Posts

The Narrative of Destructive Masculinity

Image
Caution: I am going to touch the third rail - masculinity. It's time that men talk about the destructive ways we define and pass along masculinity in our culture. We must change our narrative. We tell our boys from an early age . . .  "Get up." "Don't cry." "Don't let anyone see your weakness." "Be tough." "Stop acting like a girl." "Don't be a wimp." "Be a man." This narrative is destructive. As a result of it, our young boys grow up with stunted abilities to identify their feelings and admit their weaknesses. They internalize this vision of manhood, and it produces a toxicity that has the potential to destroy much of everything in its wake. Within this worldview, anything that challenges this perspective of what it means to be a man must be subdued, dominated, or eliminated. Its impact can be seen and felt in businesses, politics, churches, and relationships. What if instead we helped our children u

A Short Walk

Image
Today, I went for a walk.  There really isn't anything unusual about that. I love to walk my neighborhood and often take the opportunity to do so.  What made today different is that rain was in the forecast. Okay, that's actually not that unusual either. I mean . . . it rains. What was different is that in spite of there being rain in the forecast I decided to get in a quick walk anyway. What was the worst that could happen? It wasn't supposed to be a downpour for at least an hour. So, I changed into my running shoes (I don't really run, but the shoes work for walking, too), put my headphones in, and away I went. I was positive I could make it back before the rain.  I am sure you see where this is going by now. Yeah, you guessed it. I got to the half way point of my walk, and the rain started. It was just a light mist at first. It was actually kind of lovely.  But then . . . the skies went from that nice little sprinkle to a full blown downpour! And I was now only a lit

holy saturday (a poem)

Image
in loss and grief a moment arrives when all goes quiet. the beloved no longer present the soul knows not what to do where to go who to be. all that remains is void. -bshivers

Friday Psalms (a poem)

Image
Psalms* spilled from the lips of a dying man as he hung displayed in the midday sun yet another casualty of empire’s paranoia. The truth of the words from the pens of the ancient poets became a flame hidden in his heart that no earthly kingdom could ever extinguish. For authority belongs only to God, the one who rules over nations, a rock of strength, a stronghold to save. -bshivers *reference Psalm 22 and Psalm 31

Monday of Holy Week

Image
On the Monday of the week we call Holy in the Christian tradition - holy in a way that somehow is different than the holiness of every other week -  we find a small  vignette tucked into the narrative story of the final week of the life of Jesus. After coming to the city of Jerusalem, Jesus enters the temple and finds that the most sacred of spaces had been converted from a house of prayer into a marketplace where goods were bought and sold at the highest prices. A place that was to be a place of prayer and connection with the divine for all nations had become a noisy shopping mall. The authors tell us that Jesus cleansed the temple of all that clutter, clamor, and clatter. Jesus then called the people back to that for which this space was originally set apart.  We, too, have a habit of taking that which is supposed to be a place of prayer and connection with the divine and turning it into a distracting marketplace. Those spaces may be physical places or may be internal.  In the midst

On the Back of a Donkey

Image
Jesus . . .  moves toward Jerusalem to face the largest challenge of his ministry and his life; Jesus . . .  the one who taught humility and lived what he meant by " the last will be first, and the first will be last; " Jesus . . .  fulfills the prophecy he read in the temple at the beginning of his ministry, " The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor;" Jesus . . .  the rabbi who dined with the outcast and received those thought to be unclean; J esus . . . comes "humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey." This is the way of this one who is called the Messiah, the anointed one, the Christ, a king.  This Sunday - Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday - we remember together the moment when Jesus rode into Jerusalem not on a steed, n