Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Recommended reading after a hard week

*side note: pretty flowers throughout, because sometimes we just need a little beauty wherever we can find it. 
Jayci has always been a fairly anxious child. From an early age, we tried to help her memorize some verses to repeat to herself when she feels scared, particularly in bed. This was the first one we taught her:  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. – 1 John 4:18

Granted, the only part she remembered (still) is "perfect love drives out fear." These days, we have taken her memorization a step further to help curb her anxiety. Together, we sit quiet and take deep breaths. Breathe in perfect love, I whisper. Breathe out fear, she whispers back. Our bodies relax and we repeat it until we believe it.

Maybe we all need to practice breathing in perfect love and breathing out fear, because the world feels pretty scary right now.
That said, I have lots of swirly-messy thoughts about the past couple weeks in our nation, and in my own home. But for now, I'm taking the posture of a learner. And I hope you will too. Together, let's listen to the voices of those who are speaking from their own experience, the ones who don't look like me or think like me, necessarily. Remember, breathe out fear. Because listening to someone we don't agree with is not actually dangerous, and we can (should) allow our hearts and minds to be stretched and challenged.

If you only read one thing this week, make it this from my dear dear friend, co-laborer, and actual neighbor:
The Moment I Watched Alton Sterling Die

And if you only watch (or listen) to one thing this week, I suggest this message:
Racial Reconciliation with Damian Boyd

I also wanted to share some more good reads and/or watches for you this week especially. Because sometimes listening is more important than speaking. I also recognize, however, that there are at least one million different voices and "angles" jockeying for your attention. Which is why I wanted to share a few things I found from trusted friends and sources.

No Love No Freedom - Life Reconsidered
Ask Stupid White People Questions - from my new friend Lindsy at Light Breaks Forth
Chaos or Community - Austin Channing

If you're anything like most people (myself included), sometimes you just want to know what you can actually DO: Campaign Zero

And finally (perhaps most importantly, right?): 17 Poems to Read When the World is Too Much 

Want to read more? 70+ Race Resources for White People

Oh and if you want to be encouraged by people helping and loving, check my friend Lori's blog (What it Looks Like to be Loved) to see her brand new backyard, so she can love her neighborhood well. That said, we wouldn't turn down a ballin' (literally) basketball court like hers.


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