Advent as Anti-Society

{LOVE.}

I’ve written before that we have slow mornings at home. We play and read, we sit on the couch and look out the windows for a while, and there is no rush.

And the more I practice this, the more I need and treasure it, and the more I mourn for our society in which so many people are pushed out their front doors before they’re even awake in the mornings.

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Advent is a slow and steady thing.

It’s a day after day, year after year reminder–

we are the people of waiting.

Steady and strong.

And what of Jesus? What do we learn from him in this season?

He was ironically part of his society and a protestor against it, all in one.

We certainly have something to learn from that, and in this advent/Christmas season, we have space if we really need it– we have those trees in our backyard, that river down the road, that book that sits dusty by the bed waiting for us to read it.

To be Anti-Society is to fight the holiday madness with cookie baking and story time and meditation.

And to be Anti-Society this advent is to also acknowledge that as we wait for the Christ child to return, we live in him, in his love.

We walk and breathe and see the holidays as something alive and good, too, even in the difficult wait.

We rest and respond.

We take our moments slow.

And we acknowledge that we are beautifully alive.

In Potawatomi culture, any inanimate object used in ceremony takes on animacy in that setting. So a pipe, a pair of moccasins, tobacco, cedar, or sage come to life.

These things come alive because they are infused with prayer, with living, with sacredness in the presence of Jesus.

And so it is with our advent days.

May we walk them in ceremony, in prayer, in sacred steps.

May we believe that we ignite the world around us with the love of this second advent week, because we are never alone.

Christ was born into a society, grew into a man within it, died because he was bound by their rules.

But then again, he knew better.

He worked hard and slow, went to the mountains to pray, broke bread with his friends and family.

And he made the cave of his birth come to life, the padding used for his bed sacred and real, the gifts given to him at his birth suddenly more meaningful than could have been imagined. He made the cross he died upon come to life, a tool used for death suddenly a symbol of resurrection life and love. Even the cloth he was wrapped in, that cloth that was infused with spices and oils, became an active thing when it was found in the empty tomb.

You see, Advent is about seeing LIFE around us infused with the LOVE of Christ.

Advent is the waiting, but it is waiting with anticipation because we know that a life truly alive is so worth living. We hold onto that, and we fight societal pressures that make us think anything different.

It’s the week of love, friends.

Love your life and watch it come alive as you wait.

Amen.

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Advent 2016: hope, grief, and Jesus unimagined

Years and years ago, advent came as a long season, generations of waiting and hoping for someone to rescue and repair brokenness.

But in those long and hard years, I imagine there was some anger and some grief, a little hope lost along the way but still held onto in the end.

This Advent feels different for me, as I watch the world, even the world of the church I’ve always known, show itself through different hues. I take the stories I’ve learned as a child mixed with the beautiful stories of my ancestors and other indigenous, stories of who Jesus has always been.

So I see the trajectory of the Christ-child, but the one who is for all people in all places, and not just the one we’ve revered in the white western church.

And I feel the dissonance of our political climate, something I know is foreign to the hope I hold.

So this Advent, I need Jesus to be everything that he is and nothing that I’ve always imagined him to be.

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The miracle of Christ is that he was born once and died once only to live again, and in his living there is always new grace, fresh shalom, a constant journeying into the spirit and heart of God and of God-Made-Flesh-and-Bone.

All those years of waiting had to be painful, but they were needed.

And today, we wait again, and it’s painful, and it’s needed. Our reality must be met with hope, met with peace and love and joy and grace, or the journey becomes blurred or forsaken altogether.

Our world hurts, from the dug up rivers and their protectors to the children of Syria to the oppressed in every corner, even those in our backyard. So Advent becomes an aching and painful grasp onto the chance at things being made new.

If Jesus has the capacity to create renewals of everything in our reality, isn’t it fitting for us to find renewal in our daily journeys?

Let this Advent season mean something different for your journey, and if that means finding the Christ child through your own child eyes, by all means do so.

No journey is wasted, and Advent is all about the long journey to the Christ child and all the journeying after.

But in the meantime, we can’t let our anger or grief dissipate into nothingness, nor do we bury it so deep that it eats away or seeds itself in us as revenge or bitterness.

No.

We take those human feelings and we let them work their way out of us in shalom-ways, in the way of hope, in the way of every good work. That is the way of the peaceful protestor, the way of the rock that stands still and stoic after years and years of rubble around him.

