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My Indoctrination

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It is up to me to change, to demand change, to work for change. I am committed to this work.  Having said all of this, I confess that my indoctrination started early and continued through my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. History lessons focused on Western Europe, the colonies, and the United States of America - the “City on a Hill”. All of this was taught from a White colonialist point of view.   Art history focused on artists and art forms from Western Europe and the United States. Music focused on . . . yep, you guessed it, Western European and US musicians. The only literature classes offered in my high school were British Literature, American Literature, and the Bible as Literature.   Church life was focused on colonial ideals of mission and a White-centered worldview. The theologians studied and referenced were all White Western male theologians. The hymns we sang were written by White Western composers.   The unholy trinitarian alliance of Christianity, democracy,

Be More

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I woke up this morning - December 31, 2020 - with a two word phrase stuck in my head.  Be more. Throughout the last several years in the week before New Year's Day, I have chosen a word to contemplate during the coming year. In the past, I have walked with words like "create", "curiosity", and "let it go" as my companions. A couple of days ago, I went to an online word generator and had a word chosen for me at random. The word that came back was "listen". I thought that was a perfect word for 2021. Listen.  Then, I woke up with that phrase stuck in my head on New Year's Eve.  Be more. And it simply wouldn't leave me alone.  So I started trying to figure out what it could mean.  Be more what? Be more patient? Be more kind? Be more present? These statements seemed like a qualitative analysis of how I should move through the year. Maybe that wasn't it.  Maybe there was a space between the two words. Be ________ more. Be patient more.

This moment - this in between

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This moment is a liminal space. A space, a moment to consider what was and what continues to be with anger, grief, and sadness while contemplating what yet may be with hope, anxiety, and promise. The knowing and the not knowing; the clouded memories and the blurry vision; the yes and the maybe; the was, the is, the possibility held simultaneously in this moment this in between. Here we are in this liminal space. -bshivers Bombed out and abandoned Syrian military building in the Golan Heights. Photo taken December 28, 2018

Advent 4 - Love

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Can you love this moment? Not the kind of love that inexplicably pulls you ever closer to another. No, a different kind of love. A love of this singular, unrepeatable, flash of time that exists only this once and will never happen again. A love that drives you into the mystery of existence, where there is joy and sorrow, living and dying, promise and despair. Perhaps, living fully in the midst is what it means to love. -bshivers

Advent 3 - Joy

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Joy will always be elusive as long as it is pursued as if it exists somewhere outside of self. Joy is a decisive act of resistance, a rebellion of possibility and perhaps in world full of “not yets” and “it will never happen”. Joy sees the hope-filled unfolding of what may yet be even in the stark reality of what is. This is joy. Joy is here. - bshivers

Advent 2 - Peace

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Peace is harmony, wholeness, completeness, presence with, and in the midst no matter what is or what may come next. -bshivers

Advent 1 - Hope

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The days are long. The nights are even longer. The anxiety overwhelming. The worry palpable. And yet, Sunday we light a candle; a candle we name Hope. We call it by this name because we have come to understand that what we see isn't all that is, and what we think we know is far from everything. We are called to live into the promise this small flame represents; living as if in a world of not yets. And so the season of waiting begins in Hope. -bshivers