Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Reflection


Happy Easter Everyone. Once again, Christians around the world celebrate the return of Christ from the grave and how death could not be beaten by God’s Son.

However, I feel I must ask: Is it really death that Christ beat three days after being nailed to the cross?

I feel death unfairly gets demonized in Christianity. As if it is our real enemy in life. And that when Christ came to our world, he came to defeat death. I do not believe this is the reason Christ came to our world and I certainly do not believe death is our enemy.

Death is a part of life. An unfortunate part of life. But one that is a part of our creations. We Christians remember that fact every year on Ash Wednesday, to remember that we come from the dust and to dust, we shall return. We are fragile, finite beings, continuously changing and growing till we take our last breathes.

I understand though, why many fear death and why many view death as the enemy. I see it every week at the hospital. I’m called to every death that occurs, to see the family grieving their loss and beginning the next steps of understanding how the relationship has changed with the person in the hospital bed. The pain we feel from losing someone we love dear is unbearable.

We all know that our lives will eventually end. But death is not our enemy.

The real enemy, the one I believe Jesus really defeated on the cross…was injustice and unbearable suffering.

We must remember the reason why Jesus was killed on the cross in the first place. His death was plotted out and because of that, Jesus death can be classified as a murder. Jesus had not committed any crimes nor had he caused another person harm. He showed compassion, care, wisdom, and love to those he met in his ministry. Jesus was a good man. And yet he was killed, at the age of 33, simply because he spoke out against the injustices that were occurring in his communities.

It was injustice that killed Jesus. It was suffering that ended Jesus life. In the end, it was death that at last granted Jesus peace from the pain that he had to endure those final moments.

But as we know, Jesus does return. Three days after his murder, he returns to his disciples and shows the world that he is indeed the victor. But not the victor of death. He was the victor of injustice.

The lesson I choose to take away from Easter, the lesson that we receive from Christ’s resurrection, is that injustice does not have the final say. Discrimination does not have the final say. Unbearable suffering does not have the final say.

And for that, I do celebrate this day.

But let us be mindful in how we celebrate this victory. Because even though Jesus’ death was not in vain, how many others do we know who face injustice in our communities, in our societies?

Where else is the image of Christ, hanging on the cross, being the victim of injustice located before us?

We are all made in the image of God and if indeed Christ is God’s son, then we can assume that we are made in Christ’s image; which means…there are those in our world suffering from their own crosses, unfairly treated and being harmed simply for who they are.

And we do not need to look far to find these crosses:

How about the families on the Mexican border, being separated from each other because they are seeking a better life?

How about in Louisiana, where three African American churches were burned?

How about for our LGBTQ neighbors who constantly face discrimination and constant abuse from the federal and local governments all the time?

How about those who face homelessness and are unable to receive any support from the more economically secure?

We are more aware of the crosses that people suffer upon every day than we realize. And while we are reminded, through Jesus, that injustice and suffering does not have the final say, the choice is up to all of us in how we are going to make sure injustice does not have the final say.

Jesus didn’t just come back to give the world hope that our suffering would not be our end. He came to the disciples, to pass on all that he taught, all his lessons for hope, peace, and love so that all those who follow Christ may continue to fight the true enemy that haunts our lives.

We are all very comfortable only celebrating Easter with egg hunts, worshiping at church, and family gatherings. But let us not end the celebrations on Easter. In fact, let the celebrations continue in the days ahead. However, let us also transform our celebrations by inviting change into our communities. By standing up and with those who live on the margins. By letting those who have been silenced speak their voice. By inviting the ones in pain into our church doors and walk out with them to see the different faces of God we sometimes miss.

Jesus took down one cross and has now empowered us to take down the crosses in our lives today.

I offer this Easter reflection to you. And hope God speaks to you through the words I have written.

May God’s Ruah and Peace Always be with You.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Compare Not


There was once a man who gave up his life to follow a calling. For three years, he traveled far and wide, learning new ways of living, with himself and with others. He was a good devout man, but he made mistakes and one mistake led him to betray a man he loved. Guilt, shame, and grief consumed the man, and even though the man whom he betrayed forgave him, he questioned himself and his calling. He tried to avoid his calling by looking to those around him and compare their callings to his own. The man he betrayed told him, “What is that to YOU? Just follow me.” The man’s name was Peter, the apostle of Jesus.