This is the way of Jesus, if the stories ring true, if shalom really is what he intended for it to be.

That is what we hold onto, what Advent gives us as we re-see the Savior child and re-imagine our own journeys of beginning and waiting again.

Shalom: her magnetic heart

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You and I are “other” to each other,
foreign creatures,
locked in our independent skin.

You and I, we’re unnerved
when we’re together,
we’re fractured, disconnected,
thin as moth-wing.

And yet, the same stuff
that tears us from each other
gravitates us to each other,
and all along,
the earth keeps spinning
to help us shake the
regret-dust from
our shoulders.

I cannot assume you,
and you cannot assume me.

And yet, we began in the same
womb of thought,
the same dream of beginning.

We started and we will end,
and in between we can
detonate bombs
or
unmake them;

We can tighten the noose
or
make climbing ropes;

We can pull triggers
or
bury our weapons
beneath the trees
in our city parks
and let our
oneness
grow out of their
metal mouths.

You and I are “other” to each other,
but desperate enough to invade
these spaces–

desperate enough to fill up the
missing places,

patch up the broken links,

re-engage where we’ve
abandoned.

Shalom– She is a sacred word,
an everlasting act.

Shalom– She is an enduring
vision on the
darkest night,

and that magnet-force that keeps
fighting against our
pulling
and
tugging,
because she puts us
always back
where we were before–

hand in hand by the fire.

Shalom– She knows us better.

Shalom– She binds together the
blistered souls,

and we quiet ourselves,

eyes locked,

all “otherness” dissipated
in a stream of
perfect light.

We Can Still Be Grateful: a thanksgiving Jesus would approve of

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At church this last Sunday, Peter, our guest speaker, asked us to take a moment of silence and think of the things we are grateful for. It had been a while for me, a while since I’d made a list like this. But I wrote for a few short minutes:

I’m thankful for…

Goosebumps.

Worship.

My boys.

Community.

My husband.

This church space.

The Spirit of God.

Usually around this time of year, people on Facebook start their thankfulness campaigns, each day naming something they are grateful to have in their life. But this year, I haven’t seen anything like that, because we are surrounded, bombarded, distracted.

Now, I have my own thoughts about Thanksgiving, about colonists or pilgrims, about the Native Americans they encountered and the ways they treated them throughout those encounters.

But for this moment, I am focusing on the other things I know to be true–  the people, the spaces, the realities that I can be absolutely grateful for, whatever surrounds me.

For some of us, the holidays are going to be excruciating, no matter what side you’re on. So let’s re-shape things, let’s re-imagine those scenarios. Have your difficult conversations, stake your claims and understand each other, but then move on. Refocus.

We have so much to be thankful for, after all.

I wrote this on my Facebook wall last week:

Today I drank coffee out of my Hillary mug for the first time since election night. I also sat at my computer and watched leaves fall and birds chirp out my window. I also worked on my Potawatomi language class, offered by my Native American tribe. 

I drank the coffee, I thanked the beauty outside my window for her presence and I dug into the rich heritage of my ancestors.

This is how I fight back. This will be my daily bread.

Remember your gifts, your passions. Drink out of your favorite coffee mug and give yourself space to breathe, always learning. Then give yourself away to be the good.

And we will make it.

The feedback I got from these few words was overwhelming, words from other men and women who are seeking space. We’re all seeking these moments right now, no matter who we voted for, what our story is, whether we attend a church or a mosque or a temple or nothing at all. Whether we’re Native American or descendants of a colonist and French trader, we can still celebrate the depth of our gratefulness this week.

We ache for the quiet, we ache for the things that remind us of who we are, for the things that challenge us to become who we need to be. So with every breath of thanksgiving, we release something into ourselves, into our families, into the people we love AND those we don’t. We release something into the world around us, because gratefulness produces good and sacred fruit, and it is fruit of healing.

And if the church does its job, we are pointed back to the centrality of shalom, of Jesus, who gives us space to find ourselves, to bask in moments of complete thanksgiving.

So find those moments this week, dear friends.

Have the hard conversations, engage the world around you, and then sit back, gather at the fire, read the right book, drink the strong coffee, sip the glass of wine and remember where all the good that surrounds you comes from.

And moment by moment, our strength will be built up in that remembrance, and we will lean into the world outside with brave hearts.

