Friday, December 23, 2016


I bought a cheap pair of glasses. It was one of those buy 2 for $70 and a free eye exam deals. Big mistake. All was well until I noticed a little crack inching down one of my lenses about the second week I had them. I remember the sales lady damn near begging me to buy a protection plan. Maybe she knew. Maybe I should have listened. 

On a side note, I've decided to start listening to the Bible. 

In my car.

I've had this audio Bible laying around for years that I've listened to on and off but always drowned in boredom around Judges. The books are naturally intriguing to me, but I still continually wonder why it is so damn hard to get all the way through. I can't imagine what it's like for those that don't find it remotely interesting. The audio Bible really tries to make those long lists of names exciting but it just doesn't quite work. They are just as boring as they have always been. The sound effects make it slightly more entertaining.

Truth be told, I've always found the process of actually reading the Bible for myself confusing, joyful, frustrating, and even depressing. The words within its pages are not all rainbows and butterflies. It has brought me to beautiful highs, incredible lows, and everything in between. I overanalyze everything. I have lots of questions and every story I hear just creates more. I agree with some and disagree with others. I'm okay with that. I find some stories utterly horrifying and others absolutely beautiful. It's a confusing tension that keeps me coming back I guess.

My prayer for this go around is simple. 

I want to hear it on its own terms.

Not the terms that I grew up with. Not all the ways it has been used and abused in our culture, the media, and churches. Not all of the thoughts and feelings I have thrown at it throughout the years. I want to understand why these stories were passed on from generation to generation. I want to think less about what should be taken literally vs. figuratively and more about the lessons of all of the stories that have been preserved for so many years. I think about all of the stories that Jesus told. Stories entertain us and help us remember. The stories might be true but do not have to be to teach us the same lesson. Their meaning is deep, beautiful, and humbling. I've learned that if I overanalyze I often forget to simply listen and miss the meaning. I don't want to miss it. 

Long story short, I'm realizing that I need a new pair of glasses.   

Saturday, May 14, 2016


noun a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.

In college I remember staying up all night searching for those idealistic words about life and God and love and faith. There were times that my mind would not let me go to sleep until I got something down on paper. A white, middle-class, cisgender, Christian, male, non-disabled, English speaking, educated, 'heterosexual', American who thought he had the world figured out and wanted to let everyone know. 


All of those attributes ('minus one') were all privileges I was born into. Privilege was something I took for granted and didn't consider much in my young idealism. I didn't consider it until I dropped those quotation marks and admitted some things to God and the mirror. 

Finally the American Dream, the American privilege, had started to unravel and I was forced to begin the long overdue process of opening my eyes to this thing called privilege. I am thankful for the wakeup call. 

Privilege is humbling. It's frustrating. It's not fair. It's devastating. It's stealthy. 

But there is a beauty in discovering its presence. It brings down barriers. It forms tears and sparks compassion. It spreads hugs and ignites activism. It helps us discover what it means to be human and what it means to love one another well.

My hope is that we all discover privilege and keep discovering it.

If your privilege is taken away, be humbled. It's frustrating, I know. You might even need some space to throw a tantrum. I get it. 

But let's get one thing straight. Having a part of your privilege taken away is not the same as being persecuted. Persecution is a very real thing in our world and that word should not be used lightly. Privileges must subside if equality is to prevail.  

Discover your privileges and be humbled.