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Archive for October, 2008

I’ve been wanting to write about Anarchy for a while.  And it’s striking me as ironic that it’s coming up the week before the presidential election, in which I am planning to vote.  The irony is in the fact that most anarchists choose not to vote.  In fact, several of my close friends, including my own husband, are choosing not to vote at all, or to only vote on local issues.

Before I get into all that voting stuff, though, I want to talk a little bit about what anarchism means to me.  My first introduction to the concept was fear-based, with the notion that anarchy meant bedlam, chaos, and a general “every human for themselves” mentality.   So when I was living in New Orleans and I met my first anarchist friends, and they were also pacifists and vegetarians and artists and activists, I had to give anarchy a second look.  And I liked what I found.

To me, anarchism is the only political philosophy that consistently makes sense.  It presumes that personal responsibility and accountability are at the top of the list when it comes to making decisions affecting the whole.  It does not completely oppose authority, as long as the members of a group were not coerced into participation in a particular process.  It does oppose “top down” government, which means that if the members of a true anarchist society do not get together and figure out what they want to do and how to work together to make it happen, then things just might not happen, or they might happen in chaos and disorder unless the group figures out how to work together for the common good.

The best example of a well-functioning anarchic group that I know of is Alcoholics Anonymous.  This may surprise some of you, but the structure of AA is such that it has no government.  To quote the second tradition of AA, “For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as he may express himself in our group conscience.  Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.”  Each group, and even each member, has full autonomy to practice the principles of the program as they see fit.  There are many regional committees and an international advisory board, but these “trusted servants” never tell the smaller groups what they should do.  They only share past experience, and they seek to be of maximum service wherever possible.  This plays out from the World Service level, all the way down to the practice of one alcoholic working with another.  The individuals in the program either accept responsibility for their actions and hold themselves accountable, which leads to recovery and harmony, or they choose not to do these things which leads to chaos and eventually can lead to relapse.

Now, part of why AA can function as such a large anarchist organization (as of January 2007 membership was estimated at nearly 2 million) is that it has one focus, and it does not stray from that focus.  I don’t know if anarchy could actually work for a large country like the U.S. because there are too many different agendas happening among too many groups of people.  But it certainly works as a philosophy for me, and I believe that if enough individuals held each other accountable to their deeply-held spiritual beliefs, anarchism would have a chance of catching on in a big way.

One of my favorite accounts of a famous anarchist is from well-known storyteller Utah Phillips about an early member of the Catholic worker movement named Ammon Hennacy.  Ammon was the organizer of the Joe Hill house of hospitality, which is where he and Utah met.  To read about Ammon’s practice of his “Christian anarchist pacifist” views, click here.

I’m going to quote part of Utah’s story here, and to read the full version as well as many of his other tales you can click here.  This story is also featured on a wonderful collaborative album Utah did with Ani DiFranco titled “The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere.”

Ammon Hennacy was a Catholic anarchist, pacifist, draft-dodger of two World
Wars, tax refuser, vegetarian, one-man revolution in America - I think that
about covers it.

First thing he said, after he got to know me, he said: "You know you love the
country.  You love it.  You come in and out of town on those trains singin'
songs about different places and beautiful people.  You know you love the
country; you just can't stand the government.  Get it straight."  He quoted
Mark Twain to me: "Loyalty to the country always; loyalty to the government
when it deserves it."  It was an essential distinction I had been neglecting.

And then he had to reach out and grapple with the violence, but he did that
with all the people around him.  These second World War vets, you know, on
medical disabilities and all drunked up; the house was filled with violence,
which Ammon, as a pacifist, dealt with - every moment, every day of his life.
He said, "You got to be a pacifist."  I said, "Why?"  He said, "It'll save your
life."  And my behavior was very violent then.

I said, "What is it?"  And he said, "Well I can't give you a book by Gandhi -
you wouldn't understand it.  I can't give you a list of rules that if you sign
it you're a pacifist."  He said, "You look at it like booze.  You know,
alcoholism will kill somebody, until they finally get the courage to sit in a
circle of people like that and put their hand up in the air and say, 'Hi, my
name's Utah, I'm an alcoholic.'  And then you can begin to deal with the
behavior, you see, and have the people define it for you whose lives you've
destroyed."

