Life Changers – 1/9/15

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I talk about beauty in the margins. It’s in my blog header tagline. I claim it again in my first new post of the year. I feel more resolve than ever to look towards the margins, to listen to the stories of those in the margins of faith, society, and church. I feel sure that is where my salvation lies, where I will find the most beauty.

I was crushed by the suicide of transgender youth, Leelah Alcorn. Her suicide note and death wish was to “fix society” so people like her would no longer feel edged out of life itself. I have no idea how we can fix society, but perhaps by participating in the ongoing conversation sparked by her death surrounding issues of GLBT youth, gender identity, we can at least figure out a way forward together so that no more young lives are lost. Rachel Held Evans wrote a good piece from the perspective of meeting parents and offers some resources for Christians parents of GLBT children.

The Parents

Sometimes, all I hear are the first few words of a story and the next thing I know I’m hugging someone and crying and raging inside because it shouldn’t be so damn easy to guess that a story that begins with, “we’re evangelical and our kid is gay” will end in heartbreak or tragedy. 

Another tragedy occurred in Jamie the Very Worst Missionary’s community. Another tragic suicide, a life lost to depression. She writes:

Depression is not a Scandal

Well, it’s time to pull back the cover. It’s time to give people the space and freedom to talk openly about depression without stigma, without shame, and without embarrassment. This is not a sin issue, this is not a prayer issue, this is not a faith issue – it’s a medical issue and it should be treated like any other medical issue, with medication and/or therapy.

I cried reading this piece. I can’t imagine anyone saying women cannot preach. Read this. It’s all the proof you’ll need. Women. Can. Preach.

I think it is out of order for a woman to be a pastor.

There. I said it. It is entirely out of order for a woman to head the institution of the church. It goes against everything that we believe and affirm about the ideal distribution of power. As a female pastor, I am out of order.

But you know what? I worship a God who is out of order. We worship a God who constantly disrupts our boundaries of what is normal, correct, ideal.

A God who constantly confused all by favoring the younger son over the elder son. That’s out of order God, that’s  disrupts everything that we understand about power.

A God who calls out that the first shall be last and the last shall be first. That’s out of order God, That disrupts everything that we understand about place.

A God who used a woman to birth a child though she was a virgin. That’s out of order God, that disrupts everything that we understand about life.

A God who rose from the grave. That’s out of order God, that disrupts everything that we understand about death.

We worship and celebrate a God of disorder.

This encouraged me so much, I hope it encourages you. Forever Tries.

There is always more on its way – more opportunities, more ideas, more love. Think abundance- always think abundance. Belief in abundance is the source of all generosity and peace. Know that there is enough. Know that you are enough. Know that you have enough. Enough time, enough talent, enough love.

This encouraged me so much, I hope it encourages you. Burn the Candles.

It’s about believing that you’re worth the good stuff, that someone wanted you to feel loved and seen and known. I bet that someone didn’t want you to hoard your candle or your fancy tea or your beautiful lotion. I bet they would love to know that you’re drinking fancy tea all day and all night, reveling in the feelings of being loved and noticed. That’s how I feel, when I give someone a gift—I don’t want you to put it on a shelf for when someone else comes over. I got it for you, for you to feel loved and seen and known.

I loved this reminder, in an age where we share everything online, how special it is to reserve some stories just for one or two.

But I wonder, as I think about my yucky dishwasher and my beloved friend, whether maybe in this day of social media and public relationships, whether there is not also some wisdom for us to do things for an audience of two. For God, yes. But also with an eye towards the one person I’m in that moment with right then.

Lastly, did you know that you can judge someone fairly accurately from their Facebook profile? This and more tips at:

How to Read People like Sherlock Holmes

What changed your life this week? Please feel free to share your favorite conversations in the comment section.

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