This really could go either way, right? So let me start out right here, and let you know I’m not going to talk about Ferguson. Not here. I don’t even know if I’ll be talking about race and the Church anymore in this space at all.
Social media is an arena, complete with gladiators and thumbs ups and (implied) thumbs downs and all the rest, which I will leave to your imagination. The dinner table is a different story, though. And so are living rooms and family rooms and church sanctuaries and synagogues and mosques and overstuffed couches in hotel lobbies where conferences are held and beside fireplaces at retreats.
Face-to-face doesn’t guarantee agreement or even consensus. But it does bring something different to the conversation than all the noise in the arena. So, for the time being, that’s where I’ll be talking about things like Ferguson and race in the Church and living in my brown skin. I’ll be sitting with people face-to-face, or in small groups, or (and this is so much more likely) I’ll be slipping into the back of the room, hopefully unnoticed, simply to listen and to take notes and then quietly ducking out before the rest of the group so that I don’t have to say anything at all.
At least for now. That’s my plan. That, and praying my face-to-face conversations and silent listening make a difference. In me, first. And, I’ll be praying for the Church.
You will say this is a brilliant idea; a good decision. Or, you will wish you knew what I am thinking, especially about Ferguson. You might wonder how I got to here.
This is not the way I would have written the end of my part in this chapter of the story. Not too long ago, I told a friend of mine I felt as if I was preparing to round a bend in the road, and I hoped whatever was around the corner was small and peaceful and filled with rest. Maybe. Maybe not.
I don’t know if this is a forever thing. I know it is the right thing for me. For now.
I’ve missed writing in this space. I have sat with my laptop open in my lap for most of the afternoon, trying to figure out where to start. How to reintroduce myself to you? What to say? I felt that maybe you wanted to know what I’m thinking about Ferguson, but I also needed to let you know why I’m not going to say anything more about that. Not here. But, come hang out in May at JumpingTandem: The Retreat, and maybe you and I can spend a few minutes talking and praying together by the fire. I’d love to listen to you there.
Hopefully, you’ll come back here to this space as the days of December unwrap themselves in front of us. I’m going to try to write here, regularly and consistently through the month. Mostly, for me. Because I’ve missed being here. And I’ve missed you. I don’t know what I’ll write about. There’s Advent, of course. But there is also life. The regularly ordinary, everyday-ness of life. Waking up and putting one foot in front of the other and celebrating the sacred smallnesses.
So, that’s what I’ve been thinking. What about you? What’s on your mind?
I’ll be reading your words here still, and yes, wondering what you’re thinking and eagerly anticipating an opportunity to sit with you again face to face. I will continue to pray for you, with you, beside you, as you lean into the bend in the road. I’m with you, my friend. Quietly with you. ((Hugs))
Love you, sister. Glad you’re back!
Still hoping we can get coffee sometime, because there are so many things I’d love to get your insight on. Glad this wasn’t an all-around “good-bye” post. Been seeing too many of those. So, whatever form you feel God leading you in, I’m just glad you’re still “here” 🙂
Yep. I’m still here. Isn’t it crazy that we live right in the very same town, but can’t seem to get together? What’s up with that? You should just show up at my house one day. I’m here all the time. I’m not kidding. Just pack up the kids and come on over!
Ha ha, if you’re okay with the crazy, I just might take you up on that! I’ll Facebook you and see what we can work out 🙂
Missed hearing from you. love your words and your truth telling. I understand and also hoping to sit and share with you at jumping tandem retreat.
I think you need to write about it, Deidra. Pray about it of course and if God leads you to keep blazing trails “Going There” then you need to. We need to hear it. We need to start a conversation that will change the world for the better. I can understand why you wouldn’t want to talk about it and I’m sure you’ve prayed about it. So if you believe God is telling you to not right about it then I won’t disagree. But I do know that change for the better will not happen if the silent majority stays silent. Here’s why: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
I think you need to write about it, Deidra. Pray about it of course and if God leads you to keep blazing trails “Going There” then you need to. We need to hear it. We need to start a conversation that will change the world for the better. Imagine where The United States of America would be as a nation if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. kept silent. Not a good image when you paint that picture, I’m sure.
I can understand why you wouldn’t want to talk about it and I’m sure you’ve prayed about it. So if you believe God is telling you to NOT write about it then I won’t disagree. But I DO know that change for the better will NOT happen if the silent majority stays SILENT. Here’s why: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
*This is the corrected copy. Sorry for the typos in the previous comment/post.
