The Reformer and the Believer 

​Dr. Martin Luther King Jr 

Renamed after his father studied the work of Martin Luther in Germany.  

Skipped two grades to start Morehouse College at 15 years old.

Graduated valedictorian at Crozer Theological Seminary.

Accepted to several prestigious doctoral programs, including Yale and Edinburgh. 

Studied systematic theology at Boston University, received his PhD at 25.

Identified as the voice of the Civil Rights movement at 26.

Actually gave two speeches in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, the first one, “Give Us the Ballot”, on giving minorities the right to vote.

Had more than one attempt made on his life.

Arrested 29 times on trumped up charges.

Blacklisted by the FBI, accused of being influenced by Communist, and publically called the ‘‘most notorious liar in the country’’.

Followed, tapped, threatened, persecuted, beaten, subjected to bomb attacks, and eventually martyred – 

Not so he can be remembered as a dreamer, but as a Reformer. A Believer who wrestled with his faith. A Fighter who sought to awaken us to the truth that injustice is an affront to God. 

Please don’t quote about a dream today if you aren’t willing to acknowledge that some of us are still living this nightmare.

Of the Color Blue and Grey

No matter how much I want to, there are some things I can never write about.

Some emotions are too raw. Too deep to be exposed. 

Some people are too sensitive. Too close to be confronted. 

Some issues are too divisive. Too tainted to be mixed. 

So, I remain silent. For fear of being misunderstood, of being categorized, of being labeled – the angry black woman, the lonely single girl at the dinner party, the bitter fat one with a chip on her shoulder. I find other ways to medicate. To placate. To escape. To pack, stuff, press, bottle, and retreat inward, safe-ward.  

Usually, this works. 

Usually, I can take a deep breath and float above the surface. 

Usually, I can ride the current without any noticeable damage. 

Usually. 

But, every once in a while there is something that threatens to suffocate me. Something that is so much greater than my will. Something that rises and swells and crushes me under its weight. Pulls me to its depth. Brings me to my end. And the only way to breathe, is to write. 

Yet. 

No matter how much I want to. 

No matter how much I need to. 

There are some things I can never write about. 

And I feel foolish. And I feel selfish. And I am upset that of all the THINGS that should elicit a reaction, of all the storms I’ve weathered, this insignificant wave should be the one to drown my heart. And I feel weak. And I feel petty. And I am undone by the color blue and grey.

38.9 Seconds Later

The numbers on the sheet were disappointing.

I had, in fact, improved my health. Everything, except for stress, was at ideal levels. Even my blood pressure had improved. But those three little digits glared at me from among the other numbers on the page, and I was immediately disappointed in myself. Somehow, I was 15 pounds heavier.

Then I saw the challenge. Row 200 meters for time. Winner gets a FitBit.

I declined.

I’m in a dress. And heels. And I’m already feeling defeated. 

“What’s the time to beat?”

Hmmm. I think I can beat that.

Ok. Shoes off. Dress tucked between my legs. Rowers moved to face the wall so I don’t expose myself. Deep breath. Go! And that was the moment I remembered that the scale has no idea how to measure me.

Midday in Classics

image

I want to get lost in a book.

No. I mean a good book.

The kind that makes you come up for air to you realize two hours have passed and you’ve been breathing something foreign to your everyday world. One of those that swallow you whole from the first sentence. A sentence that has reverberated in wandering minds for years; that you’ll cleverly find ways to insert into conversations because you know it makes you seem… well-read.

I want to find myself in a story. One penned and perfected long before I existed. A story that tells the human condition so accurately that it doesn’t matter who I am, where I am, I feel it so completely I know the next line.

I want to hear the sound only old and yellowing pages can make. I want to feel their roughness on my fingertips, see their faded ink on my hands, fill my nostrils with their musky scent, and, if only for just one afternoon, be with those braver than I.

*this post was inspired by Lois and Michael, two authors I met this week, doing what I am still too afraid to do – write.

~that’s life… in no particular order

Bleeding Softly

My draft box is overflowing… brimming… boiling over with pain, tears, anger, hate… fear.

I’ve remained silent, despite having so much screaming in my head. I’ve maintained a cold numbness, despite having so much aching in my heart… not lashing out, yet still bleeding softly.

I wanted to explain how a system with a pervasive narcissistic personality disorder would only serve itself. I wanted to say terrorism is defined by its victims. I wanted to point out that according to ISIS, every American assassinated has a long wrap sheet. Still, we would NEVER justify those killings!!! We don’t malign those “perpetrators”. But, what would be the point? Who is “we”? Americans? Clearly not! Humans? Just as egregious! So there… What would be the purpose of speaking? Yelling? Begging? Pleading? Joining in the wailing? Who’s deaf ears would care?

There is no cause to celebrate today. A man is brutally beaten and left to die in the hands of six who are sworn to “serve and protect”, and it takes a city burning for it to matter…

I am overflowing… brimming… boiling over with pain, tears, anger, hate… fear… still bleeding softly.

~that’s life… in no particular order