seedlings

“You’ve changed.”

It’s an accusation coming from their lips.

But I take it. Swallow it. It’s true. I have changed.

So many fundamental things are in flux. And at first I panicked. Now I’m floating, trusting it’ll work itself out, doing my best to survive and navigate.

My current beliefs and doubts and struggles were always there, little seeds fermenting in the dark soil of my soul. They were growing under the harsh sun of my certainty, the lies I told myself and the world for a long time. I had such confidence.

Well now my plants of sprouted. And no one seems to like the little plants. Perhaps they wanted flowers where I was growing a cactus. It might not be pretty, but I am pleased. At least it’s alive. It’s real and it’s tough and can survive the arid dessert of doubt and fear and all the other shit life has tossed at me.

I don’t pray anymore. I fling pleas to heaven now. “Please be there. Please …” that is all I can bring myself to say.

And I keep trudging on. I keep tending my cactus. It’s mine, and it’s alive.

That’s something.

Coming Out: Stop Hating the LGBT+ community

In the United States right now, it is legal to murder a certain type of person.

Did you know that if you murder a trans person, you will not be convicted of murder? I’m sorry but this sickens me. And if you are a Christian reading this, it needs to sicken you. If it doesn’t, you have lost what Jesus intended for humans.

This post is really me coming out as an ally of the LGBTQ+ community. An open ally because I have met some beautiful people through work and other ventures and despite the noise from the church that these precious people who were created in God’s image are “disgusting” and “vulgar” and generally less-than, I’ve found that they are actually creative, kind, beautiful – and grossly oppressed.

Many of you will unfriend me over this and many of you will hate me. I’m sure you’ll tell me, O Christians, that I’m going to hell for this. That I’m in error.

And quite frankly that’s okay. Because I’ve read the Bible. I’ve studied and listened. And homosexuality isn’t mentioned all that often. In fact, one frequently quoted passage against is now held as not to be against homosexuality, but against complete lack of sexual restraint – sexual gluttony as it were.

But in all honesty, I am not asking you to debate whether or not it’s a sin. I’m asking you to stand with and love these people.

No qualifications.

Not with rubber gloves.

No “buts.”

Just love.

After all, isn’t this what Jesus called us to do?

In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus said that the most important thing – all laws which includes shellfish and sexual laws and cleanliness and what we eat and Sabbath – all hang on how we love each other.

“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

And then again in Galations 3:28, he states that we not to see each other differently, that Christ’s blood erases boundaries that to humans may seem inseparable.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Emphasis mine).

On a personal note, I’ll add that if you’ve ever truly known me, this will not surprise you. I’ve always had a heart for those outcast, those trodden down by oppression and oppressive attitudes, the outsiders, the ones who walk boldly to their own drums. And I’ve been silent long enough. I’ve listened and cringed as you who are called to love boldly as no one has loved before spit out slurs and write off two people kissing as “icky” and “perverted” and “gross.”

They’re people. They’re your neighbors. They’re your coworkers. And they’re listening. And hurting – often in silence.

It’s worth noting that Christians of old used similar language against people of color and other ethnicities back in the day – especially black people. We loved them but wouldn’t let them in our bathrooms lest they infect us with their “exotic disease.” Their men were seen as perverted animals. Their women as seductive tramps.

Thankfully we’ve (mostly) moved away from that. But now we treat the LGBT community the same way.

And so this is me, standing in the gap and saying enough. Saying this isn’t Christian. This isn’t loving. And these people are hurting.

Aren’t we here to help the hurting?

Can’t you let God do the judging and just actually get to know people without making rude, frequent comments about how you “don’t agree with your lifestyle?”

That’s what I’m doing.

Feel free to write me off, unfriend me, cut me out of your life. If that is what it costs to radically and genuinely love people, I am totally cool with that.

And I think Jesus would be too.

Fus out.

Lost Update and NanoWrimo

the working title for my current novel is Lost.

And the first draft of the manuscript just got back to me from my very first beta reader! The review was overwhelmingly positive, which was a huge encouragement.