He said, "It's the same with violence.  You know, an alcoholic, they can be dry
for twenty years; they're never gonna sit in that circle and put their hand up
and say, 'Well, I'm not alcoholic anymore' - no, they're still gonna put their
hand up and say, 'Hi, my name's Utah, I'm an alcoholic.'  It's the same with
violence.  You gotta be able to put your hand in the air and acknowledge your
capacity for violence, and then deal with the behavior, and have the people
whose lives you messed with define that behavior for you, you see.  And it's
not gonna go away - you're gonna be dealing with it every moment in every
situation for the rest of your life."

I said, "Okay, I'll try that," and Ammon said "It's not enough!"

I said: "Oh."

He said, "You were born a white man in mid-twentieth century industrial
America.  You came into the world armed to the teeth with an arsenal of
weapons.  The weapons of privilege, racial privilege, sexual privilege,
economic privilege.  You wanna be a pacifist, it's not just giving up guns and
knives and clubs and fists and angry words, but giving up the weapons of
privilege, and going into the world completely disarmed.  Try that."

Completely disarmed…this is the way I try to practice anarchism.  I’m not saying this makes my life easy.  In fact, it usually makes things more challenging because it eliminates my emergency exits and sometimes I just have to sit inside while a fire is blazing away.  Which means sometimes I get burned pretty badly.  But I also believe in a loving God who heals all wounds and will help me bear all burdens.  I believe that walking through the fire of experience always works towards healing me, towards a closer walk with God.

So, as an anarchist, I will be revolutionary and vote in next Tuesday’s election with my eyes wide open.  I will not place my trust, or my faith, or my hope in the hands of the next president elect.  Those are reserved for God alone.  And ultimately it will not be the United States, or McCain or Obama who saves the world…that honor is reserved for Jesus, and rather than “hail to the commander in cheif,” my cry of allegiance first will be “Long live the Slaughtered Lamb.”

(To give credit where credit is due: That last phrase comes from the book Jesus For President, which changed my view on the role of government in the lives of Christians.  You can click on the title to learn more.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who is ready to have their views on religion and politics turned upside down.)

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Funny that my last post was about my own moral dilemma surrounding the issue of stealing.  The night after my post, some people decided to take a few things from folks at Koinonia.  We have had ongoing issues with theft since the old days, and this time of year is prime season as we prepare for the pecan harvest and stock up on the bakery products that we sell.

Last Monday, my friend Jerry’s camera was stolen right off the corner of his desk, and in the morning we discovered that an expensive jack belonging to Brendan was missing from the shop area, as well as the battery out of the pecan sweeper (a piece of pecan-harvesting equipment).  Also a few containers of brake fluid and the stereo out of one of the farm pickups.  It made me clench my jaw and sigh and frown.  It made me want to shake the few people we suspected as the culprits, even though we had no proof.

Petty theft is so frustrating, and as usual we expended huge amounts of energy on the subject.  We talked about it in the office, at the lunch tables, in the evenings, in our sleep.  We wrote about it, had morning chapel and lunch time devotions centered on it, and eventually held a couple of special meetings to discuss an age-old question that Koinonians have struggled with since 1942:  What is the Christian response when somebody violates your sense of security?

I volunteered to facilitate the two community meetings on the subject.  The first one was great, and we seemed to be on the right track as of Wednesday evening.  Koinonia has long-standing relationships with our neighbors, and many of our present-day interactions with the folks up the road from us are not as positive as we would like them to be.  In fact, the theft was most likely committed by someone we know.  So we all agreed that more needs to happen in terms of intentionally building better relationships with our neighbors.  That part was almost a no-brainer, and though we did not all agree on the specific method of strengthening our neighborly bonds, we unanimously agreed that we need to be more proactive in forming relationships with those who live nearest to us.

The more difficult issue centered around whether or not to call police when thefts occur.  On this point we were evenly divided, I mean literally in half, and the only way to be in the center was to levitate over an invisible canyon, because there was no middle ground.

