When I began blogging eight years ago, the internet world was not
I started this blog for two purposes,
to have a place for my writing
and to encourage others.
As the years rolled by I made it a point that this space would be
quiet and perhaps even restful.
I vowed not to succumb to the allure of using buzz words or whatever was trending
to attract attention.
However this summer in particular has made it difficult to not pen anything
related to all the headlines, news crawls and social media feeds.
The topics range from the Middle East, Ebola, Robin Williams, depression,
mental illness, Parkinson’s, #Ferguson and even ice buckets for ALS.
These are only a mass of letters forming words which can’t adequately
uncover the depth of wounds inflicted intentionally and often ruthlessly
on the innocent.
No longer can we believe “it is over there, faraway” because now
the “it” is residing closer to home and often sitting in the next seat.
For each elevated headline, I am convinced there are hundreds
of unnoticed headlines further revealing our broken world.
We are broken by so many other words like hate, racism, fear,
violence, disease and apathy.
I am not a news junkie and sometimes I am grateful
because even a casual glimpse
into this world in which we live in can be utterly devastating.
I have felt powerless to make even one difference in any of these headlines.
I walked through doors and along sidewalks last week and for some reason
felt more acutely aware of my skin color.
I don’t normally lead with how I look but last week,
I wondered how I was perceived in light of
How do I view others different from myself for that matter?
I feel a bit more shaken as I have a son,
uncles and cousins.
Slowly I have whispered checkmate to my fears with
the only remedy I know will cast away its presence.
It’s called love.
Anger kills whereas love embraces life.
Fear picks up weapons whereas love seeks to mend the broken.
Love chooses to value and bestow dignity around the shoulders of those
who are homeless,
and without a voice.
Love isn’t blind to injustice or
deaf to the laments of the people,
it simply demands a better way.
Love sees beyond categories and labels
no matter your state or station in life,
Behind the ink and paper of headlines are real people
who matter tremendously.
I recently had the opportunity to read Jen Hatmaker’s book Interrupted.
It is newly revised, updated and expanded since its initial release in 2009.
To be honest, I didn’t really want to read it anything that would make me
anymore uncomfortable than I already was with the steamy weather.
But my friend Susan had tagged me in a Facebook post encouraging
me to review the book and I am an obedient friend (at times).
I read Interrupted in the course of 3 short sittings and
yep, it made me uncomfortable
but it couldn’t be a more important book
for the current conditions of our world.
It’s a wake-up call for individuals as well as the Church
to abandon hiding behind the confines of walls
and instead fling open doors to a world bent on
inflicting violence and forsaking peace.
We clearly don’t comprehend how personally Jesus
takes it when we love suffering people.
He is so utterly identified with the afflicted that there
is nothing more obedient, more pleasing, more central
than serving Him in the marginalized.
We have the privilege of serving Jesus Himself every
time we feed a hungry belly, each moment we give dignity
to someone who has none left, when we acknowledge
the value of a convict because he is a human being,
when we share our extreme excess with those who have
nothing, when we love the forsaken and remember the
Jesus is there.
So what is the next right thing to do?
I cling to Mother Teresa’s words, to the fervor in which
Jen wrote and will continue taking footsteps of love
as my marching orders reignited.
I must display love to those who cross my path
and to those who will never intersect with mine.
As differently as I felt in my skin,
I am sure each one
of us feels more acutely aware of our shared outrage,
pleas and tears.
As simplistic as it may sound,
love is the only way I see towards change,
the changing of hearts and mindsets.
I would encourage you to read Interrupted.
It is written in a non-threatening conversational style and chronicles
how the Hatmaker family was interrupted and upended
by a new holy passion to live in
service to the last,
the forgotten and
You can order the book here and here.
You can read Jen’s hilarious and insightful blog here.
I am numbered with 250 bloggers who are spreading the word about
Interrupted and Tyndale has graciously given each of us a copy to
Leave me a comment in the section below about anything little
thing your heart desires and I will pick a winner on Wednesday.
I don’t have great answers today only
to go forth and love greatly.
Love truly is a holy passion.