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Showing posts from October, 2018
Here’s the deal . . . there are humans out there, nope, there are humans here, here on this planet we share, you know, our real neighborhood, who look nothing  like me, like you, like us. They don’t speak the same language with the same accent or the same intonations. They probably call the divine by a name that is different than the one that seems familiar. They likely worship in a space that looks, smells, sounds unusual. The place they call home is beyond imagination. Their lives are not much like our own, at least on the surface, but underneath it all, the lives we live, the pains, the loss, the joys, the sorrows, the struggle, are eerily similar in a completely different  kind of way.  Yet we belong to one another.  We are responsible for one another. They are our brothers, our sisters, our mothers, our fathers, our daughters, our sons.  They are us.  We all belong to each other.
- bshivers

How Long, O God

How long, O God.
How long.
For a time when people can worship freely
   without fear;
for a time when people can go to school
   without fear;
for a time when people can work
   without fear;
for a time when people can gather together
   without fear;
for a time when people can serve one another
   without fear;
for a time when people can drive their cars
   without fear;
for a time when people can simply live
   without fear;
we pray.
May our prayers be more than mere words.
May our prayers be evidenced
   in our commitment to one another,
   in the work of our hands,
   in the sweat of our brow,
   in the blisters on our feet,
   in our deepest love for one another -
      no matter when,
      no matter where,
      no matter what,
      no matter who.
May this be the time.
May today be the day.
Amen

We Can Change This

We can change this; all of this divisiveness; all of this vitriol; all of this spite; all of this hateful rhetoric; all of this finger pointing; all of this finger wagging.  If we really want to, we can change this. It will take decisive action. It will take tremendous effort. It will take our deepest dedication. It will take time. It will take you. It will take me.  If we really want to, we can change this. Change starts with the little things. Change starts with our commitment to one another. Change starts with seeking the best for everyone, not just for some. Change starts with listening. Change starts with love. Change starts with us. We can change this, if we really want to.
- bshivers

Words Have Meaning

Words have meaning. All words have meaning. Words have meaning not only because they have a definition, but also because they have context - a social, historical, cultural, and textual context. These contexts form and inform the way words are understood. The words we choose and the words we use are chosen and are used for a desired impact based on their definition and their contexts. There is no such thing as “just words”.  Words have meaning. Words have consequences. We must pay attention to the words.
- bshivers
life, existence  is nothing but monochromatic monotony without the diversity of these colors, these hues, these endless shades, a multiplicity of beauty beyond description filling the world, within the eyes, a medley of harmonious perfection.
- bshivers

Human Identity

Human identity is not up for dismissive political debate or political definitions designed to render others less than or completely invisible.  Our family, our friends, all of humanity, have intrinsic value as humans no matter what. All (that is a universal “all”) are created in beauty, born from divine blessing, and live lives as beloved children of God. This includes gender identity.  To all of my friends and family who are transgender, non-binary, and gender fluid, I see you. I stand with you. You will not be erased. 
- bshivers
Today, I want to remind you that you’ve got this. No matter what, you’ve got this. And you are not alone. You are never alone. There are people in your life who will always have your back. They are all around you. Lean into them. They believe in the you you are, as well as the you you are becoming. You’ve got this. 
- bshivers
It takes time    to listen to someone’s story. It takes time    to understand someone’s narrative. It takes time    to see from someone’s perspective.  It takes time    to learn about someone’s passions. It takes time    to believe in someone’s dreams. It takes time    to share in someone’s life. It takes time.
- bshivers
The divine cannot be held captive by our limited theological imaginings nor confined by our restrictive religious constructs.  The divine may be discovered through them and our sacramental journey with the divine expressed by them, but the ineffable cannot be and never will be defined by them.  - bshivers
If the gospel isn’t unconditional good news for everyone, then it isn’t good news for anyone.  And if it isn’t unconditional good news for everyone, then it is no longer about grace.  It has become about power and control.  The radical nature of the gospel is that it is no matter who, no matter what, no matter when, and no matter where. Good news, the gospel, doesn’t need self-appointed gate keepers and self-important border patrol agents.  As Nicholas of Cusa (among many others) is credited with saying,  “God is an infinite circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” - bshivers
Sometimes, no, all the time, grief sucks. It feels like void, absence, unfulfilled promise, . . . love, and that love is where the life of the one missing, missed, takes up residence and transforms our process of becoming.
- bshivers
The divine isn't found out there  somewhere  as if everything   is disconnected  awaiting intervention  from outside.  No,  the divine is found here,  right here  in our mess; in our beauty; in our frailty in our imperfect connections  with one another. This is incarnation. May we live  and work  as if it is true.
- bshivers

