Coming back to this blog after a long absence always feels awkward, and for those of you who have read it for a while, you know there have been many long absences. But here I am again, trying to put words together. I’m not sure what brought you here in the past or why you’re here now, but I am grateful for your presence. I built this space over time on stories of my life with the kids, stories about food, family and faith at the table, devotional thoughts that were supposedly “authentic.” I’m not against that kind of writing, but I have to wonder how much all of us need more encouragement. Are we so over-encouraged that our own freedoms and comforts are the most important things to us now? I guess this is my way of telling you that this is not like most of the posts you will find in this blog.

I wondered whether or not I should write about children forcibly separated from their parents in the United States, I wondered if I should write about Australia’s policies about asylum seekers. I wondered if you care about these topics, I wondered if this would have any impact in your life.

It is only privilege that allows us to think about the suffering of others without doing anything.

This is not about you. It’s not about me.

But I don’t think any of us want yet another political opinion as we swim in a sea of outrage. How do we become more concerned about the interests of others?

How do we become people of action in an era of outrage?

I’m writing for those of us who live in suburbia, drive in rush hour, drink lattes, endure difficult bosses, go to soccer practice, mop floors, and fold laundry. What does the suffering of some at the hands of immoral legislation have to do with us?

I hope these words are not another bucket of outrage water thrown into the sea. I hope we can see the land, swim toward it and find a way out.  Here’s why this matters to me.

Thirty-five years ago in July, mobs of Sinhalese people wandered around the streets of Colombo, Sri Lanka burning Tamil homes, killing Tamil people, raping Tamil women, looting Tamil goods. They burned my grandparents’ home to the ground, the second time this happened in seven years. They stole my grandmother’s jewelry. They came down the street where my parents and I lived, and we jumped over our wall and hid in our Sinhalese neighbor’s house for three days.

I was under two and have no active memories of these events, but however hard I try, I cannot undo these threads out of the fabric of my life. I think it is why I write anything at all. So when I come here and try to write a devotional thought about how the falling leaves reflect the changing seasons in the world and in our lives or how patience is a good thing and we need more of it, well, I just can’t do it anymore.

Every corner of our world holds lives torn apart by violence – every corner of your community holds it as well. If you don’t see it, you’re not looking.

I need you to believe that the safe, beautiful life you construct for yourself and for your family, it is not shared by other members of your community.

Is this going to matter to you?

Will it matter to us that other kids struggle in under-funded schools while our kids thrive in a private school? Are we going to be bothered by a tax system that privileges some at the expense of others? Is it sufficient to be content with our children’s physical safety while kids on our street return to all manner of abuse daily? Is it enough to vote abortion out of our countries while ignoring the needs of young women and men in our schools? Are we going to be a people who stick to our three issues without looking to the myriad of other problems in our community?

Will it be enough for us to build a safe life for ourselves and the people we love?

For me 2018 has been the year when I knew that my answer to this question was a solid no. If your answer is no, please keep reading. These are the small ways that I’ve been moving toward becoming a person of action in an era of outrage.

Reject your privilege

What’s the easiest way to find our privilege? Whenever I think or feel, “I deserve this,” I know I’m looking at my privilege.

“My child deserves the best teacher.” “I deserve that parking spot.” “I deserve a break at the end of this hard day.” “Our community deserves a better playground.” “I deserve ___ because I pay my taxes.” “My church deserves protection from the legal system.“ “I deserve to receive my food when I want it.”

Deserve is the language of privilege. Checking where I believe I deserve something is becoming a source of freedom for me – freedom from my privileges, freedom to see what other people need, freedom to see what I need to do.

You could look at it another way. I’ve chosen to believe that I have everything I need. Everything I need. There is no lack in my life, so why would I spend my time, energy and money giving myself more? Voting so that I am safer and happier? Enabling organizations and politicians who want to work for me? I have everything I need. This means I look to the interest of others. It means I vote for what is best for others. It means I am looking for the protection of people in my community who do not have the security I do.

Meet different people, ask better questions

Many people who read this blog are from a Christian background, and it can be easy for us to be so planted in a faith community that we have no idea of what else is happening around us. It’s been crucial for me to engage with people who are doing different things – people in local business, council members, and program co-ordinators at a community house. When you meet people who are involved in a different part of community life from you, ask them questions. Ask them what they notice about your city, ask them where there are the most needs, ask them who does good work.