I so appreciate your heart, Alexis. You make me smile. I’ve got to follow my gut on this one, though. And, I’ll write about it, but probably in a journal, or maybe in a book or something. But, social media isn’t the right forum for me when it comes to this particular topic. At least not right now. So, you can trust me when I tell you I’m not being silent. You know how, when you go to dinner at someone’s house, the host eventually says, “Let’s move into this room where we can be more comfortable.”? And then the conversation goes to deeper places while the candle wax melts all over the dining room table? Well, I’m trying to get to there. I can’t tell you how much I hope you and I get the opportunity to talk face-to-face one day. Man! That would be incredible!
Sheila Seiler Lagrand
Today I am thinking that just last week we worshiped and broke bread together.
I’m listening, Deidra. I am.
We did, indeed. And it was good. I need more of that in my life, when my brain isn’t so scattered. The very first time I went to Laity Lodge, I was floundering. But, I found solid ground along the way, smack dab in the middle of a sisterhood of praying women who help me keep my head above water. Thank you for being one of those women, Sheila.
I’ve been pondering the everyday things. We took a walk the other day with my newly widowed dad, my sister and husband, a few sons and a daughter-in-love. Twenty minutes just up the road and back, and I think it was one of the most nourishing and important things I’ve done in months. I’ve been considering the words of Psalm 131 a lot lately: “Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in matters too great or in things too wonderful for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with his mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me [ceased from fretting]. O Kim/Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever.”
I saw a picture of you and your people taking a walk on Thanksgiving day and all of you standing there, surrounding your dad, just drew me in. Just thinking about it now gives me that cozy feeling. Bless you, Kim.
Welcome home, love. So glad to be seeing you here again. And hoping we can chat face to face soon. Blessings on your head.
I’ve been wondering what you’ve been thinking this weekend. Often …
But yet I hear what you’re saying. I think …
Hugs, Deidra. Praying for those face to face conversations (would love to meet you one day in real life!) and looking forward to whatever you will be sharing in the days ahead. I am thankful that you are an authentic person who feels and lives and believes with passion. I need more people like that in my life.
I’m both… I wonder what you think and write about those issues, but I agree that face to face is the only way to solve them and I admire that you’re doing that fully.
Hi, Deidra. I love this part best: “I know it is the right thing for me. For now.” I say good for you for being forthright; for knowing the right thing for you; and for acknowledging that the right thing for you may change. So much freedom in all of the above, and you know, one of my favorite things about the Lord is that He never hides from us when we seek Him. I trust that you’re in tune with the Holy Spirit and that you will therefore continue to know the best thing for you.
I’ve been in a season of learning, and it’s been so good. I’ve been teaching my 4yo and 5yo daughters at home (figuring that out), taking a few online classes, participating in a women’s Bible study on Jeremiah, and working with a counselor on some of my yuck. Oh, and I found my way back to the library, which is one of the happiest things I can think to share!
Things have been a little quiet on the blog, but I have high hopes of catching up by the end of 2014. Looking forward to hugging your neck in 2015, for sure!
The library! Darn it! I have a book from the library that I checked out in the heat of the summer, so it’s clearly months overdue. I should have bought it. Heck, when I return it to the library, I will have bought it. OK. I digress. Forgive me.
Jeremiah? Wow. Tell me more. I want to know what the book of Jeremiah is saying to you. Seriously. I want to know.
Patricia W Hunter
I always read your words – that will never change, but oh how my heart longs to find a spot on one of those couches next to you and connect face-to-face. I’m quietly listening and praying with you. You are frequently in my thoughts, beautiful friend.
This sounds exactly right Deidra. I hope the day will come when we can sit together and share our hearts. I do so love yours.
I’m looking forward to visiting here.
Ever since we met online about three years ago, I’ve felt that our lives, though circumstantially different, run a parallel line with each other. Maybe its because we’re the same age, same season of life. I don’t know. What I’m trying to say here is that I feel much the same way, like God is reorienting what is really important for me. It’s uncomfortable and more comfortable all at the same time. I love that you are back to blogging, you’ve been one of my favorite places to land since that first click. Love you much!
Kim Reisch Vander Poel
I just love your words…and your heart. Thank you for sharing and for all that you are doing!
One of my favorite things is sitting face-to-face with you and talking about the real stuff. That’s the best way to share heart. Much love to you, D. Love you.
I’ve missed you. I’ve missed your voice. And I’m in a tangle of emotions about all the things too. But I’m certain of one thing– I want to stand.. together..on our common ground outside of the chaos and to breathe in the air of our Father together. Inhaling what we need and exhaling what we don’t (as a friend reminded me) so we can be and do what we must be and do. Together. Jumping Tandem The Retreat is still on my heart and I hope I can get there. Got a wedding to manage first! Blessings Deidra. Blessings and Love.