However there is still a lot of work to do before I can send my manuscript off to agents and hopefully, into the world. There are plot holes to patch up, side stories to cut, superfluous words to tighten.

Also, it’s November. For most of the writing world, this means Nanowrimo – or National Novel Writing Month where people the around the world to write 50,000 word novels in 30 days.

As it stands, Lost is 115, 709 words. So instead of writing a new novel, I’m going to utilize this month as a time to polish and revise my work in progress. I’ll be giving sneak peaks and updates as the month goes on.

I’m so excited to see what this month brings!

Five Minute Friday: Change

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Signing in from Kate Motaung’s blog Heading Home where she hosts the Five Minute Friday now. The goal is write for five minutes flat with no editing, no thinking, just writing. Just breathing those words into a post. 

And today’s prompt is: Change 

GO

 

And can we change this world? This place filled with brokenness? Do my contributions matter? 

The darkness swells like material shadows, swallowing the light. Hatred lurks in all our hearts, covers up the sins committed in back rooms and in front of us and lulls us into averting our eyes. 

Surely sometimes we have to. Our hearts would surely break to stare down evil all the time. Staring down evil changes you and breaks you if there is no light to counter it. 

And what can our response be, we who want to cling to the light? We who see the evil and are broken by the hatred and the abuse and sheer weight of the broken glass that shreds our world? 

We create. 

Small acts of kindness or art or beauty can change this world. They can light up our dark corner of the world and they can bring hope and love. Because sometimes the way to fight evil doesn’t look fierce. Sometimes the way we push back isn’t with a flaming sword but instead with a paintbrush, or a smile, or a laugh even when we can barely draw breath for the weight of the pain. 

This is how we fight back. 

This is how we fight for the light. 

This is how we shed light on abuse and rescue the broken. 

This is how we change. 

It’s a slow, daily battle, a constant prayer begged under ragged breaths. It’s waking up and doing it all over again. It’s relentless and steady as a river. But rivers change over time. They change the land with their sheer insistence. 

And so we can change the seemingly immovable shadows of darkness. By holding on. By contuing. 

STOP

 

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{Five Minute Friday} Belong

Today’s Five Minute Friday is hosted by the luminous Crystal Stine. The idea of Five Minute Friday is to write based on a prompt for five minutes straight – unedited, unleashed, unfettered.

And so without further ado, I give you today’s prompt: Belong

START 

Belong. The little girl inside me reaches for that word, wants to taste it and feel it and wrap it around like a hug.

There’s never been a sense of belonging. I’ve always been cursed to be the nomad, settling in a place for a time, but never sinking down roots, a potted plant that’s moved from place to place. If I were to travel the stars and galaxies or plumb the depths of the oceans or travel every country, I doubt I’d ever find a place where I truly, fully belong.

My heart’s a nomad’s heart, a wanderer and a wayfarer, a searcher and a yearner who is lost but seems never to be found.

There have been people along the way that almost felt like home. There have been instances where my heart rests for a moment and I think that this could be it, perhaps, but I have no roots to sink into the ground, even if it was my desire.

It’s as if my roots have been seared off.

Yet the flip side to this is that everywhere I wander, I carry a piece of “home” with me and am able to blend in everywhere. Though I might not fully belong to a people or a place, nor even myself, I can still adapt to wherever I find myself and blend in, pretending to belong, a perpetual outsider moving through. In each new place, I throw myself into my new surroundings with abandon, dancing the dance, forming quick relationships, but always under my bed is a packed suitcase.

Just in case.

STOP

 

 

 

 

Time

Time is an insistent river

Currents never slowing

Impervious to

The people and things it’s bearing

Towards a future yet unseen

But I

am caught beneath the surface

Floundering and spinning

Trying to survive

Popping up for air and gasping

And miles from where I went in

glass song

Wet fingertip
Idling in circles
Caressing glass mouth
Stretched wide
Round and round and round
Coaxing that deep song
Warbling at first
Then steady, confident
Spinning drowned woes
Into songs of hope