I lay in bed watching live feed after live feed of a protest in North Dakota, watched police spraying indigenous water protectors with cold water in freezing weather. I asked what it means to be grateful in that moment, and realized that I will wither away if I cannot look around and find something good to hold on to.

When we stockpile ourselves with gratefulness, we are ready to pray. We are ready to engage and act and believe, because we are full.

We can pray for Syria.

We can pray for indigenous peoples in North America.

We can pray for our country’s leaders.

We can pray for our enemies and our friends.

We can pray for ourselves.

And we can invite the outsider to our table. We can acknowledge the wrongful genocide of indigenous peoples at the table, and lament, even in our gratefulness.

With gratitude we continue the pattern, to accept the work of being grateful and letting it transform us, especially this Thanksgiving week. That is what the holidays are about, a space that will keep us tethered to what is good and will keep us strong for those tough days that inevitably come to visit.

 

An Open Letter to Donald Trump: the day after the election

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Dear President-Elect:

This morning, I lay in bed beside my three year old as my husband explained to my five year old in the next room that you will be our next president.

Our oldest son has watched you closely these past months. He has called you a bully, a man with a hateful attitude.

But here we are, and congratulations to you.

Please know that a fire has been lit.

It has been lit by children who refuse to be bullied and parents who want to see a healthy world for their little ones, a world where minorities and females and the poor can also rise to the leadership positions and change things.

I am a worship leader at an LGBT-affirming church; I am a Native American; I am an author, a homeschooling mother, a wife of a PhD student.

And a fire has been lit in me.

This morning I lay with my oldest son in my bed. We cuddled before we started the day and I reminded him of the power of a phone call.

We’ve called Obama a few times these last few weeks to ask him to stop the pipeline in North Dakota, and my boy’s voice was recorded and his words sent on to a listening president.

Now I’m asking you to be that listening ear in the coming years, because Mr. Trump, if things go awry, he will be calling you.

And if things are all as they should be, he will still be calling, because he is a citizen of a country that is held steady by its future– the children.

Mr. Trump, listen to the children.

Start now.

And know that we will be praying for you.

We will be praying that every morning when you rise from your bed and every night when you go to sleep and all the moments in between, you’ll be seeking shalom in your leadership.

I don’t want to see you at my church, or at a pulpit with a bible in your hand. I don’t want to hear you proclaiming God’s good will in sending you to our great nation as a prophet-leader.

I want to see you doing the things that Jesus did.

Eating with the outcast.

Caring for the poor, widowed, orphaned.

Embracing all the other.

Creating equal rights.

Becoming a peacemaker.

Mr. Trump, that fire was lit under Jesus, too.

It’s a fire of justice, grace, and Kingdom, and I’m praying you find it in your early days of leadership and carry it as a humble torch through the next four years.

And please remember who’s watching.

And keep your phone line open.

 

Sincerely,

A citizen who stands for many of things you’ve spoken against.

When We Are World Citizens

In the course of the last week, I have witnessed Native Americans fight for water and the rights to land and have taken part it in from afar; I have seen Brian McLaren speak on the spiritual migration of the church, and I have taken part in an evening of songs and dialogue about humans’ relationship to the earth and responsibility to care for it. And on Sunday at the end of the church-work morning, we went to a powwow and I danced an inter-tribal dance with people from all over the country.

As my four year old son and I danced around the arena, I watched the backs of the tribal dancers in front of us, marking the path for us to follow. We were all sorts of people, tribes, beliefs, world views, native and non-natives walking a giant circle, proclaiming that all were welcome into the dance. Eliot and I had no idea what we were doing, but we felt it, felt the movement change something in all of us, transforming us into people who see outside of ourselves and know that we belong to everyone around us.

All of these events that we were a part of last week were separate events, but they were deeply connected to each other.

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As we prepare to vote for our next president, we feel the weight of the world shifting.

In the midst of world catastrophes and wartime atrocities happening everyday, we are holding our breath for something to change.

It seems the world is caving in on itself spiritually, finding its center where things are as they should be.

A world citizen is someone who watches the pulse of everything, who sees that what I do over here ripples into the lives of what they do over there.

World citizens speak and act, move and pray because they know that the cosmos shows its presence to all people– none excluded, none given special rights.

To care for our own political mess is to care for the lives of the more than 200 refugees that died off the coast of Libya this last week.

To care for Standing Rock and all minorities to who fight oppressive systems is to re-imagine the entire soul of the church.