Attempting consensus in a diverse group of people is kind of like taking a bunch of unlabeled magnets and trying to stack them together neatly.  When the poles align correctly, the magnetic forces do the work for you.  But when the poles are out of whack, there is nothing you can do to make those magnets stick together, and they actually repel each other despite your best efforts to get them to behave properly.

As the facilitator of this discussion, I was to be the neutral one, the one who reflected back the things I heard and guided the “magnetic fields” into proper alignment if at all possible.  Anyone who knows me knows that I love to talk, so it was exceedingly difficult to keep my mouth shut and just listen, especially to listen to the folks whose opinions differed the most from mine.  But listen I did, and at the end of our second hour-long meeting, we seemed more divided than ever on the police issue.  Everything was murky and garbled, and we were repeating the same old cliches and competing for the scripture verses that would justify our points of view.  Some people viewed the police as enemies, while others saw the theives as the bigger threat.  Not knowing where to go, we wound up deciding that everyone should write down their thoughts and that I would compile the ideas before the next community meeting into some sort of collective recommendation that would propel us out of the dark waters of disagreement.

It was 10:00 the night before the 7:00am community meeting when I sat down to write.  I read the responses, and got more frustrated than ever.  What to do when the divide seems to be widening even as we try to cross it?  What happens when it is obvious that no consensus will be reached?  It had become clear that we needed a new focus.  I called Bren to ask for some guidance, and after she and I had some rather dramatic words about the situation, she reminded me of a philosophy that she and I began talking about a little over a year ago.  “No Enemies,” she said.

It’s just that simple.  If we make an enemy out of the person who steals from us, we are not following the teachings of Jesus.  And if we make an enemy out of someone who works in law enforcement, we are not following the Gospel truth.  “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.”  That means I have to love both people who steal from me and macho-cops.  We are even supposed to love murderers and liars, “pagans and tax collectors.”  And it’s been my experience that when I extend love to someone, it is impossible to continue to see that person as my enemy.

But the real kicker is that, in addition to loving our enemies, we are also called in the Gospel to stand up for the principles we believe in, and to hold folks accountable when they wrong us.  According to my reading of the Bible, accountability does not  mean punishing the offending parties.  It is specifically laid out in Matthew 18:15-17.  If someone sins against us, we are too go to that person directly, and if that doesn’t work go with one or two others, and if that still doesn’t work go before the whole church and ask the person to accept responsibility for their actions.  But what if no change occurs then?  In the Bible it says to ask the person to leave the church, but if there is a change of heart we are to be like the father of the prodigal son and welcome our friend back with open arms.

So how does all this relate to calling the cops?  Here are the last two items on a list of recommendations to the community that I wrote late last night:

6. Because we are not in consensus on the issue of police involvement (in fact our opinions are evenly split with a few abstentions), we will have to decide this factor on a case-by-case basis. There are many instances that probably would not warrant police involvement (such as the disappearance of small items that were not secured overnight). However, we need to be open to the fact that some situations may require asking government authorities for help (such as the worst-case scenario of a kidnapping of one of our community children). This is not to suggest that we have constant meetings about it. It is simply a call to recognize that involving the authorities is not to be taken lightly, nor should it be excluded altogether.

7. Always remember that God is our ultimate authority and refuge, and that above all we place our trust in him.

I’m happy to say that I’ve now learned what to do when a group is unable to reach consensus.  We just have to agree to disagree, accept each other as the messy human beings we are, and continue to strive to see God’s light within ourselves and each other.  To many people here this experience was mildly annoying, or just another meeting, just another distraction.  But to me, this sort of thing is the reason I am here.  When we come together to share our differences, we are stretched beyond our perceptions and limitations, and it gets uncomfortable sometimes.  But ultimately we make more room for each other, and we come to realize that we are all in this together.

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Six years ago, I had the privilege of visiting some good friends of mine in Portland, Oregon.  I say it was a privilege, because the trip literally changed the course of my life, though I did not know that was what had happened at the time.

