Thursday, June 29, 2006


I must indulge the fact that the ebb and flow of life is more fluid than I like to believe.
I move with that current in subtle anticipation of what You will accomplish,
betting on the fact that Your dreams really are more vivid than mine.
Relax and contract and rise above,
these waves that toss me and cradle me in all the different phases of life and make it life.
Why can't the undertow prescript its movement to coincide with everyone's tide?
I mourn the loss of everything comfortable and embrace all that is before me.
I am all these things, capable and strong and beautiful,
turning to face the crests and run against them;
swimming into the unknown with bravery and surrender;
standing up to all my giants, looking them in the eye, and overcoming them.
The salt stings my wounds and I look up to the blinding sunlight,
Where I am rescued and made whole in Your grip--
Standing only on the promise that You are everything.
Waiting for the water to change and moving with and through the current,
burning through the embers of each white wave and
dancing, running through the ebb and flow of this story.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I just learned more about this fabulous organization... International Justice Mission. They are involved in a myriad of human rights advocacy, particularly human trafficking. Check them out:

Monday, June 12, 2006

Not a Victim

Today I attened a local/global dialogue on women and AIDS. The panel was sponsored by the UNAIDS council on women and addressed ways to empower women and thereby fight AIDS. Yes, AIDS and HIV affect men as well, but for women, particularly in developing nations, women are disadvanted and often have little negotiating power within their relationships and circumstances. And as one woman on the panel put it, women are not the victims, they are empowered to take center stage in the fight against this pandemic.

In the Q and A, I asked about the influence of religion, both positive and negative, on the fight againt AIDS. The panelists had nothing but discouraging things to say. The representative from Honduras noted that there are so few ministers do anything to help the AIDS crisis that it is impossible to locate them. An antrhopologist and lobbyist both stated the importance of the church in fighting AIDS and lamented that getting churches to do anything about it is extremely difficult.

The representative from Zambia spoke of her pain in losing both her husband and brother to the disease and blaming God when she herself contracted it. The reigning idea taught by Christian churches in her country is that HIV and AIDS is a judgement. She spoke to a council of Zambian church leaders wearing a t-shirt that said "HIV is not a punishment from God--John 8:11". In forming a support group that now boasts 1000 members, she has found joy in the church again but finds is hard to locate a congregation that does not stigmatize people with AIDS.

I wanted to apologize to every panelist for the lack of action on the part of the Church. I told one woman that she had my word I would talk to my ministers about how to help with the AIDs crisis. Get informed... I was ashamed at the lack of knowledge and perspective I had about AIDS after the dialogue. I'll fight.

Monday, June 05, 2006

What They Learn

On the last exam I ask as a bonus question what that student learned that was most interesting or how their perception of history changed after taking the course. Many of them reveal how they liked learning about the First Ladies, how important the vote was, random trivia, or the significance and breadth of women's role in the historical process.

This time around one student wrote something to the effect of "I always thought the U.S. only intervened in other places when it wanted to help them, but now I know they don't really do anything unless they'll get something out of it. I love my country, but it's done some horrible things."

This young man swore into the military in the course of my class. To be honest, I'd much rather be the teacher that empowers and excites students about all the good things in history and their lives. But sometimes the best lessons are the hard ones, the ugly ones, that change the way we think about the world we live in. Hopefully, those lessons spur us toward change.

If we don't know injustice and walls exist, we can't resist them.