Thursday, June 30, 2011


I was recently given this quote originally credited to Bono, of U2 and

“The hardest thing to do is to stick together…mates, family, marriage, business, bands. It’s like resisting gravity. Its like King Canute sitting in his chair trying to talk back the tide…but you can, and we have, and we will, turn the waves around…the alternative is too predictable…you rid the room of argument…you empty your life of the people you need the most.” – Bono 2004

It challenged my concept of relationships. Then I also came across this writing during the same week. It brought my concept of community in relationships in the Church to focus again.

I am learning. Learning from you.
I am watching you. What do I see?

Do you know me?
I am community.

I am changing.
I am growing.
My way.
God’s timing.

I need a safe place. To ask questions. To seek Christ. To feel accepted.
Not judged.
To be watered by encouragement.
Not scorched by criticism.

You are my example. You are the Christ I know. You are my church family.
Can you show me how to love?

Do you know me?
I am community.

Single. Married. Divorced. Remarried. Widowed.
Lonely. Content.
Young. Old.
Struggling. Thriving.
Many walks.
Many ways.
Is there room for me here?

What do I hear?
Do I hear bones of contention snapping in spiritual osteoporosis?
Do I hear hearts hardened by familiarity and comfortable?

Do you know me?
I am community.

Have I grown up in church? Maybe. Maybe not.
Do my parents attend here? Maybe. Maybe not.
Yet I try to find family here.
In Christ. In friendship. In community.
I’m learning.
What am I learning? What am I learning from you?

Do you know me?
I am community.

Are you sincere in your interest in me?
What if I grew up Catholic?
I am here now.
What if I was not born in this country?
I am here now.
What if I make choices that concern you?
I am here now.
Do I learn understanding?
Do I see Christ’s call to follow, to love, in you?
Or would you be more comfortable if I go?

Am I just like you? In many ways.
But not all.
I may dress for worship differently from you.
I may respond in worship louder than you.
I may have opinions different from yours.
I am not you.

Do you know me?
I am community.

Thank you for caring
With a smile and a warm greeting.
Thank you for caring
By looking in my eyes and not at the packaging.
Thank you for caring
With openness in your heart.
Thank you for caring
By volunteering to help with my child’s programs
Thank you for caring
By letting me grieve or rejoice with you in this life’s events

You are my example.
Show me who you are.
Show me your heart, not your hostility.
Show me your hand, not your hate or fear.
I don’t need all the answers.
I don’t need everyone to agree.
I need to belong.
I am watching. You are my family.
We are here.
I need you.

Do you know me?
I am community.
I recently found this in a box of papers. I wrote it originally in August 1995 on the back of a church bulletin. I revised it a bit and revived it today.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Better Life...Movie Review

I saw "A Better Life" yesterday. I wrote a review and it was posted to another blog. I'll provide the link below. Good movie. I recommend it, if you dare to brave the drama. I hope it wins some awards when the time draws near.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Undocumented for a Day

I accidentally went undocumented for a day. I left home for my day's appointments, drove over 33 miles to my destination, and realized I was without my purse and my cell phone. No driver's license or any ID. I was undocumented by default. I decided to make it my undocumented day. I felt some panic and fear.

I drove carefully to avoid being pulled over. I drive carefully normally, but I was way more alert and cautious this day. I had packed my lunch and went to a park to eat it. I felt relieved that I did not have to buy food, since I'd left my money at home in my wallet.

Again, the day felt odd. I felt like I was hiding and avoiding contact with people to escape suspicion, questions, or trouble. I was nervous.

I called on my three clients, drove Los Angeles freeways to get to various destinations, and got home without incident. Then I exhaled and relaxed.

I am white and in my 50's. Those two things gave me some benefit of the doubt, which spoiled a truly undocumented role play experience. People assume I'm here legally because of my appearance, which taught me more about the power of stereotyping, either for prestige or prejudice. It did expand my experience to realize that in a more personal, tangible way. The whole experience broadened my understanding and empathy for the immigrant and continued my advocacy for the issues of compassionate immigration reform.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Agreed! Thanks, Scot McKnight (Regarding Rob Bell)


Scot McKnight said:
I’m grateful to God that Rob Bell is opening this after-life door and, from what I’m hearing, he’s only looking inside the door to see the prospects of universalism, asking you and me to realize both that we have some thoroughly unbiblical ideas and that we need to rethink this stuff all over again. I don’t expect Rob Bell to say one thing new, though I expect him to say what he says well enough to grab our attention.

Friends, this is an old discussion, and there are some great studies out there. Rob Bell is almost certainly not adding something new, but he’s pushing the door open and saying, “Folks, this vast and massive room of universalism and what’s awaiting us when we die are things we must take much more seriously. The next generation of Christians are pressing upon this door and we better stop and listen and think it through one more time.”

My contention is this: the approach to this generation is not to denounce their questions, which often enough are rooted in a heightened sensitivity to divine justice and compassion, but to probe their questions from the inside and to probe thoughtful and biblically-responsible resolutions. We need to show that their questions about justice and God’s gracious love are not bad questions but good questions that deserve to be explored.
Cindi's comment: Well said! I so agree. I want to remember this perspective, as this discussion still pops up now and then. So I'm posting it here for my reference and your, reader, information. Thanks to Craig Wright for drawing it to my attention. Responsible theology is definitely a team sport.