I was living in New Orleans, and in a fair amount of turmoil about what I should be doing or where I should be heading next. (I wrote about my time in New Orleans already, so I won’t go into great detail now.  Click here to read the New Orleans post if you want to know more background.)  Before I went on my trip, I was sitting in a friend’s kitchen with a woman named Ammi who I very much admired, and was slightly afraid of.  She had just published a zine, a mini-memoir really, and it was so inspiring  to me to read her writing, and I wanted so much to be like her.  And out of the blue, while we were munching on some of the dumpstered  Panera bread that had been sustaining whole legions of New Orleans punks that week, Ammi asked me, “So, Sarah, what are your goals?”

“Gmmpf (swallowing my toast)?  Uh, goals?  Hmm, um, good question.”  I managed to stammer, and I feebly shrugged and quickly changed the subject.  It had never occurred to me that I should have goals.  Looking back, I realize now that I had been living my entire life mostly by reaction up to that point.  I mean, I had some hopes and dreams for myself along the way.  I applied for things, tried out, got hired, got cut, quit, and tried something new.  But I guess I had never realized I was significant enough to be allowed to have goals, and then go out and achieve them, and maybe even get some recognition for it along the way.  I guess I thought I was invisible, that people wouldn’t remember me, or that I wasn’t worth knowing.  Or I felt like I had to do the things that other people expected me to do, never thinking about what I really wanted.  Whatever I thought back then, I can tell you that to this day, every time I feel lost or confused about the direction my life is taking, Ammi’s simple question comes back to me and I remember that I am worth all the effort.

Anyways, a week or so after the afternoon when Ammi asked about my goals, I boarded an airplane bound for Portland, and I was only half kidding when I told some of my friends in New Orleans that I might not be back.  I was so weary of the intense uncertainty of my life there, and I needed a change.  Portland was the perfect destination.  It was the end of June, and the weather was cool (in contrast to weeks of unending heat), the people walked around smiling (in contrast to desperation that so many faces wore in New Orleans), and I was with good friends who knew me before I moved to New Orleans, who knew me before so much of my idealism had been stripped away by hard times in the Crescent City.

I was visiting my friend Genoa, who had been a teammate of mine in AmeriCorps*NCCC the previous year, and my friend Marty, who was a neighbor and great friend during college and also happens to be a pretty brilliant artist.  (You can link to his site here.)  The first night in Portland, Genoa and I drank too much wine with Marty on the rooftop of his apartment building, which had a view of all the mountains surrounding Portland.  We told stories and admired Marty’s paintings, shouted and laughed hysterically and danced on the rooftop, and then went out to a bar and drank more and danced our asses off to an amazing band.  That night set the tone for the week: hang out, laugh, tell stories, make art, drink, party, and to quote a Modest Mouse song: “dance, dance, dance and go crazy.”  It was an ecstatic time for me.  I felt so alive and free, but there was a lingering undertone of that New Orleans desperation, and I think the fear that I might actually lose my mind was the only thing keeping me from losing it.

I met so many artists that week, and proudly told stories about all the crazy New Orleans people I had met.  But when I began to explain some of my new-found values to Marty and Genoa, they grew concerned.  I was at the time, and still consider myself to be, an anarchist.  But back then I did not understand what the word anarchist really meant.  I thought it meant I was “entitled” to do what I deemed right.  (Now, to me, It means I have to be even more accountable than the average citizen…but more about that some other time.)  My logic went something like this:

“If: rich people are too rich and poor people are too poor, Then: corporations get rich by “stealing” from poor people, Therefore: stealing back from corporations is right because they steal from the poor, and from me.”

I had actually decided that I was ready to start shoplifting and stealing.  (I had never stolen anything in my life.)  Actually thought that I had the right to decide who had too much, and then liberate them from their excess.

Lucky for me, I was visiting some people who had a little bit of sense left.  I explained my line of reasoning to Marty and Genoa.  Both of them half-laughed, then realized I was serious, and said, “But Sarah, stealing is still wrong.”  They had a point.  As Ghandi said, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”  Being with my dear friends for that week saved me from unspeakable lows, from a potential life of crime and imprisonment, from what my favorite Big Blue Book calls “incomprehensible demoralization.”  I have no idea where my line of reasoning might have taken me, but I’m so grateful I never had to get to the end of that line to learn this particular lesson.

