Inspire

Life outlived.

“I am constantly found guilty of the sin of words. Vulgarity is not my downfall, though I am vulgar. My sin is having words that are far more beautiful than my life. How graceful are those whose lives outshine their words. Perhaps my life will catch up to my mouth someday. Perhaps my body will catch up to my heart, my hands to my eyes, my feet to my soul.”

Gordon Atkinson

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The SCOTUS decision.

On June 26, 2015, denying same-sex marriage was ruled unconstitutional in the United States!

As with any major decision by our government, this both sparked immediate joy and a whole lot of rage.

What is my response to this?

On one hand, I feel immense happiness – it’s a victory in the war against inequality. Truly, I believe that our Constitution pushes for equality for all & this battle’s win is one step closer (though definitely not the end-game) towards a more just nation.

But my mind’s battlefield raged on in the background of the city’s jubilance. I planned on ignoring the small voices in my mind. I didn’t want to bring these questions to surface, terrified I would dislike the answer.

But,

as we know, God had his own plans & met with me instead in two places.

The first came in the form of John – though I was trying to turn a blind eye, I find that he’s someone who runs right into things, searching for answers. He shared this post: Jesus at a Gay Wedding. It resonated with me and reminded me of the God that I had fallen in love with: a loving God that wants to get to know His children badly.

The point of the Gospel is not to make everyone uniform. The point of the Gospel is to transform people into emissaries of Jesus who can live out lives surrendered to him through unique cultural lenses. The Gospel should influence us to live lives so radical, that others will see Jesus in our actions and say “Yes, I want some of that too.” While we may differ in theological perspectives, what we absolutely cannot diverge from is the reconciliation of all peoples to God. There is always room at the table for more people and the way people join the table is through love.

The second is when I prayed and searched for an answer on my own and landed on the beginning of the book of Ezekiel. As I continue to read about Ezekiel being sent to the stubborn, prideful, and rebellious nation of Israelites, I am reminded of the God of justice, a justice that only He can bring. As His children, we are not called to judge, instead we are called to be messengers of His word.

No good answers are immediate, but if the country had hundreds of years, surely I can bide my time as well.

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Dear APA 15,

Wow.

Thank you God for blessing me with such a loving and beautiful community. Where I can feel safe to talk about how I’m feeling, without worrying about judgement and knowing I’d be received by loving arms.

Story. Power. Advocacy.

Last year, APA 14 “Made Well” marked the beginning of a rather tumultuous year for me.

In that past year was a lot of questions and anger – definitely plenty of anger and confusion and sadness and anger.

But also lots of thankfulness,

reflection,

& so much love,

& so much prayer.

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Love your enemy.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ but I say to you, do not resist him who is evil but whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also, and if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, ‘ You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy,’ but I say to you , love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in Heaven, for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous.”

Matthew5: 38-45

In response to the protests happening in Berkeley – I pray for understanding, that God would bring healing to our community, and that both sides show empathy and grace.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

This has been a rather turbulent year for my family, but I’m thankful for God’s love the entire time and I’m happy to be ending this year in high spirits.

I have been blessed by a solid group of friends, supportive and healthy family, and a job once I graduate. Blessed to be at Cal, to have found something I enjoy studying, to have found groups I love being around, to have a safe place to develop my faith, and to have opportunities presented to me here that aren’t available elsewhere. Thank the Lord for my grandmother’s recovery and for the mental and physical health of my family.

Although we may feel lost, we know He never loses us. Thank you Lord for not giving up on my heart and for pursuing me with such love and patience.

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