A Double Portion [excerpt]

I learned a few things while my wife was gone. Number one: I’m pitiful. I didn’t even have to do anything hard. I need to get that out of the way before real single parents are ready to throw things at me. We didn’t have any major mishaps (unless you count the kitchen sink faucet coming off in my hand), we didn’t have any illnesses, and I didn’t have to make a major trip to the grocery store. Oh, I almost forgot: I wasn’t working either. So all I can say is that true single parents are superheroes. I stand in awe of you.

But I noticed something else: I surprised myself. When my wife was still around, I was psyching myself out. Once she left, the reality that I was alone and my children were dependent on me was all I needed to get up and going. Her departure produced more energy and motivation, not less. There was something in me that I had that I didn’t know I had until I was required to use it.

As it turns out, things like spiritual gifts and “double portions” have a tendency to be latent until they are called forth by an absence or loss.

[Read the entire post at Practicing Families]


"Can't We Just Play Nice?" [Excerpt]

The ability to say “thank you” and move on indicates that one occupies a place of privilege and has other options that some may not. Others in the community, those who are more personally affected by issues of justice and fairness, have had an entirely different reaction and did not see the public officials as the victims in the way our more privileged citizens and print media did. It has made me reflect on how those who have experienced systemic oppression are the ones who more fully understand the need for justice and why it requires direct action.

To understand justice, you must understand oppression. It is especially disconcerting in our day to see how some American Christians have adopted a false narrative of oppression, whining about being persecuted when their beliefs are criticized or things don’t get their way. (Christians are persecuted in other countries, to be sure, but not here). As a result, we are blind to the real ostracization and oppression still faced by religious minorities in this country and around the world. The cause of justice, it seems, can be impeded just as handily by those who falsely believe they are victims as it can by the oppressors themselves.

[Read the full article on the Associated Baptist Press blog]