To care for our own children is to create a future world with a little less destruction, if we can figure out how shalom really works.

If we truly want to say that God is a not a cultured God, we have to step into our own wider nets.

If God is not a culture, it means our attempts to control and corral fall short, and we’re left with the only responsibility we were ever given in the first place: love the neighbor beside you.

So, enjoy your days, but do not take them so lightly.

Again, we see that the posture of Jesus reaches us and reminds us to live grateful lives, giving thanks, appreciating the weight of what we live into. We remember that the Holy Spirit is not tame, and so neither are we. We walk with a passion burning in the pit of our stomachs and we watch the way Jesus walked for guidance along the way.

It is there that we remember the truth of our connection, that the decisions we make are global decisions.

For those of us in the church, this changes everything, and somehow brings us back to the beginning of a benevolent world where everything revolved around truth and life.

When we forgot before, we remember, we gather and hear each other, and honor that each of us engages and gives to the world in different ways, but in loving the neighbor beside us ways.

And, most important of all things, we pray:

Creator,

In every space that we inhabit,

we ask to know more of what it means

to walk the path that you

gave us to walk in this world.

You’ve got hands that hold everything in place,

and somehow, we still don’t know how

to belong here.

So give us new eyes to see,

new hands to reach,

new hearts to love,

new spirits to grasp

what it means to be human,

to admire what is sacred,

to lean into what is 

and was always supposed to be

the Way.

Hear us 

and

teach us. 

Amen. 

 

At the Feet of our Elder-Women: shared experiences that will heal our world

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Last Friday I attended a cabaret show at our church- a fabulous dinner around bottle-lit tables and Cole Porter tunes.

I suppose I was the youngest one there besides my four year old dinner date, which gave me a wonderful perspective for the evening.

As the jazz songs that I’ve always loved played on, I watched as smiles and memories flashed across the faces in the room around me.

I remembered that this was a moment to be treasured. To be a part of a multi-generational body or community is no small thing. I believe it holds tremendous necessity for our well-being;

how will I know how or when to go if I am not shown by another life well lived?

These interactions with my elders are usually short snippets on a Sunday morning, but I’m learning to hold them inside me, sacred spaces that I can call to when I need to remember my way.

In many Native American and African tribes, the family line is matriarchal, which means everything flows through the women of the family, and the highest honors are given to the elderly grandmothers and great-grandmothers, who hold the wisdom of their people for generations to come.

I do not have those elders in my life right now. I am without a Cherokee, Chickasaw or Potawatomi ancestor to turn to with the questions for my journey.

So I set myself at the feet of the women I know I can be close to, those who are already here— the ones who know this land and its people, who take stock in my community, church, and personal well-being.

And as it tends to happen in the human condition, we won’t always agree; but our hearts, if they are brave and willing enough, will move far beyond our desire to remain solitary.

It is no secret that the church is confused and divided. But I believe we can heal wounds and undo the wrongs that have been done, because it is necessary that we come together around the most important spaces in our history and culture. We meet each other at the table, across the room, in the middle of the week to learn what we do not know from each other.

We must share our stories and open up dialogue and become one again, and with every mesh of our spirits, a foundation is built that will hold strong for decades to come.

We must cultivate respect, and out of that respect, lead the community around us into a beautiful reality:

that despite age gaps, race, denomination, or money in the bank, it is the stories that give us life.

And as it happens, the women I learn to love will learn to love me,

and in loving and seeing one another, we begin to heal our untended wounds.

And we know that when one wound heals, it breathes room for another, and another, and another, healing heaped upon healing to restore something good to all of us.

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My Grandma Downing died when I was a teenager, and at her funeral I learned things about her I’d never known.

What I knew was what I’d seen as a child:

that she loved her living room recliner and crossword puzzles and watching Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune on the kitchen television; that she made biscuits like no one else I’ve ever known; that her pearls and hair pins were a treat to play with at her bedroom vanity.

But I did not know her stories or her history, the history that indeed is saving me today.

I did not sit at her feet and see the sacred lineage of Jesus in her eyes.

I did not know, so I did not weigh its importance in myself, that those moments would stay with me for the rest of my life and lead me long after she had passed from my presence.

So we know what we can hold to in this moment, in this era, in this season of political angst and horrifying racial tensions.

We hold onto history, and we let it teach us, and the best way history can teach us what we need to know and lessons we need to learn is by the people who’ve lived it, the oldest of the oldest who know that the path stretched far before them and will keep stretching far beyond.