I found out that our city has the highest rate of domestic violence and suicide in our region of Melbourne. I found out that there are many organizations already doing great things here. (Do not be so foolish to think you are the only person who can come up with good ideas. I’ve been amazed at the wonderful things already going on where I live, and the many heroes who have tirelessly served behind the scenes.) I am beginning to find places where I can take my skills and hopefully put them to use for the welfare of our city.

Make the big issue a local issue

We’ve all seen those Facebook posts asking us to sign a petition or giving an opinion about the latest even in the news today. The big issues can get us angry, but does it make us active? For me the answer is no. Yes, I’ve called my local and national politicians and given my opinion (we all should), but turning my eyes to our community has given me things I can do. Are you disgusted by your government’s policies on refugees and asylum seekers? After you call your representatives, find out who works with migrants in your community. Involve yourself there.

The key here is who do you know? Maybe you need some new people in your life – people who can draw you out and into different corners of your community.

Take small steps toward involvement 

Every movement I’ve taken in 2018 toward my community has been small. It’s been a conversation with a woman about her indigenous heritage at an event at our local kinder. It was a meeting with a project officer at a community house. It was asking a local council member a question about what most surprised her in our community. Small conversations, small steps. I still don’t feel like I have “done” much, but I’m moving toward something. I’m choosing to believe that these small steps will lead to finding my place in our community. But most importantly it has given me a bigger, deeper vision and love for where I live and what is going on around me.

Whatever the rest of 2018 holds for you, I hope that somehow you can take one step toward someone else in your community. Believe that you have nothing to lose and nothing to fear. Believe that there is a better life than simply being angry and outraged. Believe that there is a life for you outside of your privileges. Believe that you have something to give. Let’s do this together.

Now it’s your turn: I would love to hear your thoughts about community engagement – do you consider yourself involved in your places? What have been effective tools in getting involved? What keeps you from being as local as you can be? What is a corner of your community where you could be involved? 

There is a good chance that this post is going to offend many of you, perhaps even all who read this, so my humble request is simple: please read, pray, think, pray some more and think some more before you come to any conclusions. The thoughts represented here are from over a decade of thinking about the topic of abortion. For the sake of clarity, I do not like the terms pro-life and pro-choice, so I will be using the terms pro and anti abortion, and in the interest of full disclosure, I am firmly anti-abortion.
Nausea comes before the first kicks, your breasts grow before your belly does, the inconsolable tears will be yours first before it is baby’s, and the incomprehensible exhaustion hits before you ever have a sleepless night with a newborn. Pregnancy is a potent cocktail of physical and emotional insanity, and when you experience it for the first time, you will not ever know what hit you. I certainly did not when the first two lines appeared and whispered Small One was alive inside of me.

What followed were weeks of nap taking, fighting nausea, daily tears that seemed to come out of nowhere, trying to understand how my body was changing and why I felt the way I did, excitement about the future but also crippling fears about whether or not I could parent, how this would affect our marriage, our dreams, our plans, our future. And we wanted children, our wedding vows included a part about them: “I commit my heart and my life to welcoming children into our home, seeing them as welcome gifts from God to be treasured, enjoyed and taught.” I said those words on July 12, 2010, and September 17, 2010 began the testing process of whether or not I would live those words.

Then came the doctor’s appointments, from six weeks to eight to 12 to 16 to 20 and so on. The experience of being examined, ultrasounded, weighed, my body discussed like it was medical matter  was not the supposed sacred experience of carrying a child.

It was my first pregnancy that led me to this truth – pregnancy integrates a woman’s physical body, her emotions and her spirituality, and yes, it is a deeply profound experience, but it is also a tender, fragile, fearful and vulnerable time.

And it was this way for me in a loving, secure marriage where children were desired, we have a secure life in Geneva, and all of our medical care was more than taken care of in the most luxurious way possible.

I cannot imagine the crippling fear that a woman would have when she sees a positive pregnancy test if she did not have a committed partner or does not want a baby. Add to that the way her body is changing and in full pregnancy mode, the emotions involved, and the shattering she must see as she looks into the future. I know because in small measures I felt these things, but I felt it in a safe cocoon of Husband’s love.