I look at this narrative and I remember just how easy it is for us to make comparisons in our lives and how such comparisons do not bare such fruit. But it’s not just about comparing one’s self to another person. It goes much deeper at that.

When a comparison is made, there is often the question, “What do they have that I don’t?” The mindset of the question is to focus on our faults, our growing edges, and our struggles. Peter knew he betrayed Jesus by denying him three times after his arrest. He saw his mistakes and claimed those mistakes as his identity. But Jesus told him he was more than his mistakes. He gave Peter a purpose, a way to grow out from his past and into a brighter future.

The danger of comparisons when it comes to our identities is wide spread, even our present age.

In the work place, employees, managers, even ministers, may leave a church or organization for any number of reasons. The grief of losing someone, especially someone we have grown close to can be difficult. Yet life continues on and the position that is now empty remains. I have seen too often when a place is hiring someone new; they compare the possible new person to the person who had just left. And if the new person is not similar enough to the original person, then they might not have the chance to be a part of the organization.

While I understand that allowing someone new, especially if the new person is very different from the person you are still grieving, can be difficult to go through; allowing new people in allows our hearts to grow. It gives us an opportunity to learn from new people, to build new relationships, and to experience new perspectives from new people. This is not to say that organizations and churches must always find someone different from the previous person; however, being open to different types of people, by not comparing them to the original person, is an experience that I believe can be beneficial both on an individual and system basis.

Comparisons are also different on the intimate level too. A break up can happen and when the time to move on occurs, we can easily compare our next relationships with our previous one. There are two spectrums to comparisons here: The person is too similar to the previous person or not similar enough. Seeking similarities in new people halts opportunities for learning, because if we spend our time just looking at how the new person is similar or different from the previous person, then our time is wasted not learning the narrative of the person right in front of you.

When we seek to compare ourselves or other people, we can halt the possibility for change. Change is a scary concept to a lot of people. I too am scared of change. Change is not predictable. We have no idea how change might/will occur in our lives. And changing ourselves can take us out of the safety and comfortably of what we know and don’t know. We spend our whole lives learning and building ourselves up to what we do know. So to be scared of changing is natural and completely okay. But fear should never keep us from allowing ourselves to grow.

And truth be told, we are creatures of change. Our whole lives is built upon change. Our bodies change all the time, from the moment we are born to the last breath we take. Our minds change as we grow in wisdom and knowledge. Even our Spirits change as we can become fuller and more conscious with the Ones that live within us.

Change is inevitable. I am reminded of a metaphor that was taught to me to understand Taoism. Our lives are like a river and sometimes the river is nice and slow while other times the river is fast and deep. To fight against the river is to cause anguish and pain. To become one with the river, with the constant changes that can occur within, grants us peace.

I believe a good step to achieving peace is to let go of our need to make comparisons with others.

I know I spend way too much of my time comparing myself to other people and it makes me wonder how I can become better; as if becoming like another person will make myself better in other people’s lives. When in reality, most people simply want me.

I believe the same is true for you too. Good decent people will want you for yourself. And being oneself, even with our growing edges, with our past mistakes, with our struggles, is still a blessing.

May we all begin to embrace that blessing as we continue to grow in our lives.

Peace,

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Tough


In late 2014, the day after Thanksgiving, my grandmother died. She was in a hospice nursing home when my Dad, youngest cousin, and I went to see her that morning. We quickly realized something was not right. The nurses came in and shared that she was gone. Everyone was devastated. My Aunt and my sister later came to the room where we all grieved. I was sitting in a corner, crying into my hands, when my Dad laid my hands on my shoulder and said, “Not here. You need to be strong for your Aunt and sister now”.

Have you ever had an experience similar to mine? When you are hurt, or sad, or grieving, or angry….and you’re told not to feel anything right now because you need to be “tough”?

I’ve seen this countless time in my young life. Men, who shared that it’s not appropriate to cry because they need to take care of others. Women, who shared that some people will make comments like, “oh, women are too emotional and need to tone it down…”

I find both of these cases to be a great insult upon the nature of the human being. Our emotions are not a hindrance to our lives, but a blessing.

Without emotions, how would we know when things matter? How would we understand what gives things in our lives or even life in general meaning?

How would we know if something is an act of injustice or not without our anger?

How would we know if we truly love someone if we are not able to cry at their loss?