They are our teachers, and our best lessons are found in the dust that they leave as we follow behind them and bask in the mystery of their presence in our lives, mystery that will hover over us in all the days to come.

 

 

God is Not Culture

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Last week  at church, I sat in the midst of a discussion about the will of God.

We took turns telling our stories, sharing our points of view, discussing whether or not we can hold the will of God for another person, and what the will of God means for each of us.

Inside, I told myself over and over again that God is not culture. Because what we know in our churches is that God is good and Jesus is just, but it takes a lot to swallow that neither are American. Neither are any other culture, for that matter; they do not belong to a nation or a people, but hover over and in all of us, with the vastness of shalom as their greatest attribute.

I walk this ever- dissonant  line between learning my Native American heritage & spirituality and my place in today’s western Christian world, and as those lines become thinner and the black and whites become grayer, I discover that the journey toward God is the journey out of every culture I’ve ever known and into something sincerely other.

So all the characteristics that used to define my days are being re-arranged and re-structured, and I find that while it is difficult to strip myself of western culture in order to find God, it is possible.

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As a young girl and on into my teenage years, I followed every rule according to my Baptist upbringing. I never kissed and hardly dated, I worried myself silly over missed assignments or classes, I feared for my salvation because I felt excessively guilty over sins like forgetting to do my quiet time or my judgmental attitude. Some was personality, some was baggage, but a lot of it was culture.

In college I took a world literature class, and when an old testament bible story was called crazy by many of the students sitting around me, my childhood world was shaken and shattered and I faced a big, wide open world that I hadn’t realized existed– and I had to ask myself, what relationships had I missed living in that bubble?

While I let a western Christian culture define me, what good things were actually waiting on the outside of that culture?

While fear and guilt felt overwhelming, what brought me true peace all those years?

I cannot say that I regret my childhood, of course. It created and molded me, sent me into the world as who I am. But I certainly see that as the woman I am today, the shift has been a liberation.

There are a lot of problems we face today– problems as citizens, as creators, as investors, as families or parents or friends, as leaders or followers, as human beings. Perhaps the best way to break apart the cultured answers to those problems is to forget culture all together, to unpack it from where we stand now, and to ask ourselves, those closest to us, the waiting air, the God who’s always known a way– Who am I and where am I going?

Last week at church, I asked that question again.

And God answers with snippets of dreams and voice and relationships that speak truth.

God answers in the life of my great-great-grandmothers and their mothers before them who knew that journey was a sacred, good thing.

God answers in my modern day, Cooperative Baptist Church, where I lead people in singing out, in proclaiming that we are all hungry and wanting and waiting for liberation.

So I plant my feet in my moccasins in the morning, I greet the autumn air, I wish for my boys to know the world through song and dance and story and miracle, and I wish it for myself, too.

And next week, you and I will gather in our churches or shake hands in our communities or bring friends into our homes, and a few weeks after that we will stand in line at polling stations and make decisions and ask what is next for ourselves, for those we love, even for those we disagree with on every level but that still belong to us.

May we hold those spaces with reverence, accepting that what we know to be true today shapes us tomorrow, and what journey awaits us in the days and nights from here on out could be something completely other, a reality foreign to us, but forever necessary.

While reading poetry with my boys, I came across a poem called “Evolution” by Sara Holbrook and I think that’s exactly us, exactly what the journey is meant to be, a deep want and need to move and exist and change:

TV came

out of radio,

free verse

came out of rhyme.

I am

coming out of middle school,

changing all the time.

It’s time to lose the water wings,

crawl out of this lagoon.

I want to stand upright.

Get on my feet.

I want it soon.  

 

 

 

 

A Bucket List Lesson: adding miracle-seeking to our daily life goals

Eliot ran into the kitchen with his hand over his heart as I finished washing the dishes.

“Mom, you’ve GOT to see this! It made my heart cry, because I’m so happy.”

We all met in the office, where Travis pulled up a video of someone “hunting” the aurora borealis, the northern lights.

We watched as the screen glowed vibrant green, pink, purple, and yellow.

We saw an item added to our four-year-old’s life bucket list, a future dream to see those lights in reality someday.

It is clear to me, watching through the eyes of my children for even a moment, that we are surrounded by miracles.

