On a rare beautiful sunny January Saturday, we pour out the back door with a short window of Drew home amidst a busy call-weekend. In the garage, the oldest climbs aboard his “racing bike.” I help him around the car and through the driveway. Drew settles the youngest into the wagon and wrangles the dog on the leash. I place the helmet on the head of my little bicyclist and wait for the snap of the clasp under his little chin.
With one inaugural push, he pedals as fast as he can do the sidewalk. The farther he gets away from me, the more my heart begins to pound. It is as if my body is on overdrive as I begin to panic a bit. My eyes focus on the driveways to watch for cars backing out. My voice raises to attempt to slow him down, unsuccessfully. My feet can’t help themselves and I run after him. He’s five houses away from the intersection with Wilmington Ave and yet I’m sprinting full speed.
Does he really know how to stop when going so fast? I forgot to remind him to stop at the intersection before he took off, will he remember? Is he old enough for this?
He’s not ready. I’m not ready. Continue reading
Displaced demonstrators from the minority Yazidi sect demonstrate outside the United Nations offices in Irbil, Iraq, on Aug. 4 in support of those held captive by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
To Amsha and the Yazidi Women,
The car has made its way back home from dropping the boys off and it is time to walk back inside to begin the tasks of the day – emails to send, errands to run, calls to make. But I am hunched over the steering wheel, my eyes glazed over as I watch the tree branches sway. The grey fall morning and my to-do list for the day feels suddenly foreign as I finish listening to a NPR report. Through the power of journalism, I have been transported to Erbil in Iraq as Leila Fadel tells me you. She tells me how you and your fellow Yazidi women have been captured by ISIS and held as slaves for sex, violence, and service after your husbands and families have been murdered before your very eyes.
Your voice makes it real. Your soft voice sounds too familiar. The words, I may not understand, but your humanity I receive. It is a voice of a fellow woman, a fellow human being, who has endured the darkest night and now wonders, where do I go from here? Can life continue now that my dignity and my community has been robbed? Continue reading
To the newborn baby in the arms of your migrant mother,
We heard news of your arrival yesterday. There were no balloons or texts. There were no Facebook announcements or professional photos. We heard of news of your birth as we were seated surrounded by the sacred stones and saints in stained glass. Your advocate and future pastor, Samuel, brought us the news from the pulpit. He mentioned no baby showers, no hospital visits, no grandparents, no newborn tests.
You were born under the radar. You were born in isolation. You were born out of the violence of rape as your mother escaped the dangers of her home countries. You were born into the masses of migrants that flood the Moroccan streets, stuck on the border of Africa and Europe. You were born stuck, homeless, and unknown for there are no documents announcing your arrival.
I feel it again on the car ride home from daycare. My daily worries, headaches, and inconveniences are pierced and shattered by word about the state of my fellow humans living around this world we share. The stories. The audible cries of the hurting.
I pause. Not to give thanks for my privileged life, but to walk a mile in the shoes of another in prayer. Seemingly inconsequential in the face of another’s impending death in war. Seemingly not enough in the face of another’s life-altering grief. Six-degrees-of-separation suggests the suffering of another is never far from me. Scripture suggests it must always be within me.
I pause and I walk next to each of them in prayer… Continue reading
Each morning, the voices and images of people across the globe flood my second floor as I prepare for the day. Through the amazing gift of technology, Brian Williams catches me up on the latest news in our world.
Women weep and cling to one another in a Chinese hotel as they await answers from the disappearance of their family and friends. Men attempt to win the battles of wars waged by greed, power, and pride that parade as politics. And then they feature a special on the children of Syria. Continue reading