Emotions are what give us life. And I believe they are an integral part of our identity, the same identity that was formed in our creation.

And yet, somehow, our cultures, our societies, have taught the human race that to be a man, you must be tough, you can’t show emotions. To be a woman, you can show emotion but just don’t be over-dramatic with yourself.

These lessons, that even I have been taught implicit and explicitly, have damaged our way of living and I argue have caused so many communities and individuals a great source of unspoken pain.

For this reason, every time I enter a patient’s room or I speak with a grieving or angry individual or family, I always remind them, “everything you are feeling right now, it is okay.”

Even at times, it’s a reminder I have to give myself. These lessons of being pseudo tough don’t die easily. The best reminder for myself is to remember when Jesus lost his friend, Lazarus, and saw all the people crying, he too took a moment to cry, to weep.

And it’s not just that the son of God was allowed to release emotions and so can we. It’s also a subtle reminder of what it means to be human and to have deep personal connections with others. To feel for them is to be connected with them. And when we try to block up our emotions, as if they do not matter, they can become ingrained into our identity to the point that it can be very difficult to make any more deep emotional connections with anyone again.

We are called to be in relationship with each other. We are called to in community with each other. And as much as even I admit that emotions can be messy, they can be chaotic and yes, emotions are even painful…they still allow me, allow us, to connect with other people as God intended for us to be in.

If you are a man, who has been taught to be “tough” and not show emotions; my hope is for you that you can allow yourself grace, to cry and to grieve as you need to express the pain and loss you are going through.

If you are a woman, who has been told you are being, “too much” with your emotional expressions; my hope is for you that you remember that no matter how you are expressing those emotions, you are okay.

And may we all be reminded that true toughness is when we are so in touch with our emotions that we do not hide from them, we do not put them away, but we embrace them as they are a part of who we are.

Much love, peace, and grace be upon you,  

Monday, December 31, 2018

Transitional Year- 2018 Review


When the year, 2018, began, the first thing I did was take a class called “Transitions in Ministry and Life”. It was a class designed to help those graduating from seminary better understand how ministry is full of transitions and how transitions can be very disruptive to our lives if we don’t know how to make sense of them. It could not be a more fitting class to begin the year as I would soon find myself in a very transitional year.

When I say, “Transitional year”, I mean that your entire life narrative or a major part of it concludes and is now preparing for the next chapter in your life story.

Transitions are the in between times from one part of your narrative to the next part of your narrative. And while that seems simple, transitions are anything but simple. They are very complicated and honestly very messy at times. They can be confusing, especially when you have no idea what the next chapter is going to be. They can be frustrating as you have to wait until the transition is over, when sometimes you don’t know when it’s going to be over. And it can seem isolating, especially if the transition includes a physical change from a place you have known to a new place where you know no one.

For me, the transition was more than just the conclusion of a section of my life. It was also the end of a purpose that drove much of my actions for a good chunk of my life. I had the goal since graduating high school to get my education: first my Bachelors and then my Masters. Then I had the goal of becoming an ordained minister. Both goals were met this year, with great celebration! However, I was not prepared with a new life goal to drive me forward, which made the rest of the transitional year very confusing, frustrating, and isolating.

Have you ever gone through a transitional year or perhaps just moments in your life that felt like a huge transition? It can be very demanding on our spirits, at least that’s been my experience with transitions thus far. And I honestly believe that if I had a better spiritual life, the impact of the transitional year might not have hit me as bad.

The hard, cold fact is that transitions are a factor of life. We can’t avoid them and honestly, we probably shouldn’t avoid them. Transitions can be a Divine blessing or whirlwind of chaos in our lives. It all comes down to how we stabilize ourselves within the transitions, be it through our spiritual disciplines or through the relationships we commit to or faith/trust we bring ourselves during times of doubt and confusion.

I can’t say I have the true final answer to how we handle our transitions, because every transition is different, just as every person’s life and story is different.

But I do want to offer you this message of hope: If you are in a transitional period in your life and you are unsure of yourself or if things will ever get better or if you will ever find your way…You will.

I believe you are going to be okay. It may take a while and sometimes many life lessons must be learned before you find yourself out of the confusing transitions in life, but I have hope that you will make it through and find new growth on the other side.

It’s a message I must remind myself all the time as well and I believe am going to have to keep reminding myself as I begin to enter a new year, full of possibly more transitions and more challenges in my life.