Pause

Pause. Breathe deeply. Listen to the rhythm of the universe. Hear it speak your name. Remember who you are. You are beautiful. You are loved. You are enough. Pause. Breathe deeply.
- bshivers
With one look
her soul spoke a universal longing.  “Is it too much  to ask of you to need me?” her eyes asked. She continued, “Not in the way in which  you couldn’t live  without me.  I’m not that insecure, most days. But need me in the manner of acknowledging  my life  has meaning, has purpose, has import in the world in which we both dwell. Is that too much to ask of you?” And our eyes  remained locked in an eternal embrace of tender acceptance of our mutual insecurities. - bshivers

Everything Needs to Change

Our Mother is telling us      everything needs to change;   she is dying at the hands       of our neglectful actions. Our communities are telling us      everything needs to change;   they are fracturing because       of our disunity. Our neighbors are telling us      everything needs to change;   they are suffering from the lack       of human connection. The Divine is telling us      everything needs to change;   God is weeping at the sound       of our hostility. - bshivers

Indigenous People’s Day

Coming from mother earth,
returning to her soil, the people of the land teach us that all  is connected; life to life, nature to nature, spirit to spirit. Their wisdom forgotten as their lives were destroyed, ancestry eliminated, homelands laid waste, and culture appropriated by those who claimed  they could somehow possess that which no one could ever own.  May we finally hear their voices, heed their wisdom, make reparations; if it is not too late for us all. - bshivers
If you haven’t been listening to their voices 
before this moment, please, stop talking and begin listening. Suspend the incessant need  to have the last word, to always be right, to preserve power and privilege. In humility, and for the love  of all that is good, take a breath, be quiet, and listen. - bshivers

Behold the Revolution

A time is coming, and perhaps is at hand, when the people  will stand up and demand  better representation, equality in all things, justice for the marginalized and forgotten, a seat at the table, and leadership positions in all three branches of government, in board rooms of companies, in pulpits and religious institutions. Dear Lord, may it be so now; may it begin with me. Behold the revolution.
- bshivers
Persons. People. No matter what descriptors are used to explain who someone is one of these two words  either follows  or precedes them. May we never forget the person, the people with whom we travel each and every day. They are people. They are persons. - bshivers

I Forget More Than I Remember

It was midmorning.
Or it was late afternoon.
Maybe it was just after lunch.
I really don't remember.

I do remember what the air smelled like.

It was springtime.
Or was it fall.
Maybe it was summer.
I really don't remember.

I do remember how frightened I was.

I was nine years old.
Or I was ten.
Maybe I was only eight.
I really don't remember.

I do remember choking back the tears and trying my best to be brave.

I was riding my bike.
Or I was walking.
Maybe I was running to my friend Jeff's house.
I really don't remember.

I do remember how humiliating it was.

There were eight guys there.
Or there were six.
Maybe there were only four.
I really don't remember.

I do remember the face and the name of the one who put the lasso around my neck and pulled it tight until it left a bright red rope burn behind.

There is so much I don't remember about that day. No matter how hard I try, I cannot access some of the details that should be so obvious. I forget way more than …