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Showing posts from 2019

Microaggressions and Ministry: A Single-Black-Woman's Perspective

In January, 
I attended a conference centered on the art and science of preaching. It was an opportunity for me to work on my craft, to listen to other people work out their callings, and to fellowship with my cohort of sisters in ministry that I attended the conference with. Of course, there were opportunities to network with preachers from all walks of life, from varying denominational affiliations, and from regions across the country. Many of them I knew by name through social media or because of the circles that I run in, but most were pleasant strangers that I connected with during curated conversational moments. There were meaningful interactions around racism and microaggressions from the pulpit, the intersectional age/gender gap at this conference, sexism and homophobia in ministry circles, and other fruitful dialectical experiences.

When discussing the conference with someone I know well who wasn't in attendance, we talked about the general framework of the event (i.e the h…

It's Cheaper To Die

This past December, I sat down with my checking accounts after my rent was paid, and I added up all of the past due medical bills that had been piling up for months (some, for years). I deduced that I had the funds to finally pay off the $500+ of unpaid bills--bills from the colonoscopy I had in 2014 and the biopsies I got done in November (nothing malignant was found). I was so proud of myself for paying off my medical bills at the end of the year. It felt like a tiny weight of debt was lifted from my aching back.
In January, however, I got slammed with a new set of unexpected and hefty medical bills and, honestly, my friends, it's cheaper to die. 😢
When you go to the doctor or dentist these days, there is a lot of lack of clarity about how much things cost. I knew I'd have to pay for some of the colonoscopy and x-ray, and I did so up front, but I wasn't expecting the unexpected remainder that my insurance suddenly decided not to cover to slap me across the face with th…

Dance As Life Practice

A well-trained dancer knows that when you "pose," you are never really done. You have not completed an action or arrived at a destination. Posing is a continuous action. It is a journey. You stretch and breathe into that thing until it's time to transition to the next "pose."
Such are the seasons of life.
You will never arrive.
Arriving is a journey. 
Once you get to a sort of destination, there will be something else to arrive to; that is, if you desire to come alive over and over again.
There's nothing like a dancer who emptily sits in a pose. Great dancers know that the more you sit in a position instead of breathing through it, the harder it will be to transition to the next movement. In existential terms, there are no poses.
Only movements.
Only motion.
Only change.
So, be a good dancer today. 
Breathe through this season.  Grow.  Come alive!
Get every bit of energy out through the tips of your fingertips & the split ends of your hair. 
Stret…

My Life is Menstruating

I feel like my life is menstruating right now ...
Stay with me folks...
I feel like the discomfort and agony (which is not unfamiliar because it reoccurrs) is because I'm releasing some things from my life in preparation for the next phase of this journey.
I feel like the egg has run it's course--certain experiences, certain relationships, and certain conversation topics have run their courses--and now it's time for me to, in gratitude, release it... and I'm in pain... and it's a beautiful agony... but still agony... And still beautiful because cycles are essential.
I wonder how many people fight releasing to avoid the agony of menstruation?
Or because we don't trust the cycle?
Or how many of us have yet to find the beauty in the cycle as a God-ordained essential part of life?
There have definitely been times in my life when I've fought the process of release. I can think back on some decisions I made two and three years ago that might have been better fo…

Surviving the Community that Supports R. Kelly (and Men Like Him)

Read Finding Love After Sexual AssaultHere
_______________________
My brilliant colleague, Danielle Williams Thiam, preached a sermon this fall on the rape of Tamar (2 Samuel 13). In her sermon she pointed out all the ways in which, not just Amnon, but the community and world in which Tamar lived participated in her rape. "Rape is a communal sin," she preached. I honor her words as a sexual assault survivor and as an advocate for holding the collective responsible for the violation of women's bodies, particularly the bodies of black and brown girls. ______________________
For every person who knew that Deacon so-and-so (who was in with the pastor) was touching little girls and turned their heads cuz they didn't want to 'fall out' with the pastor-
REPENT.
For every person who stood outside a closed door knowing that what was going on behind that door involved an abuse of power that ravaged a female body-
REPENT.
For every lawyer who knowingly defended a guilty…