It wasn’t until I experienced pregnancy that I realized to be genuinely anti-abortion you need to be more than pro-baby, you have to be pro-woman. This is the problem I have today with the large political operation of the anti-abortion movement. It is full of pro-baby activists, pro-baby arguments, pro-baby policies, but there isn’t a lot for women.

(I’m aware of the work done by thousands of crisis pregnancy centres in the United States and elsewhere with dedicated and compassionate volunteers, so I am not talking about this part of the anti-abortion efforts, I am specifically referring to the political and religious aspect of these conversations.)

1. We need to face abortion’s realities

Abortion legislation is not the problem. Abortion is, and it will not go away with a piece of legislation just like it did not come into play with a piece of legislation.

Roe vs. Wade did not start abortions in the United States; it legalized abortion. The process of terminating pregnancies existed prior to that. As a small personal example, in my History of the Middle Ages class in university, I read a first-person account of life in Rome (a book I cannot remember now), and it included the story of a woman who reportedly had multiple abortions. This was between 500 AD and 1000 AD. My cousin is a doctor who used to work in Sri Lanka, where abortion is illegal and a prosecuted crime, and she told me that in the one ward of the hospital she worked in, every week there was a woman there because of a botched abortion.

I am not saying that legalizing abortion makes it safe for the women who want them – I am not saying that at all. I am only saying that abortion legislation is not enough. If you consider yourself to be anti abortion and think that electing officials to any level of your government is enough to take abortion away from your community, you are completely and totally wrong.

Legal or not abortion is something we will all have to deal with for the rest of our lives.

2. The people who form the anti-abortion message need to change. 

To put it simply and straightforwardly – why is it that Christian men need to be the ones forming the anti-abortion message? The conversation about abortion needs to take place between women. I think that the strong message of “protecting the life of the unborn” comes out of the natural male instinct of protecting their spouses and children even though it is also espoused by women in the anti-abortion movement.

I appreciate and thrive partly because of Husband’s protective nature toward Small One and I, and in the context of our marriage, it’s a wonderful thing.

But when it comes to the broader topic of communicating our perspective on abortion to the world including and most importantly to women who are considering an abortion, our first message needs to be to her. About her. For her. It needs to be crafted with sensitivity to the personal and private experience of pregnancy, to the deep, intimate feelings she is experiencing, ministering to the tragic losses that are ahead of her. Before she can even begin to consider having a child (and/or keeping a child), she needs to be able to come to terms with what she is losing in the process.  

Can I just say it again – I was in the best possible situation to be pregnant, but I had huge concerns and fears about my own life and how it was about to change, concerns that far outweighed my concerns for how our little baby was progressing. If you’re about to write me off as a selfish, uncaring mother, you go right ahead and do that, and if you want to write of women who consider abortions when pregnant as selfish, you go right ahead and do that. While you do that, please keep in mind that you won’t be saving any lives – women’s or baby’s – in the process.

If we ignore the deepest concerns a woman has when she is pregnant and considering an abortion, we will lose our window to speak into her life about the negative impact an abortion can have on her life and her baby’s.

A new message needs to be created by Christian women for all women.

When women talk to women about abortion, it can sound  like this and like this: (from Ann Voskamp)

“I had six children when I sinned.” And I turn, wrap an arm around her shoulder, draw her in.

I had an affair…” Her words snag and tear and I hold on to her as she starts to give way. “I got pregnant. And I couldn’t handle what I had done.”

I try to swallow, all my sins stuck and lodged and burning there in my throat. Oh, sister. The sobs wrack and we are two women caught in the act of living and sinning.

“And the day I was going for the abortion, a friend gave me this.” She nods her head towards that book with the nest on the cover.

“She gave it to me — and she said what I couldn’t handle… was actually a gift.” And I can hardly take this, have to look away, take my shoes off, tear my coat, beat my chest.

“And I read and I agreed with God and he is.”

And there on the screen of her phone –  she offers this picture of a smiling baby boy.”

It is graceful, sensitive, tender, empathetic and compassionate. And this is what women need to hear when it comes to the topic of their body. They do not need to hear that it’s not their body (it is their body). They do not need to hear that it’s not their choice (it is their choice). They do not need to hear that the baby is more important (it’s not).

