13 Responses

  1. Rachel Murr
    Rachel Murr February 18, 2013 at 7:06 AM |

    This is a very timely and helpful post. I’ve had to ‘take a break’ in some ways, and leave the church that I love. No matter how many supportive allies I had there, being the only poster-child for gay and Christian was too much pressure. It was causing me to live with more anger than I want to live with. I’ve found a new church that is wonderful in so many ways – thought-provoking, welcoming, challenging, Biblical, etc, but it is less diverse than my former church. I’m sad that my work at my old church ended in exile.

    Thanks for the post. I need the reminder to love the oppressors.

  2. Laura M
    Laura M February 23, 2013 at 7:55 PM |

    Good stuff, Christena. I don’t know this if this is really a tip, but maybe rather a red flag: what I know of God is that he genuinely wants us to want good things for everyone around us, including those who hurt us. If I find myself in a position where I want someone to ‘be punished for what they’ve done’ or ‘be brought into the light’ (aka public humiliation) I know that something in my heart has turned in the wrong direction.

    Wanting good things for the difficult people in your life – which may sometimes mean that they are no longer allowed to continue with their destructive behavior, but in way that actualy benefits them – is hard. And if you truly examine your heart you can tell the difference between wanting them to be parented lovingly or be punished harshly.

    It is a necessary posture if you want to enjoy a life full of good things for yourself.

  3. Laura M
    Laura M February 23, 2013 at 8:05 PM |

    Wait, one more: I had a meaningful exchange with God at one point in my life where I suddenly realized that the injustice that I experience was ‘part of the plan’. You may disagree, but it was as though I finally recognized that the unfair world we live in was not some blip in time where God overlooked the creation of the unvierse, but rather that he designed it specifically the way it is, almost as a test to each creature’s capacity. And how much sweeter the reward will be in heaven when we gave up part of ourselves to do the right thing. It’s so horribly imperfect but I’ve come to think that he really meant for it to be that way. That was huge for me. It did not in any way dimish my passion for working for ‘my cause’, but instead it just felt like a weight that I had been carrying around had been lifted. I wasn’t angry anymore.

    It’s a long story that involves a boss that I did not expect sticking up for me in a meaningful way. But I realized that because doing the right thing *costs*, it means so much more. It pulled me away from an attitude of thinking “things aren’t fair yet, so clearly we’re not trying hard enough”. It pulled me away from thinking that I had to work for “results” which were always disappointing and elusive, but rather that I only had to do the tasks that God has placed in front of me. It was such a relief. It totally changed the way I played the game.

  4. SR
    SR March 1, 2013 at 3:49 PM |

    thank you.

  5. Idolizing Diversity
    Idolizing Diversity May 28, 2013 at 5:24 AM |

    [...] in unresolved pain from a previous experience with an oppressive homogenous group.  Here are some tips on working through this type of [...]

  6. Lauren Rea Preston
    Lauren Rea Preston July 15, 2013 at 8:30 AM |

    Christina, I wish you lived in St.Louis or I lived in Wisconsin (is that right? Except it’s sooooo cold…). But I have to settle for the blessing of the Internet and your blog. I am such a newbie in this work, and I can’t quite seem to figure out how to function these days. Like on the way to church, I made my husband promise me to tell me not to say anything about the trial, knowing that it would end poorly. And then someone asked me, “How are you? No, really, how are you?” And I had a moment where I thought, ” I can probably trust this person,” and I told them I was sad because of all the tweets from mourning Black folks…. And it ended poorly.

    I feel like I’m doing it all wrong, and worst, I can’t trust God because the same people that told me about God are also the people who are now vehemently denying the reality of injustices in the world. And I somehow can’t reconcile that they would actually know anything if they are so in denial. I feel like I’m bleeding and I can’t stop.

    Anyway, I love what you said about a break. I think it might be a good excercise.

    Thanks for all you do.

    Lauren

  7. Peace Tower Church
    Peace Tower Church July 16, 2013 at 10:42 AM |

    Christina, this is JUST what I was meditating on today! I work with child soldiers and women of war in Congo.. as you can imagine the stories I hear are horrific and it is so easy to pick up the offense and carry it against those who I don’t feel are doing enough, or anything in their power to stop this. In keeping this offence though, I don’t walk in love.. and the ONLY thing that can conquer the injustice and evil is to walk in His perfect love.

    Thank you for this post, and so many that you have posted. Your writing holds a mirror up to my own heart and allows me to address things in myself that holds back justice! :)

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