The year of 2018 has brought on many new events, challenges, and blessings.

I took my last semester at Brite Divinity School, taking classes such as Transitions in Life and Ministry; Angels and Demons; Foundations of Preaching; Pastoral care with Grief and Loss; and Supervised ministry. The transitions class continues in the form of three day retreats throughout the year and so far, I have gotten to participate in two retreats in 2018.

I continued my work as ministry intern at Ridglea Christian Church, where I provided ministry to the youth and adults every week. I would then conclude my ministry with the church in May and expressing my unending thanks for the many blessings and teachings the church had brought to me over the last two years.

In May, I graduated from Brite Divinity with my Masters in Divinity as well as received my certificate for Pastoral Care studies.

At the beginning of May, I sat in on my final Commission on Ministry meeting where in the end they approved me for ordination. On June 23, my church families of Wake Forest Christian Church, St. Paul’s Christian Church, the Region of North Carolina, and even some representatives from Ridglea Christian Church all gathered together in Raleigh to bestow upon me the office of ordained ministry and blessed me with the task to minister to all of God’s children through peace, mercy, compassion, and love.

Before my ordination, I had the sweet joy of traveling to Pennsylvania and witnessing my youngest cousin, the one whom I remember seeing two days after her birth on my 7th birthday, graduate high school.

After my ordination, I began my act of ordained ministry by having the honor of directing CYF conference at Christmount, having the pleasure of working beside some of the greatest counselors out there and being blessed to have Renae Brame be our week keynoter.

Both before and after CYF, I spent my entire summer working at Christmount, serving with the kitchen staff as well as the front office staff, assisting with the summer programs until August. During the summer months, I also had the honor of preaching at various congregations including: FCC Black Mountain, FCC Fayetteville, and Wake Forest Christian Church.

When the summer ended, I journeyed back to Texas and began my first ministry placement which was at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, working as a Chaplain Resident. This experience has allowed me to expand my pastoral care skills but has given me insight and wisdom of who I am as a minister and where God is leading me moving forward.

I have also been blessed by having the opportunity to preach around the Texas region including at: FCC Cleburne, FCC Richland Springs; FCC Woodson; and Ridglea Christian Church. A sad honor I also participated in was the memorial service of Don Wisdrofer, a retired minister I knew at Ridglea, who parted with me his own stoles and much of his wisdom from his ministry before he passed away.

All these events, both the wonderful and not so wonderful, I cherish in my heart because they continue to grow my life forward and hopefully help me to be a better person every day.

So as we get ready for a new year, a new chapter for all of us, may we not be afraid of the transitions that we have either gone through, are going through, or will go through, but have the hope that we will make it through them and become better on the other side and in the end.

Peace be upon you and may you always love the Ruah that lives within you. Blessed be.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Finding Holy Ground


“Moses was keeping flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the YHWH appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the YHWH saw that YHYH had turned aside to see, YHWH called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am”. Then YHWH said, “come no closer. Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”- Exodus 3:1-5

Have you ever stood upon “holy ground” before? What even makes the ground on which you stand holy?

Holy is often a word we use to describe something that has been touched by the Divine or is in relation with the Divine or is literally the Divine.

In this scene with Moses and the burning bush, YHWH speaks to Moses out of the burning bush and reveals to Moses that the land on which they are standing is holy ground. I believed that the ground they stood on was holy simply because of the fact that a bush was burning without being consumed. But burning bush has nothing to do with the ground being holy. The ground is holy because God is present within the bush and the ground surrounding the bush. It’s holy ground because God is there.

So in order to answer the original question, “Have you stood upon ‘holy ground’? you must ask “where have I felt God before?”

I do believe that there are many places in the world where God’s presence is more notable. For example, church camp is a common place where God’s presence is deeply known. Some people might claim church to be a place they experience God. And many others might experience God outside of church. And that’s okay!

However, I wonder is there any place that God’s presence cannot reside? Thus, is there any place that is not holy?

Honestly, I don’t believe so. God’s presence cannot be taken away from anyplace, which means, everywhere we go or walk into has the potential to become holy ground.

So why then did the ground suddenly become holy for Moses? I think it’s a common interpretation to believe that the ground suddenly became holy. But maybe. Maybe Moses now became aware of God’s presence in the land and thus, that awareness is what made the ground holy. Moses recognized God in the moment and was about to step into holy ground.