Can I make a suggestion for the male Christian leaders out there who feel the need to protect the lives of the unborn? Why don’t you talk to the men in your congregations? You don’t think they need the message? Read this and guess again (What every pastor should know about sex and abortion in their church). And let’s not forget men in general, what about them? Why isn’t anyone talking to them? Pregnancy is not a one-woman operation; no woman gets pregnant on her own. For every abortion that the anti abortion movement blames on legislation and women, there’s a man somewhere who is equally culpable.

Yes, it’s unfair that men don’t get a say in a woman’s decision to abort. Yes, I am more than certain that there are hundreds of guys out there who are heartbroken because their partner aborted a baby they wanted to keep and others still who never even knew about the life they fathered.

But that doesn’t change the fact that the abortion message to men from Christian leaders is virtually nonexistent. 

Dear Male Christian leaders and pastors, please devote your passions and energies to communicating to men about the impact of their sexual choices on women, on babies, on culture. Create a message for men about what they can do in the face of an unexpected pregnancy. Counsel them to be supportive fathers, financially and emotionally. Counsel them to stick around if their partner gets pregnant. They don’t need to be told to get married, indeed that could be the worst advice of all, but teach them to take personal responsibility for the children they father whatever their age may be. And tell them that if they’re going to be sexually active, they need to include fatherhood as part of their plans.

Leave the abortion discussion with women to us women.

I remember the night of the 2004 elections well. Our newspaper staff sat around our computers, writing articles, watching the tiny, box-like TV set up near the door. We were always cold in that office. There were probably Yoplait Whips lying around for snacks.

When it became clear that Ohio was going to President George W. Bush, our liberal adviser swore and left. President Bush won a second term, and the next day we were watching John Kerry’s concession speech and wondering what the next four years would be like.

The 2004 elections seem like an eternity away, but I remember it clearly, like it was yesterday.

President Bush won with 62 million votes to Senator Kerry’s 59 million (50.7% to 48.3%). It was considered to be a legitimizing victory for President Bush after he lost the popular vote in the 2000 elections.

The conservative media said the voting public gave President Bush and his agenda a mandate. The liberal media said the U.S. was still deeply divided. Vice-President Dick Cheney also said, “the nation resounded by giving him a mandate.”

The Republicans I knew were jubilant. The U.S. would stay the course with a president who loved God and was proud to be an American, he would keep America secure and safe from terrorist attacks. The maintenance of their American values would continue, they said. The Democrats I knew complained, criticised, grew angry and wondered how many more wars, how many more billions of dollars spent on defense and how many more years of the American reputation tarnished abroad.

There were shadows of a scandal with the Valerie Plame, Robert Novak, Scooter Libby and Joe Wilson situation. It would eventually turn into the criminal conviction of Scooter Libby. And of course there were those forever-disappearing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

President Bush was reviled by many and treated with disdain and hostility for not appearing to be intelligent, for his penchant for misspeaking, for his tax breaks for the wealthy, for his hawkish military attitude, for his hypocrisy toward Saudi Arabia, for his lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and for his dependence on the neocons in his inner circle.

The post-election analysis showed what came as shocking news to the liberal media – evangelicals turned out in huge numbers, and they care about moral values. They even vote by moral values, and they swung the election the way of the president. Who are these people, the liberal media said, and how are they able to swing an entire election? Values voters and evangelicals were like the hot girl in high school, anyone who wanted to win was going to have to court their vote next time.

And finally, America was supposedly now a center-right nation. President Bush’s victory signaled the clear move of the United States in the rightward direction, conservatives and liberals both agreed.

Fast forward eight years later.

President Barack Obama won with 62 million votes to Governor Mitt Romney’s 58.7 million (50.6% to 47.9%).

The liberal media said the voting public gave President Obama and his agenda a mandate. The conservative media said the U.S. was still deeply divided. Vice-President Joe Biden also said, “On the tax issue there was a clear, a clear sort of mandate about people coming much closer to our view about how to deal with tax policy.”

The Democrats I knew were jubilant. The U.S. was staying the course, sticking with a president who believed in health care for all, who is intelligent and well-spoken, and whose fiscal policies did not benefit only the wealthy . The maintenance of their American values would continue, they said. The Republicans I knew complained, criticised, grew angry and wondered where American is going, how much more debt and bailouts could there be, what will happen to our health care and when will everyone’s taxes go up.

There were shadows of a scandal with the attack in Benghazi and the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus. The possibility of criminal investigations exist.

