#Charlottesville


Love for All, Hatred for No-one!

I admit, I have never experienced anything like what has happened in Charlottesville, but I know and have experienced what hatred looks and feels like.

Throughout many years of my school life, every day, day in day out, I was afraid to go to school. Why? My mother was white, but my father was black.

For some reason, there were those who thought it was fun (for them) to call me ‘nigger’ every day, to say ‘uncle Sam, came and clean my house, carry my bags, clean my shoes, eat my leftovers’.

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Freedom


To different people, Freedom means different things.

For some, it may be the absence of all rules.

I’ve been going through a lot of changes and thinking recently, so that I can say that for me, at the moment, freedom means to be free to think and believe what I believe to be true and just, without being weighed down by fear of guilt and hell, and to accept myself, love myself, embrace myself and to be (become) who I am.

Now that may sound a whole lot selfish – it is all about me. But in the light of what I’ve been through and have experienced, it is a big step.

I spent 7 years in what I’d qualify as an abusive Christian environment with a manipulative and abusive leadership, and today I find a lot of their teachings questionable. When I left there, I was about 19 years old – today I am 41 years old. It took me many years to heal, and I am still digesting certain issues – I mentioned some of it here #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear.

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Take flight


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Sometimes I wonder what it is like to fly from flower to flower. For them, it is hard work.

For me, I like to gather new ideas and knowledge everywhere: from books, from situations, from people I meet; people who are different from, from different faiths and cultures. Why would I be afraid? I like learning, and confronting my faith to someone who thinks differently can only enrich me.

Picture: Reconvilier/BE, Switzerland

Bzzzzz!


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I love small things. I love watching the bees and bumblebees and others being all busy in the flowers and plants, grass and trees and… from far away, there only seem to be plants and trees. But if you look closer, there is so much happening: a small world within a world, another miracle of daily life.

Picture: Reconvilier/BE, Switzerland

Fresh & New


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Even though it is the warm season, some mornings have still been exceptionally cold. But instead of being frustrated about it (who wouldn’t want some warm sunshine now?), I try to look at the beauty of it. It is what it is and I can’t change it, so why be angry about it? Rather, look for reasons to be grateful and in wonder, still.

Picture: Montoz/BE, Switzerland

pain & serving


Sometimes I wonder if chronic illness -autoimmune diseases- and ministry really go well together.

During those moments, I think that I should always be an example, and should always be strong, without fault. Being tired, vulnerable and in pain doesn’t fit the equation.

Yet it is true that despite the RA, I always give my best, and never back down. And I have come to realize that if a preacher/pastor would have to be perfect, nobody would ever qualify.

Last sunday I was invited in another church to “give my testimony”, about various aspects of my life – amongst others, my tattoos and my illness. Afterwards, I got only positive feedback, also from other people who were sick as well, and were encouraged to hear/see how I handled it.

I am not perfect, will never be – and don’t want to be. Where (and when) I am weak, God and his/her grace are strong, and can be my strength. I can always rely on that. I refuse to let the disease define who I am. It is a part of my life, and in a way, I have to accomodate that and find ways to live with it. And there will always be some days that’ll be harder than others – but isn’t it that way for everybody?

Life is a precious gift, and is worth being live to the fullest. One thing I have learned through my RA is being more patient, with myself and with others, and to see the small miracles of everyday life even more clearly, and to become more grateful, to become more and more dependant on God’s grace. Love & peace have taken, and are taking are more and more bigger and more important place in my life, as is taking the Bible and prayer.

So whilst I’m not saying that the disease per se is something good, good has come out of it – because I refused to let it pull me down, because I refused to give in.

This love, peace, grace, love for God, the Bible, people, my church – isn’t that what is important for ministry? So what, RA?

Peace out, God bless.

Chechnya, again, still.


For gays rounded up like animals
beaten, tortured, killed
in the concentration camp in Chechnya
we pray:
Lord, have mercy.

I cry out: MURDER!

Out of respect for tradition you say,
hunting down this kind of person
making sure they don’t exist
in society

For gays rounded up like animals
beaten, tortured, killed
in the concentration camp in Chechnya
we pray:
Lord, have mercy.

Denying their existence
yet saying that even their parents
would send them
to a place of no return

Telling parents to kill their children;
cleaning honour with blood
you call it

For gays rounded up like animals
beaten, tortured, killed
in the concentration camp in Chechnya
we pray:
Lord, have mercy.

You speak of ‘prophylactic sweep’
and go as far as real murders
electric shock torture and violent beatings
the image God held to ransom and extort their families

For gays rounded up like animals
beaten, tortured, killed
in the concentration camp in Chechnya
we pray:
Lord, have mercy.

Rounding up men on suspicion
humiliation
leaving others to return home barely alive
after confessing the names of others

For gays rounded up like animals
beaten, tortured, killed
in the concentration camp in Chechnya
we pray:
Lord, have mercy.

Lord,
have mercy:
on them,
on us.
Save your children, hear their cries.

Today,
I am gay.

 

*sorry for reposting this, with modifications though. I am very busy at the moment preparing teaching an intensive. But I am even more sad that I have to repost this. The situation in Chechnya is horrible, and apparently the President wants to get rid of all gays until May 26th. A news article read, “They tell the parents to kill their child. They say ‘Either you do it, or we will,’” an unidentified male told France 24 News. They call it: ‘Cleaning your honour with blood.”
I conddemn this, pray for the my gay brothers and sisters – Lord, have mercy on us, restore our humanity, save lives!