But before he could step upon the ground, he was asked to remove the sandals from his feet. Literally, this command did not make much sense to me. What was so wrong with Moses wearing his sandals when speaking to God?
However, let’s look at the sandals figuratively for a moment and ask what is really keeping Moses from being present with the Divine on this holy ground?

The scene that follows is YHWH calling Moses to travel to Egypt and free the Hebrews from captivity and lead them to more holy grounds. But Moses refuses several times, stating he is not worthy to do this, he doesn’t have the ability or the skill. When I see Moses struggle to take on this task presented to him by God, I then see the real “sandals” for which God asks Moses to remove from himself so that he may truly be on holy ground.

So now let me ask you, what is keeping you from stepping into holy ground, to be present with the divine that calls us every day to love and serve each other?

I am fully aware of one of many sandals that keep me from being present with God on holy ground: my anxiety.

There are many moments of my life when my anxiety took a hold of my being and kept me from interacting with others in my life. And while I can say that I have gotten better at controlling my anxiety, there are still moments that I must be aware of the anxiety that lives within me.

I currently work in a hospital as a Chaplain resident. My calling is to step into room after room and be present with those who are suffering from illness, grief, and suffering. The task is anxiety producing on many levels. And I recognize the presence of that anxiety. I recognize those sandals on my feet for I know that every room I enter is holy ground.

But I’m sure you might be wondering, if the patient’s rooms are holy ground, then where is God? How can the ground be holy if God is not there?

You see, God is there. In the patient laying in their bed. In the family and friends gathered to visit their loved one. In the nurses and medical staff tending to the person’s healing.

God’s presence is everywhere that was touched by creation, that is touched by the Spirit that is living and breathing in all things. Thus, every time I meet a new person, no matter who they are, I am also in the presence of God. And that…that is what makes the ground holy.

It’s not always easy to be walking on holy ground. Walking barefoot, removing the ‘sandals’ that keep us safe, keep us comfortable, can lead us to pain and discomfort. Removing our ‘sandals’ leaves us vulnerable to the growth and change that God invites us to. To see the imago dei in another person, to see them as a child of God, and to witness another person’s pain and troubles- That’s so hard!

But I believe we can do it. I believe we are capable of looking down at ourselves; reflecting what ‘sandals’ are keeping us from walking on the holy ground before us, the holy ground that God is calling us to everyday.

I believe God is calling us all to be present with God and thus be present with others through love and with love.

As you walk in your journey, may you recognize the presence of God in your life and recognize God calling you to take a step into holy ground. And when you begin to see the holy grounds all around you, may you be brave and remove your ‘sandals’ from your feet, to be present with the Divine Creator and all that has been created along with you.

Walk with Peace, 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Church Roadie


There have been many things that I have done so far in my short twenty-five years of life and many people who know me today would believe the adventures I have had. Except there is one thing that people do tend to be surprised. I used to be a roadie in a band.

Now mind you, it wasn’t a famous band and I didn’t go on cross country tours, but it was a real band and I travelled with them to different shows and learned how to set up and take down musical equipment and sell merchandise on occasion.

The band was the Graffiti Monkeys and it consisted of four of my good friends from my home church, Wake Forest Christian. For almost two years, I went with them to different shows and helped out anyway I could, and they always included me in the events and after show celebrations. Those were some of the best moments of my life.

However, it has taken me almost eight years to understand why being a roadie for the Graffiti Monkeys was so important in my life.

You see, I wasn’t just a random member of the group. I was someone who was welcomed and then wanted along in their journey.

Everyone wants to be welcomed, but I’m not sure we talk enough about how much people just desire to be wanted by others. It’s nice to feel welcomed but being wanted is the next step in feeling included. You can be welcomed once into a group or even many times but can still never really feel included. When you are wanted, that’s not just recognition but confirmation that the group does truly welcome you and wants you to be a part with them.

I wasn’t just a fan of the Graffiti Monkeys who was welcomed to their shows. I was a roadie who was wanted to help and celebrate before, during, and after shows.

I personally find this to be such a huge problem in many of our churches. I hear so many times from different people that the church as a whole is dying, and people keep trying to figure out a way to fix this problem.

I can’t say I know how to solve the whole problem, but I can say at least that we as the church should work on making people feel wanted when they step through our doors. This includes new people and people who have been at the church since the start. All people need to feel wanted and this means all people of different backgrounds, identities, and expressions.

