Christy’s ComicsRead More
Being a Disciple - Blog
Christy’s ComicsRead More
I grew up in the church. My mom was very active in the leadership of First Christian Church of Alvin, Tx where I grew up. That meant I was at the church many nights of the week. Maybe that’s why I’m okay with Avery literally growing up in the church. It’s all I know. If that wasn’t enough, I was very active in the area and regional youth programs. If there was an event, I was in attendance. Sounds like my life hasn’t changed much in the last 20 year. Locations have changed, but I am still at church and youth camps. In fact, I am getting ready to head to camp next week.Read More
A friend of mine just started serving as a Senior Minister at a new church. It's the first church he has served out of seminary, so he had the important task of naming his weekly newsletter article. He took to social media for help. Many suggestions were a play on his last name, most being alliterations. So, I believe I will do the same. Tom's Turn will return after the summer. In the meantime, here is Christy's Comics. Each week we will use a short comic to start a discussion. Hope you enjoy the new addition.
Tom's Turn—My Beloved SonRead More
Tom's Turn - Free Speech and Civil SpeechRead More
Tom's Turn - Mother of the Year?
The Mother of the Year? That’s what a whole lot of folks are calling her. All of us, I’m sure, have sat this past week in front of the television watching the troubles in Baltimore, Maryland. We’ve rubbed our brows, shaken our heads, maybe even cried hot tears, as we’ve watched frustration and fear, anger and hatred, but then also boldness and courage, even love and reconciliation—all of these—play out on streets that could well be our own, in a sister city, in part of our great nation.
In the wake of the funeral of yet another African American man who died in police custody young people roared out onto the streets. Peaceful protest morphed into destruction of businesses that were trying to serve the neighborhood and injury to police officers who were trying to keep things calm. Churches opened their doors, gathered children inside, seeking to re-direct so much of what had gotten misdirected. Church people then came out of the churches and into the streets to stand between haters and hated, praying with their bodies for the peace of the city.
In the middle of the ebb and flow of grief and pain, opportunism and legitimate complaint, in the swirl of
hopelessness of a generation born to the hopelessness of five or six or seven generations of neglect being poured out all around, a woman appeared. Sixty or so seconds of her life and that of her son are now played millions of times around the world. She had come to see what she could do about what was happening to her neighborhood, the only home she knows. And she had seen her son.
There was her baby, on the wrong side of the police line. His face was covered in his own shame and cowardice. Still she knew her boy. And, well, you’ve seen the video. My friend Othal Lakey, a bishop in the CME Church, told me, “Every black man in America knows exactly what that boy felt like.” She went after him.
She went after him with a ferocity only explained, I imagine, by her own frustration and grief, by decades of biting her own lip, repressing her own desires to strike out at the injustice and poverty. For she drank the same gray water her son drinks. She knew in her own heart the same emptiness of a life of meager fortune. Yet she knew this child of hers, this son she loved, was wrong to be among the looters, very wrong, extremely mistaken. There’s a difference between calling attention to an injustice and becoming part of a new injustice. Some have said she was embarrassed. I think it was that in spades! Some have said she was wrong to have beaten him. Probably so. But better momma than somebody wielding a police baton and handcuffs, a stun gun, or worse. And who among us, seeing our children in the middle of such an enormous mistake, might not have reacted with similar intensity?
The prophet Jeremiah, among the Jews captive in Babylon, lived with the same sort of emotions as that Baltimore mom and the same emotions as her son. He too was poorly treated and had no real prospects for sharing in any prosperity his home city might experience. Yet he spoke to his fellow exiles, those similarly and outrageously thesubjects of injustice. He spoke for God, “But seek the peace of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its peace you will find your peace.” [Jer. 29.7] And he was less well-received than that mom in Baltimore. Right behavior, virtue, restraint, civility, in the face of generational poverty and injustice – that’s a hard message, whether received from the mouth of a prophet of God or from the back of a mother’s hand.
Tags: Tom's Turn
How Can We Join Your Journey?Read More