The intensity of real life as a Christian church volunteer leader has stolen my "free time." I have relinquished my time, bit by bit, willingly, because it feels irresponsible not to.
I do not feel important. I feel alone.
The concepts of "stepping up" and "representing" are a burden that falls upon leaders of color for a host of reasons. Making the decision to step up and represent are ultimately about a profound, deeply rooted, sense of responsibility and an embrace of sacrifice.
In this fiftieth year anniversary of important events from the American Civil Rights Movement, we are reminded of the ultimate sacrifices of martyrs who gave their lives for equal rights that we still haven't gained for everyone in this country.
My eyes are wide open, and flecked with occasional tears . . . if I allow myself the luxury of sadness. I believe that the business of Christian leaders is to give hope and to encourage new generations to engage the hope-giving business. Hope is the fuel of movements.
I have a strong work ethic, probably an understatement, and often work without ceasing, or at least, it feels that way. I also confess to taking substantial amounts of time to vege, to fall into a stupor of inactivity, because my 64-year old body just can't take the amount of work that I want to pursue everyday. Sleep does come, even when I strive to chase it away.
The time that I have sacrificed is writing time, and I am ready to write again.
I have engaged in considerable reflection while "doing" these past months. The direction of my reflection has been on issues of identity and the intersectionalities that differentiate people's senses of identity in geographically bounded communities.
I've been thinking about effective ways to break into comfortable cadres of privileged Christian leaders so that "the other" has an equal place at the table. I've been focused on the cultural differences in conversation styles in collective versus individualistic societies and how to help leaders bridge those differences in practical ways.
And I am reminding myself and you to make and enjoy many cups of tea . . .
Namaste. I greet you in the beauty that is life. Breathe. Breathe. Live.