Neither Marty or Genoa are aware of the impact that my visit with them had on the direction my life was about to take.  I went back to New Orleans with fresh eyes, with a renewed sense of who I was and where I came from.  They had reminded me that I did not have to simply react to things like a lemming, that I did not have to go along with my current crowd just to fit in.  My time with them reminded me that I get to make choices about where I go, who I am with, and what I am going to do when I get there.

Within a few days of my return to New Orleans, I experienced the moment of clarity that I talked about in that other blog post. Within three weeks I had packed all my things into a little U-haul and moved back to Ohio, to seek a new direction, to reconcile with myself.  This post goes out to my two friends: Thanks, Marty and Genoa, for being true to yourselves, and for sharing that truth with me.  Don’t know where I would be without you.

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Do Not Worry

Tonight I had an enormously huge revelation.  I was tangled up in my own head all evening with all of my problems (or at least the things I perceive as problems).  But let me give a little background before I delve into my day, and the aforementioned revelation.

Last weekend Brendan and I were both very sick.  Throwing-up, can’t get out of bed sick.  We had both stayed up all night one too many times that week trying to get our work done, so we were exhausted to boot.  He got sick Thursday night, and Friday afternoon I went to bed at 3:00 and couldn’t get out of bed until 3:00 the following afternoon.  Brendan floated in and out of wellness, and after a couple of days of getting around, by Sunday night he was back in bed.  I was doing fine by then, and have since been well.  He, on the other hand, has had recurring bouts of this sickness for nearly a week now.

Today Brendan seemed to be in the clear, and he and I had some good conversations and seemed to be back on track with each other.  Overall though, for me, today was a very busy day filled with unmet obligations and too much troubleshooting at work along with a slew of back-to-back meetings that lasted into the evening.  When the final meeting ended just after 5:00, I realized that I hadn’t sat down all day, Ida and Kellan were climbing and jumping all over me as only a one- and a four-year-old can at the end of a long day, and Brendan was…sick…in bed…again.

I think that most of the time I’m a pretty sympathetic person, but apparently that all goes out the window when I’ve had a long day and the person needing sympathy is my husband.  Though I kept trying to reassure him that I was not angry with him, I was in fact insanely frustrated that he was still sick.  My thoughts went a little something like this: “Brendan needs to go to the doctor now, whether he wants to or not.  Why can’t he just get well and get it over with?!?! Doesn’t he realize I need down time? (I’m sighing and cringing at myself even as I write this).

And then Ida and Kellan started fighting with me, demanding attention and focus that I didn’t have to give.  And then I got into some imaginary arguments with a few of my fellow community members about things that they never have said or would say.  And it went downhill from there until bedtime.

Eight o’clock (bedtime for my girls) found me rushing around, going over my to do list in my head as I hurried them into bed, thinking about how unfair it is that I have all this work to do and I have small children and I have a sick husband and none of you could possibly understand the greatness of my suffering and ogodmylifeissohardwhymewhymeeee…

Ok, you get the point.  So then I got to thinking about priorities, and how selfish I was being when Brendan was laying in the next room in agony, and my friend Sandy just found out last week that she has cancer, and there are starving children in Afghanistan and even right here in Americus, and probably everyone in the world has more to worry about than I do.  But rather than slipping into self-deprecation, and the deep and murky pools of guilt and further agony that offered to swallow me whole in that moment, I paused.  And I prayed.  Well, really I asked a few questions.  And the answers came from somewhere deep inside.

I wondered, why is it that some problems seem to be “worth it” to worry about, while to some others we easily sniff “get over it”?  You should not spend too much time comparing yourself to others. But, how do I know if it’s important or not?  I mean, what is worth getting upset about?  (and this is when the revelation came)  You are not supposed to worry about any of it.

And I felt peace wash over me like an ocean wave receding.  I am not supposed to worry.  About anything.  Jesus practically commands it in Matthew 6, the story about the lilies of the field.  He does not say in that passage, “Just worry about the important things.”  He says, do not worry about anything, I will provide.  As the Message translation (verses 31-34) puts it:

What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving… Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.  Don’t worry about missing out.  You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.  Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

I think I’ll go home now and lay down next to my sick husband and hold his hand, say a prayer, let God worry about tomorrow, and try to get some sleep.

