Thursday, January 26, 2012

On Fighting, Fundamentalism, and Forgetting Where I Came From.

I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian environment, so I have a rather peculiar relationship with fundamentalism. 

I think it's similar to the relationship I had with my brothers growing up.  There were times we were thick as thieves and times where we wanted to (and often tried to) murder each other. 

There was one interesting dynamic in the relationship, though, that always persisted, regardless of what else was going on: my brothers could pick on me, beat me up, make fun of me or whatever, but if someone else tried?  It was on.  We would combine our powers like Voltron and defend each other against these outsiders until the threat abated, at which point we would commence kicking the crap out of each other.

Friday, January 20, 2012

On the Importance of Telling Our Stories

I never thought I had much of a story to tell, or that my story mattered much to anyone else.  As I've begun to tell parts of it though, here and recently at the "Something Beautiful" podcast as well, the reaction I've seen has been, well, surprising to say the least.  The level of engagement I've seen has made me realize one simple fact: we never know when our story is exactly what someone else needs to hear.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On Survivors'-Survivor's Guilt, or "Mostly I just want my friends to stop killing themselves..."

There is a kind of survivor's guilt that you expect to encounter when you survive through a war (or two).  It's the kind of guilt that says, "Why did that person die and I didn't?" or "Why am I still here and they're not?"  It's an almost universal experience amongst other veterans that I've spent time with.  I had a healthy dose of it myself.  There were at least three times in Iraq in '04 where I probably should've died.  I didn't.  Others did.  That was tough to process.

Friday, January 6, 2012

On The Grace That Pursues

Yes, this is a year-in-review post...kind of.  If you're already tired of 2011 retrospectives (I don't blame you), but I promise you, this one's different.  It's not a list, or a compendium of likes and dislikes, but a story (but it does have a theme song).

There are a lot of reasons why last year was important.  We moved back to the midwest, had another beautiful baby boy, bought a new house, etc.  But most importantly, it was the year I stopped making God chase me. 

[Cue Musical Interlude]

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

To Our Mothers, Our Sisters, Our Wives and Our Daughters: We Ask Your Forgiveness.

To our mothers, our sisters, our wives and our daughters:

Forgive us for not speaking up, speaking out, and speaking life.
Forgive us for keeping you down, keeping you captive, and keeping you silent.
Forgive us for defining you by your bodies.
Forgive us for turning you into commodities.
Forgive us for trading in your dignity for our pleasure and profit.
Forgive us for ignoring the injustice that brought us privilege at your expense.

To our mothers, whose selfless love shapes the very core of our character, we thank you.
To our sisters, whose loving voices speak wisdom and truth to us even when we'd rather not hear it, we are grateful.
To our wives, whose unending grace so often leads us to our proper, redemptive place of loving servanthood, we owe you our hearts and you have them fully.
To our daughters, whose tender innocence cries out for justice, we promise you this: we will do better.

We will inevitably fail along the way.
We will forget these promises.
We will let you down, again.
We will not be perfect.

But.

We. Will. Be. Better.

Forgive us,

Your sons, your brothers, your husbands and your fathers.
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