Words to Live and Write by

I am willing to fall Because I have learned how to rise.

I craft Love from heartbreak, Compassion from shame, Grace from disappointment, Courage from failure.

I am among the brave and brokenhearted, and I am rising strong.

(credit to Brene Brown)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Only Human

Do you ever hear a song and feel that the artist reached into the deepest part of your soul and put it into words and music?
"Human" by Christina Perri

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Give More Than You Can Afford

This is beautiful. And so true, those with less often give more.
You know those guys with cardboard signs by the road? We keep all our extra change in the change drawer in the car so we can give something every time possible. (Sometimes we're two lanes over so it's not possible.)
I don't know what, if any, blessings I get for this; I don't know what that person does with the $1 or so I can give; all I know is it feels RIGHT and GOOD. It feels like I am being a follower of Christ who gave everything to everyone.
My meager offerings of change are tiny, but they are my widow's mite, so to speak. We struggle with finances ourselves so badly, but I can't help thinking how much more that person with the cardboard sign is struggling. I have been given MUCH - not everything, and a lot of days it feels like not enough, but it is much all the same. And I try to live my life by the sweet hymn, "Because I have been given much I too must give." It takes courage and a soft heart - and those are values I want to develop more in myself.
It's not just street corner people, either. It's the lady at Target, looking frantic, who needs help finding something or to take my spot in line. It's making room on the freeway to let in all the cars; I can wait. It's a smile and an actual conversation with the person at the checkout counter. It is love - and it crosses all barriers. It is what I want to be.
P.S. I am so far from perfecting this attribute, but I have to start somewhere.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Love always wins

When Keshia Thomas was 18 years old in 1996, the KKK held a rally in her home town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Hundreds of protesters turned out to tell the white supremacist organization that they were not welcome in the progressive college town. At one point during the event, a man with a SS tattoo and wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a Confederate flag ended up on the protesters' side of the fence and a small group began to chase him. He was quickly knocked to the ground and kicked and hit with placard sticks.

As people began to shout, "Kill the Nazi," the high school student, fearing that mob mentality had taken over, decided to act. Thomas threw herself on top of one of the men she had come to protest, protecting him from the blows. In discussing her motivation after the event, she stated, "Someone had to step out of the pack and say, 'this isn't right'... I knew what it was like to be hurt. The many times that that happened, I wish someone would have stood up for me... violence is violence - nobody deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea."

Thomas never heard from the man after that day but months later, a young man came up to her to say thanks, telling her that the man she had protected was his father. For Thomas, learning that he had a son brought even greater significance to her heroic act. As she observed, "For the most part, people who hurt... they come from hurt. It is a cycle. Let's say they had killed him or hurt him really bad. How does the son feel? Does he carry on the violence?"

Mark Brunner, the student photographer who took this now famous photograph, added that what was so remarkable was who Thomas saved: "She put herself at physical risk to protect someone who, in my opinion, would not have done the same for her. Who does that in this world?"

And, in response to those who argued that the man deserved a beating or more, Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator Leonard Pitts Jr. offered this short reflection in The Miami Herald: "That some in Ann Arbor have been heard grumbling that she should have left the man to his fate, only speaks of how far they have drifted from their own humanity. And of the crying need to get it back.

Keshia's choice was to affirm what they have lost.
Keshia's choice was human.
Keshia's choice was hope."

To view more pictures of this Mighty Girl's remarkable act of courage and read more about the event, visit the BBC at http://bbc.in/1djDOGY

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