I met Marilyn online first, and then in person at that retreat center I was talking about the other day. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of picking her up from the airport when she came to Nebraska for the little, bi-annual retreat I’ve been hosting here. I hold her in the highest esteem. Marilyn is wise and kind. She is gentle, but she’s not a pushover. She dispenses grace and insight at her website, and she doesn’t let us off the hook, not even herself. I’m sharing her post here, not because of what she says about me, but because of the nuggets of wisdom she shares with each of us, tucked into just a few words.
In a tiny corner of cyberspace, we are reading a book, a number of us, I don’t know how many. Deidra has spearheaded this, as she has spearheaded so many things. In fact, spearheading may be her spiritual gift – a combination of openness, sensitivity and leadership and courage.
Since I first encountered Deidra in the comments section at Belinda’s blog and then here in 2009, I’ve watched from the far seats and seen her do some powerful spearheading. Not impetuously, mind you. Not ill-advised. Not recklessly.
She dared to ask the hard question about the CHURCH and RACE, to see if anyone was willing to have the conversation.
It is not always easy to engage people in needed conversation. I’ve been trying to have a conversation with someone for over 3 years. The person is not ready. What if she’s never ready?
She committed to a month of posts on the topic (“31 Days in My Brown Skin“), facing the very real possibility her readers, preferring more comfortable discussions, might drain away.
It’s crazy, how important that seems to us at times, how much we (writers) would sometimes prefer to stay in the comfortable, no-risk seats rather than bring up the topic which very well might be the reason for our placement and existence. Then again, I guess that’s natural.
She continues “Going There,“ inviting people’s stories, even the really, really hard ones. Little by little by little, the rock gets chipped away.
Now she’s nudging the conversation forward again through an online book club.
So much can happen
if only we are willing
to keep the conversation going.
As I began to say, a bunch of us are reading the book The Yada Yada Prayer Group, in which a bunch of women of diverse backgrounds and experiences are thrown together. I admit to some selfishness on my part in joining this. The idea and timing dovetailed nicely with a reading goal I have for this year. Plus, I knew the added impetus of reading along with others, and discussing, would be more fun. It is!
This week’s assignment: Tell about the last time I went to a worship service, book reading or community event that pushed me outside my comfort zone. How did I end up there and what happened while I was there?
All good stuff, folks. Little by little, chipping away, at least in one tiny corner of cyberspace.
Writer, Speaker, cookie maker, Christian work-in-progress, Cheezit fan, foe of perfectionism, people person with hermit tendencies, or vice versa. Subscribe to Marilyn’s blog, and follow her on Twitter.