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On Monday I had some interesting conversations about leadership.  It was definitely the theme of my day.  And it must have been so for others here, because without talking with me about it that day, late Monday night my friend Jerry even wrote about leadership in his blog.  To paraphrase what he said, here at Koinonia, it can be hard to figure out who’s in charge sometimes.  And sometimes that’s a good thing.  But sometimes it’s very frustrating.  As part of our structure as a non-profit, we have a director who is also a member of the community.  Her name is Bren.  Bren has fully embraced the concept of servant leadership, and she is an excellent director.  She is sort of like the matriarch of our large, somewhat dysfunctional family (as my dad likes to say, we put the fun in dysfunctional!).

Koinonia has plenty of structure.  We have a process to membership that involves four steps over at least two full years of discernment before making a long-term commitment.  We have a system of teams with coordinators, and we attend a lot of meetings.  But since we make decisions by consensus, we often wind up with a conundrum surrounding accountability.  Who is in charge of getting us to do the things we say we will do?  The thing is, WE are in charge…as in all of us.  So if we get together and make things happen, we get credit.  And if we don’t meet our deadlines and we talk too much and we forget, well I guess we get the credit for that too.  It’s kind of cliche, but you only get as much out of Koinonia as you are willing to bring to it.  So all the outside forces in the world cannot hurt us as much as we manage to injure ourselves.  It’s a difficult pill to swallow, but once you get that one down, living in community becomes a whole lot easier.

One of the hardest lessons that community will teach you is to be humble.  It’s unavoidable.  When you live and work, play and pray, study and serve with the same group of people, you get lots of opportunities to face yourself.  For me this has meant eating a healthy serving of humble pie every couple of weeks or so.  I have to constantly admit that I don’t have all the answers, that I am a part of the things that drive me crazy here because they are so screwed up, that if I want things to change I should set an example rather than preaching to a weary choir.

About a month ago I decided that I do not want to be infuriated any more.  It’s so easy in community to notice other people’s flaws and then walk around dissatisfied all the time.  It’s so easy to wind up gossiping, which gives an illusion of control over others, and suddenly a group of well-intentioned folks who want to support one another are stabbing each other in the back left and right.  When this happens too frequently, we are all left reeling and confused, and the temptation is to blame other people for the horrible feelings that emerge.

I’m learning, slowly but surely, to instead take credit for my own feelings.  I’m learning about servant-leadership, and that the real power play happens when I get out of the way and let God work his magic.   God changes people’s hearts, not me.

A friend of mine fasted for five days this week, and asked a few of us to pray for her so that her fast would be an authentic experience of seeking God’s will.  She explained that she has fasted for shorter times before, but always struggled with headaches and obsessing over food and body image, which caused her to lose focus on God.  In other words, she was asking us to help her stay humble.  In Biblical times, when people fasted they did not bathe, and they dressed in sackcloth and covered themselves in ashes as an outward statement of their humbled state.  It seems that some people got so wrapped up in this outward show, that they stopped being humble altogether, and some people even dressed like this but did not actually follow the fasting laws!

God is not happy when we put on a show of piety, but we are not truly being pious and humble.  I imagine that he feels somewhat dismayed.  It’s a good thing he’s so patient, as it takes most of us such a long time to learn to accept God’s blessing for us.

With all this talk of humility and leadership, I find myself thinking of chapter 17 of the Tao Te Ching, which says:

When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.

If you don’t trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.

The Master doesn’t talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, “Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!”

I want to be this sort of leader.  Though I’m not literally fasting this week, I’ve been more observant and open to listening to God’s voice through the people around me.  I have been called out in my self-righteousness over and over again, and I stand before many people humbled by how frequently I try to play God.  I admit that I still get caught up in titles.  I admit that I just want to have top-down sort of leadership pretty frequently because at first glance it seems easier.  I admit that I’m bossy, overbearing, that I talk too much and listen too little.

In the light of this confession, I also accept the gift of humility.  The things I listed above are like snares that I walked into voluntarily.  When I admit that I am in fact trapped, I open myself up to the possibility of becoming free again.  And then, God does some of that magic stuff and my heart is changed and I can be myself as God sees me.  It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing, what I’m eating, or who knows about it.  Just being myself is enough.

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