In that Madeline L’Engle book, Walking on Water, she talks about Cosmos in Chaos. Have you read it? If you have it, go to that chapter and let it untangle some of the knots. In this world, we will have trouble, but take heart, Jesus has overcome the world. What a relief, huh! Yeah, let’s stand together and breathe deeply. I hope you get here. I pray you get here. It would make my day and all the days.
Yes… I’m reading that book …savoring it slowly right now! More than anything I want to find all the Cosmos possible amidst the chaos. I want to be a Cosmos bearer and co-Creator! With folks like you….who appreciate a good meal, a good book and a good pair of boots! 😉
Haha! The boots! They are following me everywhere!
I am listening, sister, to whatever you feel led to say in this space. Thankful for your voice, your heart, your perspective. And SO hoping Jumping Tandem happens for me. Face-to-face time with you would be nothing short of precious. <3
I have my fingers crossed, Dana. It would be such a thrill to meet you here in May.
Dr. Helen Fagan
I am proud of you, cheering for you as you embark in the conversation in new venues, and praying for you to keep pressing into Him who loves you most and knows you best!
I’m okay just talking about meatloaf and nick at night and great blues music. Honestly I just need a break from it all. And I’m recalling this life axiom. “Why am I surprised thatthe ungodly act that way?”. Or as someone else said , ” why do the heathen rage?” Its my job to bring light into my little dark world. That’s my mission and I need to let God do the rest
God is good at all the rest.
So my missed opportunity was sitting with you face to face in October and forgetting to ask about your trip to Ferguson (there was so much to cover in our short time on a whole host of topics.) Three words: Come to Denver! Because I still have a whole host of topics I want to cover with you. And I’ll meet you in a hotel lobby, a church sanctuary, or my home. I will always prefer face to face, no matter the subject matter.
When I left Kentucky, I kept thinking to myself, “I need to spend more time with Alexandra Kuykendall.” I really had a blast during our short hours together. Denver is not so far from me, you know. And I can always find an excuse to fly wherever I’m going via that airport by the gorgeous Rocky Mountains.
Face-to-face. I keep thinking about Moses and God, up there on that mountain, talking face-to-face. That must have been something.
So wonderful coming from you. Anytime! Let me know and I will come to DIA.
You know what? I’m gonna be here no matter what you write about. I trust you, I trust your gut, I trust your heart, I trust your Spirit-openness. So if this is where you are now, I’m in. And I’ll be in wherever the Spirit leads next, too.
Hey Big Sis!!
I’ve missed you too. And I honor your decision to keep your words about Ferguson right now close to your own journal, heart and mind. I haven’t been able to package it all into one blog, one conversation or one emotion. It all is still so very big. I am taking my time with it. And I am given others permission to do the same. The wound from it all has cut so deep.
Personally I am in a season of midlife-midfaith struggle. I am so stretched with the constant and undying list of duties, responsibility and”life happening” I have lost my elasticity of service, hope and wonder. I’m saving my pennies Sis to see you in May. Retreat, fire, discovery, rest is what I am in need of. Hope to see you there.
Oh my goodness! Thinking of you here in Nebraska in May makes my heart sing! THAT would be the best!
I hear your self saying you need a break. A deep breath of fresh air. A sit down with your feet up and maybe someone to rub them. Quietly. No need for talking while they rub your feet.
Have you read “Let Your Life Speak” by Parker J. Palmer? He talks about a season of deep depression (and this is not me diagnosing you) where a friend of his showed up every day and rubbed Palmer’s feet. Only every now and then would his friend speak. He’d say things like, “I sense you’re feeling a little stronger today.” Or, “It seems as if today might be a rough day.” But the friend didn’t speak every day.
Whenever I read that story, or think about it, I am amazed at the gift of that friendship and the permission the friend gave Palmer to simply live and experience that dark season the only way he knew how. Permission-giving is huge.
I will check it out Sis. Pray God makes a way Sis. I am in need of a break and that foot rub. I’ll make sure to get the pedicure. Thanks for the encouragement. SMOOCHES!!!
I recently found your blog, and I’m struck with how authentic and conversational this all feels. Thank you for sharing parts of who you are.
Welcome, Kate! I’m so glad you’ve found your way here, and thanks so much for the kind words.
I’m thinking about how to make my house a home. Just moved and though I am delighted that means after an entire month of slowing down, I finally found out where I am and what I am doing. At the time when you wrote this, I was so ‘blocked’ with my writing, I couldn’t even say ….what I was thinking about. But I think often about how far away my family is, and I truly miss them around the holidays. I think about often how to stay in tune and touch with the new people i have met here in Okla. and how to stay in touch with them. Such a different culture, but I am managing…