President Obama was reviled by many and treated with disdain and hostility for lacking substance, for not being proud of America, for his alleged socialist leanings, for engaging in class warfare, for growing up in a Muslim country, for his position on gay marriage.

The post-election analysis showed what came as shocking news to the conservative media – Hispanic Americans, African Americans and women turned out in huge numbers for President Obama, and they cared about the economy, women’s health issues and immigration. Who are these people, the conservative media said, and how are they able to swing an entire election? The minority block were like the hot girl in high school, anyone who wanted to win was going to have to court their vote next time.

And finally, America was supposedly now a nation headed leftward. President Obama’s victory signaled the clear move of the United States toward more liberal, progressive policies, conservatives and liberals both agreed.

Two elections, two different winners, but one message.

There is a time for everything, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw a way, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time for war and a time for peace.

And I would add, there is a time to lose and a time to win.

As dark as these days seem for Republicans, I only think back to eight years ago when Democrats thought the United States was sliding into the dark ages. How much changed in eight years. How much will change in another eight years.

Here’s what I’m learning today from the U.S. elections. Politics and politicians are fleeting, opinions shift, policies change. The same people who were jubilant eight years ago are devastated today, and the cycle will go on for decades to come.

Nothing in this world lasts forever. 

Tu donne et tu reprends, tu donne et tu reprends. 

You give and take away, you give and take away.

We sang those words in church yesterday at our annual combined service with the French church that meets before we do (we are an English-speaking congregation). We sang songs in French and English, including the classic “Blessed Be Your Name” translated into French “Béni Soit Ton Nom.” I first heard and sang this song during chapel at university in my third year, March 2004; it was our International Week. There were flags on the stage representing the home countries of the students, and the band stood in front of them, a guy who grew up in Uganda was leading the song. My guess is I’ve sung this song at least once a month in a congregational setting for the past eight years, but yesterday was the first time I sang it in a language other than English. When I saw the words in French, I started singing along.

Béni soit Ton nom
Sur cette terre de plénitude
Où Tes bienfaits se répandent
Béni soit Ton nom
Et béni soit Ton nom
Quand mon existence est un désert
Quand je parcoure des chemins inconnus
Béni soit Ton nom
 

It didn’t take long before the tears formed in my eyes, my jaw quivered and my emotions and my spirit went into full-on response mode. I had to stop singing to keep from bursting into tears. This happens to me every Sunday I’m in Germany, singing songs in German. I’m fairly certain I know why singing in a language that is not my own does something to my heart.

It reminds me that I am not the center of the universe, that my way of doing things, my way of seeing things is not right, there are different ways of communication, different ways of talking to God, there are people all over the world who communicate with him in different ways than I do, and this is good. This is right. And my heart is well in these moments because it is reminded of the truth – my way is not the only way. 

Something happens to us when we live in a monocultural, monolingual environment. We start to think that our way of living is the only way of living, our way of thinking is the only way of thinking, our human way is the best way. This is a lie – our way of living, however good it may be, is not the only way of living. Our way of thinking, however rational or educated we may be, is not the only way of thinking. Our human way, however well thought out or well prayed out it may be, is not the only way.

This lie does something to us – it turns us against other people who live and believe differently, and it causes a swell of judgment and bitterness to rise up within us. This is what heals inside of me when I sing in a different language, this is what heals when I believe that I am not the centre of the universe, me with my “right”  way of doing things, “right” way of thinking, “right” way living. 

I have been thinking and continue to think long and hard about the 2012 campaign season and elections. I have read many articles. I have seen many a Facebook status update. I have had a few conversations. And I have my own soul and mind and my own thoughts about all of these things. This week is my attempt to wrestle some of these thoughts out on this “page” and an effort to talk to you instead of Husband who can only listen to so much ranting at 5 in the morning. Seriously. Five in the morning. Chances are you’re more than tired of hearing about the U.S. elections, and in my own small way, I am sorry for adding to the noise. Well, I hope this week won’t be noise but thoughts for everyone, United States of American and people who are not. I have had a few seasons of writing about politics; I have not always been gracious or gentle. I am trying this week to write to deeper things, not things on the surface, and I am trying to see how these thoughts will work out in my own life as well.

Here are my thoughts for today, and they are aimed primarily toward people who are Christians.

