Maya Angelou Taught Me Too

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master-class-maya-angelou

“I bring everyone who has ever been kind to me with me. Black, White, Asian, Spanish-speaking, Native American, gay, straight, everybody. I say, ‘Come with me. I’m going on the stage. Come with me. I need you now.’ Long dead, you see? So, I don’t ever feel I have no help.

I’ve had rainbows in my clouds. And the thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so that you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you, may not call God the same name you call God, if they call God at all!  You see? And may not eat the same dishes prepared the way you do. May not dance your dances. Or speak your language. But be a blessing… to somebody. That’s what I think.”

—Dr. Maya Angelou
(April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)

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Low Self-Esteem and One Other Option

Neo in The Matrix Revolutions
[Word count: 597. Approximate read time: 3 minutes]

Having low self-esteem isn’t so bad. It’s no worse than sharing a bedroom with your worst enemy. If you don’t mind a sadistic killer trying to dissolve you from the inside all day long with acidic mind chatter, it’s a fine life. I had a minor disagreement with co-workers over where to have lunch and here’s what happened.

The negative voice started out slight:

  • “They don’t like you.”
  • “They don’t want you around.”
  • “You’re so difficult.”
  • “Why can’t you go with the flow?”

But if left unchecked, that trickles to a flood of:

  • “You’re always the problem.”
  • “Nobody wants you.”
  • “Nobody likes you.”
  • “That’s why your girl left you.”
  • “Who could love you when you act like that?”
  • “You’re going to be alone for the rest of your life. And that’s what you deserve.”

Isn’t that a little over the top? In fact, it’s ridiculous. But that’s what I’m dealing with—a constant stream of hateration and holleration in my dancerie. The problem is… it’s not all untrue. Sometimes I am difficult. And I usually won’t just go with the flow. The voice isn’t a total liar, but—like a tabloid—it exaggerates so much, I don’t know WHAT to believe. Continue reading

A Million Epitaphs

[Word count: 702. Approximate read time: 3 minutes]

I’m not afraid of death. I’m aware of it. We see each other in the hallways as we take care of our dealings; I with mine, he with his. One might suppose I have faith that God is in control, or I might feel the need to run and hide from death. As of late though, it seems I am very much a fatalist.

I don’t believe death and I will embrace until the precise moment God has prescribed. So if we graze each other in passing, it’s just a graze. I’ve got my misgivings about dying, but death doesn’t worry me much. Death has been a part of my life since it began.

“For all we know
This may only be a dream
We come and we go
Like the ripples of a stream
So love me tonight
tomorrow was made for some
tomorrow may never come
for all we know.”

An uncommon story

My father and I never met. But we have the same name. First, middle, last. Most people probably don’t know exactly when they were conceived, but I do.  July 25, 1978, the morning he died. My mother did not know she was pregnant at the funeral. The date engraved on his headstone marked the end of his life, and the start of mine. Continue reading

4 Ways Christians Can Cope With Gay Marriage

[Word count: 628. Approximate read time: 3 minutes]

SameSexCake

The Supreme Court has struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which will allow national recognition of same-sex marriages. This also snatched the rug out from under California’s Prop 8, making gay marriage legal. I just know somebody is gonna lose sleep over it. So I’m here to set your mind at ease.

Losing freedom of religion. Having privacy infringed upon. Being denied the right to vote. These are reasons to lose sleep and file lawsuits. Same-sex marriage isn’t that big a deal. But here’s something you can do about it: Continue reading

By Your Side: A Devotional

[Word count: 879. Approximate read time: 3-4 minutes]

Sade’s “By Your Side” is my ideal love song.

Even while writing God and the Silent Treatment, I remembered its lyrics are one answer to the forlorn, abandoned questions posed in Jars of Clay’s “Silence.” Often when romance is exaggerated in love songs, it becomes something men and women are incapable of giving. However, the faithful love described in “By Your Side” is very godlike. It doesn’t take a great leap to relate it to scripture.

Sade sidles a dancing elderly couple: "You think I'd leave your side, baby? You know me better than that."

“You think I’d leave your side, baby? You know me better than that.”

Doubting God may be engrained in my analytical nature. I almost always need God to mock my unbelief and cite our history. “Do you really think I’d abandon you? C’mon. You may be unsure about many things, but you know that you at least know that.”

I’m like one of those kids who goes into histrionics whenever a parent leaves their sight. Mom or dad has to come back and calm the kid down: “Have I ever left you? Don’t I always come back? Don’t you know how much I love you?”

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