There is this underlying assumption that if a person is made to feel welcomed once, then they will stick around. It’s why I believe you have church signs constantly say, “You are welcome”. But never have I seen a church sign say, “You are wanted”.

We can’t live under the “Welcome Once” assumption anymore. Instead, we need to extend our welcome into “Wanted Always”.

But how do we make people feel wanted?

Well, I would say that you do what the Graffiti Monkeys unintentionally did for me:

They invited me to all their shows.

They asked for help on certain tasks.

They invited me to celebrate either before or after concerts.

They made me feel like an important and valued member of the group, even though I was not a musician or played with them on the stage.

My lack of musical talents was not what was important. What was important is that they allowed me to use what gifts and talents I do have to be a part of the group.

There is not a limit to the gifts that can be helpful in the church. Everyone has a part to play and everyone can help serve and love our neighbors.

Ministry and life has not quota on skills and talents. There are no limitations in how people can be included into the church or any group for that matter.

So may we begin to treat people in the church like roadies: invited to help out in the service of others, feeling included in the fellowships and celebrations that occur, and embraced with the skills and gifts they were given by God.

May all people be made to feel welcomed and wanted in any group they desire to be a part of.

Peace,

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Tears are Sacred


A little over a week ago, I was ordained as a minister into the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The service was lovely and I was blessed by everyone who physically and spiritually attended. Once the service was over, a person came up to me and shared that she was sorry that she was crying.

This moment has stayed with me since then because I keep thinking, “Why must we be sorry for our tears?”

I understood though why she apologized for her tears. Many times, tears are seen as a burden on other people.

Both men and women are taught that tears are only appropriate during exceptional moments (such as when a person has died or at a funeral). Outside of these moments, tears seem to only place a burden on others.

For example, if I cry, then someone must come and take care of me. Or my tears might mean I am just seeking attention. These are assumptions and they only serve to shut up someone’s tears. The reality is that our tears are the bodies response to the pain and sorrow that needs to be released and heard.

When a person feels they cannot share their tears, it can be hurtful and even dangerous. It can transfer into solitude, self-harm, anger, and even abuse.

I tend to hide my tears from the majority of people in my life. As a man, I was taught that crying was not a “manly” activity to do. Or another example is that my tears represent weakness and as a man, I must be strong and supportive toward others and anything I process must be done in private.

These implicit teachings have now made it difficult for myself to cry in front of others. I feel I must apologize for my tears if I do manage to cry in front of others. Like somehow, my tears are hurting another human being and I must apologize for crying.

No matter what reason we may have concerning the nature of hiding our tears, I want to remind you all that tears are okay.

The understanding that tears can harm another person is completely false. Tears are not harmful agents. Tears are healing agents. They are the beginning step for releasing of our emotions. They are the reminders that our emotions cannot be bottled up if we expect to heal from our sorrow and pain.

There are many people who look at human emotions as messy, chaotic features of the human experience. And I agree. Emotions are messy, and they can be chaotic in people’s lives. But that doesn’t make emotions any less sacred, if not more sacred for their chaotic natures.

The Divine of my understanding is a being of creation. In our creation, people are made with human emotions. Thus, human emotions are not just okay, but are sacred.

The same is true with our tears. Our tears are sacred because they come from the authentic parts of our soul and were given from the Divine that seeks for us to be comforted and healed through out pain and sorrow.

To hide our tears is to hide who we are. And no one deserves to hide the wonderful, beautiful person that you were created to be.

If you have been taught that you shouldn’t cry in front of others or that tears are harmful toward other people, I am so sorry you experienced those teachings. Because I believe that is not what the Divine of Love and comfort had in mind when the Divine created you and me.

Tears are okay. It is good to cry in front of people and not hide them. I look at the power of public laments and witness the crowds crying together and I see not one person apologizing for their tears. When we come together to share the emotions on our hearts, we embrace our humanity and that is sacred.

So as I finish this blog post, I personally take on the challenge to not apologize for my tears to anyone I cry with or in front of. Instead of saying, “I’m sorry for my tears”, I now want to say, “Thank you for witnessing my tears and allowing me to be me in front of you”.

My tears are sacred. Your tears are sacred. Our tears are sacred.

May we remember this truth and may we walk in love with our Ruahs.

Peace,