Inhale. Exhale.

I’m finding it hard to breathe.

There is so much to grieve. People of darker shades and dimmer family histories reporting they cannot go anywhere without being suspect; people like myself hearing a clanging noise telling me to judge, if not ignore and keep away at arms length.

I’m finding it hard to breathe.

The willingness to not be like Christ to others; the willingness to not see Christ in others. Am I like Peter sitting around the warm fire, saying I don’t know of this Jesus you speak?

I’m finding it hard to breathe.

Maybe if I stop breathing I can find new Breath to inhale.

I cannot let cries for mercy go unanswered. I cannot. No more. There is so much to grieve. It’s time to exhale.

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A Wet Blanket & Freedom

If I’m not careful, and sometimes regardless, I give in to wickedness that covers me like a wet blanket I mistakingly think will keep me warm. Freedom from the cold weight comes when I realize even though I harbor and perpetuate, evil doesn’t originate with me, it’s in the cultural air I breath. Then I begin to feel relief. This, I am coming to know, Jesus teaches and embodies.

Now to give into love and nothing else. And change the culture. That too, I seem to be learning from the Human One.

Relent: I’m Giving In

Relent. This is what I’m telling myself these days.

As Florence and her machine (Florence + the Machine) sing so beautifully in their lenten-like song Never Let Me Go: “I’m not giving up, I’m just giving in.”

To be clear.
This does not mean oppression does not matter.
This does not mean sin is just accepted.

Giving in, instead, means someone else does not rule my life.
Giving in means something else, like money and power, does not own me.
Giving in is the way to freedom, to security, and to peace. This is the way of Jesus’s cross.

So I am relenting to the knowledge that I am beautifully and wonderfully made.
So I am relenting to be a small, but meaningful part of the whole.
So I am relenting to needing others in my life.
So I am relenting to trust God with every moment.
So I am relenting to hope, that good will overturn the bad.

I readily relent because Jesus has gone to the lowest low, taking on the role of slave/servant, coming alongside others and caring deeply for their being.

Yes, this Lent I am relenting. But I’m not giving up, I’m just giving in.