Skip to main content

9-11 and the gift of Defiant Strength

9-16-2001.
Less than a week after the Twin Towers fell.
The flowers were starting to wilt.
The Missing signs were beginning to fade.
The dust that lingered over the city was like the grief in the hearts of the people.
Some had given up hope.  Grief was working its way into the cracks of the pavement.

I took this picture that day.

Movement.  People living their lives as best as they were able.
The flags hung on the storefronts.
The screens flashed ads for products that no one was buying.
A man covered his face to hide from the photograph.
The businessmen and women winding up the American machine.

And then there's the woman in the forefront.
I have thought a lot about her.
She has the Right to Walk sign but a van has turned, disregarding the pedestrians, and is in the middle of the crosswalk.
Look at her body language.
Assertiveness.  Defiance.  Determination.

This is 9-11.
Most of us experience some kind of 9-11 event in our lives at one point or another.
An event so intense that it leaves a scar on the psyche.
It's that which does not kill us, even if left for dead.
It's a moment frozen in time.

We remember the place, the faces around us, the clothes we were wearing.
It's the phone call we weren't expecting.
The officers at the door.
The news anchors weeping on the screen.

In the documentary Paper Tigers, one of the teachers comments on the youth that have experienced deep trauma in their young lives.  He praises them saying, "they have a little 'f you' in them."
Defiant strength.

It's a spirit that refuses to be crushed among the rubble of grief.  A spirit that refuses to stop in the crosswalk of injustice.
It pushes through.  It knows its rights.  It knows its worth.

You're worth it.  Lift your head, stand straight, and dare the world to break you.
Dare them to stop you.
Dare them to run you down.

until soon,
b.








Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

To those who said it wasn't abuse

It wasn't abuse, you said.
He was out of his head
crying and yelling and throwing
himself down kicking
tantrums over little things like
the tightness of a shoe
the color of a plastic cup he wanted
red we gave him blue.
The VHS player wouldn't play,
the certain condition of a day
it was raining or sunny or dry
you said you were just parenting him
getting him in line to mind
building character, you said.

It wasn't abuse, they said.
Just parenting.  A child of unruly sorts
he doesn't look us in the eye he's
disrespectful.  Doesn't tuck in his shirts
unkempt.  Doesn't sit still during prayer
sinful and ungodly a preacher's kid
you know how they are well,
not my kid.

So he would be taught respect
and godliness through discipline
a scriptural concept he would
Honor His Father he would
want to, want to, obey.
and his mother would
Honor His Father by shutting up
and covering up the little
legs slashed and bloodied
welts and bruises and broken
kitchen utensils …

What it means when a narcissistic pastor says, "I love the church"

I ran across this article while going through a rough place in my life.  It had profound meaning for me in dealing with some of the individuals in my life that have narcissistic traits. The article highlights the fact that when a narcissist says, “I love you,” he really means that he loves the way that you (fill in the blank): take care of his needs, focus your energy on him, submit, etc. Individuals that have been in relationships with narcissists often admit to feeling crazy, not recognizing the abuse while it was occurring, and to keeping secrets to cover for his abuse, infidelity, etc.  I wonder if this is what many people are recognizing in the #exevangelical movement.  Because as I was going through this article again, I began to realize that many of the narcissistic traits could be applied to the many pastors and men in church leadership that I have known through the years. Being in church ministry for twelve years, I became proficient at silence and lies to cover the behavior…

To "speak the truth in love" does not mean "reprimand"

"...speaking the truth in love..." Ephesians 4:15
Notice the "dot, dot, dot," before and after that phrase?  But how many times have you heard it as a full sentence?  Speak the Truth in love.  As a full sentence, it loses all context.  And how often is this phrase used as an excuse to reprimand another "in love" and tell them about their multitude of sins?
The New Living Translation has a completely different take on this phrase.  It states, "we will hold to the truth in love."  Now, that changes it a bit, doesn't it?  That makes the action about me and not about me acting on another.  
In context, Ephesians 4 is talking about the Body of Christ and how we must work to grow up and mature in the Lord.  "Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe..."  The work is for each of us to grow up and cling to the Lord's love.  
And what Truth are we clinging to?  It is the truth that we are d…