peaceably. Speak honestly. Speak respectfully. You know these words. They are mine as you are mine.

Truth, Justice and the American Way

supermanSuperman comic books used to be all the craze when I was a kid. I read them. Okay, I looked at the pictures and followed the dialogue. I rooted for the good guy in the cape. The man of steel. Nothing could stop him, except kryptonite, and who has kryptonite? Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. And not just for show; our hero was keeping us safe from the bad guys out there. No need to worry when Superman was on the job.

All he needed was a phone booth to change in. The guy entered as mild mannered Clark Kent and emerged as Superman. Something changed when he put on the suit and the cape. Then he was ready to go fight bad guys. Waging a never-ending battle for “Truth, Justice and the American Way!”

Truth, justice and the American way…. now there’s an old-fashioned trio. Today we have more savvy. We don’t fall for comic book heroes.

  • Truth? That’s malleable. I have mine; you have yours. Lets agree to disagree so we can get along.
  • Justice? That’s negotiable. The ends justify the means, so let’s just skirt these rules; after all, I have good intentions.
  • American way? That’s laughable. Everybody knows Americans are power-hungry and just out to make a fast buck; that’s no way to live.

What a bunch of propaganda those comic books were feeding me, an impressionable kid who didn’t know any better. But somehow this echoes in the back of my mind as I listen to the question posed to people who intend to join our church fellowship.

“Do you accept the power that God gives you to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever the forms they present themselves?”

We all say yes as a matter of course. It’s expected. But what if we said yes and really meant it? It’d be like stepping into the phone booth. We’d be face to face with…

Do I believe that God has the power to resist evil, injustice and oppression in all its forms?

Do I believe that God offers that power to me?

Do I believe that if I say yes, I have this power, too?

Is God crazy? Do I look like Clark Kent?

In fact, in many ways I do. Mild-mannered. Glasses. And ordinary… Blogger. Mom. Sports enthusiast. Coach. Christian. Ah, that last one. Perhaps that’s the cape. When I put it on, I can do things I never thought I could do.

I’m no Superhero. But I am meant to combat evil, injustice and oppression in all its forms. The power to do that, so it seems, is available if I accept it. But that’s dangerous. Because if it’s real, I am meant to do something with it. Not just admire the costume hanging in the closet, but put it on and venture out. I have to face the bad guys. Literally, wield the forces of good against the evil that is out there. Speak up and take action against injustices I see. Advocate for the oppressed, especially those without the resources to fight for themselves.

It comes with the job, with the cape, with the “yes.” In that moment, the God of the Universe ties his Superpowers in a bow around my neck. Can I really imagine such a God? One that wages a never-ending fight for truth and justice? And trusts us to wield His power?

What if that were the world’s way?

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