The very fact that we breathe is a miracle;

the rhythm of our feet walking on the grass;

the birds who build their nests in the heights and the chipmunks who burrow beneath us-

we co-exist with miracles, great and small.

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But we are taught from an early age to reserve miracle-talk for special occasions, like resurrection or the homeless stranger who speaks truth to us in the dark of night, who could in fact have been an angel.

We miss the full spectrum of life, the greatest to the least.

We miss the chance to see the world new again just because we are alive today to see it.

Isaiah, my 3 year old, fights dragons inside his head from the moment he wakes, singing the theme song from Bob the Builder as he zooms his trucks through the dirt in our front yard. His imagination is a miracle.

So in preserving our children’s childhood imagination, we preserve their God-given ability to be miracle-seekers, and on other days, miracle-makers.

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We are not without wonder, even in a world so full of hate; our children teach us that if our imaginations stay alive in us well into adulthood, we have then power to create something good, to see the undercurrent of life taking place around us.

And we are humbled again, taught by the children we teach, given instruction on how to be more human, more loving, more in awe of every aspect of our lives.

I notice that on my worst days, I miss what is important to me– quiet moments, real-life conversations, small wonders.

Maybe as adults we need to re-write our own bucket lists, adding MIRACLES to the top, so that the vision stays with us, speaks with us, haunts us and reminds us that we have the ability to make life sweeter right now, and tomorrow, and all those long days after.

And if you need a little inspiration right now, join Eliot in admiring this miracle, and maybe making a point to see it one day:

The Road Less Traveled: for the ones who take a different path

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In the mornings when we wake up, we set our feet on the cold wood floors of our rented home nestled deep in a community-neighborhood in the middle of our city, and we embark on the good work of our day.

We take things slow and steady, and because one child is a morning person and one is a night owl, every sunrise is a little bit different, a little unsteady, a little challenging.

But we’ve chosen our way and we will cherish what we have.


 

It is an exhausting world and time we live in.

We are busy and hurried from the moment we open our eyes; even in our sleep we plan and calculate our days to achieve the most success.

But what does success look like when we’ve chosen a different path?

We take our mornings seriously as a family, and because it’s important to us that we choose wisely how we’ll spend that time, we take it slow, read books and drink coffee and eat breakfast, snap puzzle pieces into place and walk the husky three or four times because he’s old and needs our attention.

We make life choices out of necessity, by reading our bodies and our souls and making decisions about what is best for us, for our kids, for our pets, for our relationships, for our environment; and for the Curtice family, it means we’re swimming against the current in a lot of ways.

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I do not think the idea of the straight and narrow only appears in the Christian religious tradition. I see, even in our western culture, the idea that if you’re different from the rest of the pack and the norms of a place or a people, you’ve left the good path and you’ll be ostracized for it.

The boys and I have been reading a lot of Native American stories about those people who chose another way and found themselves-

the boy who should have been a warrior but became an artist;

the girl who should have been a woman of the tribe but found her soul with the horses;

the outcast, ugly sister who became the bride of the most sought-after hunter around.

Their paths were set until everyone realized that something different was being asked of them, and they had a choice to make:

they could ignore their calling and do what they were told, or they could muster their bravery and go.

I’ve seen in the few short years that my boys have been alive how different they are from each other.

Whatever the straight path seems to be, they will both walk from it. They will make their own ways into the world and they will do it humbly, I pray.

And my prayer is that they find what their journey should be, not what our culture tells them their journey should be.

And that is a very difficult decision, indeed.

If we search our own histories enough, we see moments in our lives when we’ve taken the other route, done something unexpected, maybe became outsiders to the people who always thought we’d make the better choice.

But I think it’s time we ask ourselves what that better choice looks like, where we are headed, what path is right for us to take and what path should never have been trodden in the first place.

We learn and we step forward, or sometimes we step back, and if it’s necessary, we shift into a mode of living that takes into account what is best for us and those we love.

If we need slow mornings and steady breathing and quiet, we are not lazy, but we are settled into a different path, another way.

If our minds process things slower or if we create in a way that is unique to those around us, it is not a curse, but an opportunity to change the world.

And there, the minorities are lifted up and appreciated, the tired find rest again, those who are on the outside are welcomed into a spacious place that calls them beloved,

and something of Kingdom finds itself on earth, all around, in the corners and where we least expect it, even as our feet are lifted from the bed and set to the ground to begin another day.

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Photo by Connor Dwyer