It’s no secret that most of us like to be around people who remind us of ourselves. I find myself in the bizarre situation of being a non-white person to the naked eye (I’m more than brown as a Sri Lankan for anyone who is interested), yet I know my mind is fairly “western,” more specifically “whitely western,” so yes I have no problem saying that if you ask me whom I feel most comfortable around other than my family, it is probably going to be western people, specifically western white people from the U.S. I just want to make this clear, in case it is not obvious, that this does not mean people of other nationalities, ethnicities or races make me uncomfortable. My closest friends have been from five continents, they all have different colours and speak different languages. I am just saying that, when I enter a room for the first time, the people I tend to be connect with the easiest  are people who are white from the U.S.

All of us have these preferences, but what we do about our natural preferences determine how we will live and what we will think.

I’m wondering today about my life and your life, whoever you are who is reading this. Who are my friends? Who are your friends? Do they look like us? Do they sound like us? Have the same lives that we lead? Are they from the same kind of economic background? Do they have the same faith, values and lifestyle? Are they educated in the same way that you are?

If you consider yourself a Christian, are you ever in places of worship that include people who speak a different language? Is everyone or are a majority of the same colour and economic background? Do you actively seek out people of different cultures as friends for you and for your children?

There was something heartbreaking for me listening to the spin in the days after the elections. Democrats turned out the Hispanic, African American and female vote, hooray says the Democrats! Republicans need to do some soul searching about immigration reform and how they “talk” about women’s issues. Pundits bemoaning their lives in an America that “is not your grandfather’s America.” Christians who feel lost in a country that no longer shares their values.

But when it comes to the subject of people, language, culture, colour and countries, it doesn’t matter if the president is Barack Obama or Mitt Romney and it doesn’t matter if the House and Senate is controlled by Republicans or Democrats because the people who live in your towns and cities are the people who live in your towns and cities, and your choice, everyone’s choice is this: How will we treat our neighbors? How will we think about and treat our fellow citizens? 

The illusion an election provides in democratic societies is the illusion of control – we think we put someone in office who will do what we want. They will most likely not. Yes, Barack Obama is probably going to make more Democrats than Republicans happy in the next four years. But he will not even make all Democrats happy in every way he could. He will disappoint them; he might even infuriate them. Elected officials may be accountable to the citizens who elected them, but they are ultimately people who make human decisions. You and I do not control public policy, voting may direct public policy, but it in no way controls it. It is easy, very, very easy to see people in terms of the political abstractions of welfare, abortion and immigration reform. Let us not be so easily deceived. People are people, they are not policies or laws or entitlement reforms. When was the last time you befriended someone on welfare? Not to be their charitable savior, but to befriend them, to get to know them as they are? We may not have control over public policy, but we have complete control over how we treat other people, and we have complete control over the culture we create in our homes and in our communities. 

These are questions I am thinking about for myself because I am realizing that the more deeply entrenched I become in my “way” of doing things, I will be disconnecting myself and my family from relationships that have the power to transform us. My relationships in Geneva are with people of a variety of cultures and beliefs, but they are mostly with highly educated, highly skilled and highly resourced people. This needs to change. I have no idea how, but it needs to change.

What are the cultural stereotypes that hold us back from other races, other colours, other languages? Yes, there are people on all extremes who fit stereotypes, but the vast majority of us are somewhere in the middle, in a place that doesn’t fit a caricature, and it doesn’t matter if we are white, black, brown, blue, red or yellow, we want to be known and accepted for who were are as people. How are you inviting people who are different from you into your life? In what ways are you inviting yourself into theirs? 

Husband and I talked about this, and for us we think it might mean every so often going to a church of a different culture from ours – a Spanish congregation, a Filipino one, etc. If you are a Christian and still reading this, can I make a humble suggestion? Go to an African American congregation and engage. Don’t sit there and judge. Engage. Worship. Sing. Enjoy. Go to a Hispanic American congregation. Don’t sit there and judge. Engage. Worship. Sing. Enjoy. Go to a white church. Don’t sit there and judge. Engage. Worship. Sing. Enjoy. (And there are so many others, Chinese, Korean, Ethiopian, Russian, Arab, Jewish, find any one of them).

Don’t sit there and judge. Engage. Worship. Sing. Enjoy. And thank God that he made us different, that he understands and hears all languages, that he has no favourites and preferences, and that he loves it when we are together.