Posted on | June 20, 2016 | 6 Comments

Father’s Day brought out a whole mess of emotions this year, this first year where we have a stepdad and husband. There were obligatory pancakes and sausage and gifts and cards. There was a little tennis, a little playground time, and some shopping.

And then, as evening rolled around, there were tears.

So many tears.

See, something I haven’t written about on here is what’s going on with the other “dad” in J’s life… the one who helped give him life, the one who changed diapers when there were still diapers to change. Around this time last year, maybe a bit later in the summer, that “dad” decided he needed some time off… a little break from being a once a month visitation “dad” and time to be a “Not even a phone call” kind of “dad.”

Mostly, J has handled this turn of events the way he handles everything in his life… with a sweetness and understanding that surpasses his years. I told him his “dad” was sad… that he was trying to get his life together and needed some time to do that. I told him that dad just wasn’t at a place in his life where he could take care of J, so I decided he wasn’t able to see J right now. And J has nodded and asked pertinent questions about what he can do to help his “dad” feel better. Because he’s a great kid. Because he is as tenderhearted as he is strong.

Deep down I think he knows that I took the blame… but he lets me.

He gives me this burden to shoulder.

Maybe, even at six, he knows that I gave his “dad” an out… a way to step back in later with a smile and a “sorry.” A way to smooth over the hurt he might have caused our little boy.

But even if he knows, I still maintain that burden, that blame, that sadness. Because it’s what parents do… we shoulder as much of the hurt as we can to protect the little ones we love.

Oh but last night, we reached a breaking point.

J has seen his biological father twice in the past year, both times for less than two full days. He hasn’t seen him since Christmas. I can’t recall the last time he spoke to him on the phone, though I believe it was at least four or five months ago.

Yesterday was Father’s Day. Yesterday, after he loved on the stepfather who adores him, J asked to call his biological father. The phone rang less than twice then the voicemail kicked in. A brief message was left, and the moment the “off” button was pressed, my sweet, strong, amazingly wonderful child threw himself in my lap and sobbed a mountain’s worth of tears.

“Why doesn’t he want to talk to me, Mom?” He asked between sobs. “Why doesn’t he miss me?”

And honestly, though words came out of my mouth, I had no real answer. This isn’t a puzzle I can piece together. This isn’t a booboo I can tape a bandage across and watch heal.

This is a heart wrenching, gut kicking, horrifying hurt and there is not one thing I can do to fix it.

So I did what we do as parents, when we don’t have an answer. I called for Banks. I held J close. I rocked him. I cried with him. I promised him that this isn’t his fault.

And then we both leaned into the arms of the man who is here every single damn day trying his best to love us both back to whole. We leaned into the strength of this amazing man who isn’t perfect but who is here, throwing the ball, answering the questions, reading the bedtime stories, and drying the tears of a child who isn’t of his blood but who is so much of his heart.

Because that’s what real fathers do.

The Hard Road

Posted on | June 16, 2016 | 1 Comment

“You’re an idiot.”

“I hope one day you learn how to use your brain.”

“What is the MATTER with you people?”

“I hope they die in a fire.”

“This country is in a sad state of affairs when this person is a candidate for President.”





“A bunch of liberal morons.”
“Republican dumbasses.”

The quotations above all come from a variety of different Facebook posts and comments written by a variety of people… some I know, some I don’t. I’ve collected them over the past few days and weeks because I think they’re important. With the exception of a few, I can promise you that you can not determine with any accuracy which political party the speaker is talking about, or which presidential candidate’s supporters the speaker is talking to. Know why you can’t determine that? Because we are all saying the same things about each other.

Let that sink in for a minute.

You aren’t the only person thinking your neighbor is stupid.

They think you’re pretty stupid, too.

And to me, that was a pretty important realization. Because if the people I think are stupid are also thinking I am stupid, then either both of us are right, or both of us are wrong.

I’ve determined, hopefully, that both of us are wrong. Or on some days, that we’re both right.

See, I have a lot of dear friends who think about politics differently than I do. I have a lot of acquaintances who think about politics differently than me. And I’ll be the first to admit, that when several of those friends and acquaintances started sharing their support for a candidate I didn’t approve of, or their disdain for one I love, my knee jerk reaction was to say “What an idiot,” and dismiss them and their opinions.

Surely they are under educated. Clearly they are blinded by something. Obviously they are complete morons.

And then I took the time to read the posts on their page and the comments they made on other posts. And I realized they were and are saying the exact same thing about me. They believe that I am blinded, that I am an idiot, that I have no clue about what it takes to be President of this nation right now.

What that says to me is this… We have all stopped talking to each other and resorted to talking at each other. We’ve stopped listening and started yelling with our fingers in our ears. We are all, every single one of us, guilty of keeping up this ugly, ugly cycle of blame and inaction. We are all to blame for the continued divide in this country. Because until we stop calling each other idiots, and LISTEN to each other, ask each other what it is about a candidate that garners support… NOT what is it about the other candidates that doesn’t… then we can’t expect our politicians to work together. Why would they? Their voters aren’t working together. Their constituents are embracing the divide, creating the drama, making real the concept that there is no way a Republican and a Democrat and an Independent can ever work together in this world.

Except, listen to me carefully here… I’m living proof that there IS a way.

Because here’s the real deal: I’ve been called a bleeding heart liberal MANY times in my life. And I am married to a Republican. Some people can’t process that concept, but you know what? We agree on a ton of things. Do we always agree on politics or politicians? Nope … sometimes, but not always. But we do agree that deep down, people are good… they just need to be reminded. We agree that nothing in the world is better than hearing a child’s belly laugh. We agree that killing people is stupid, that homosexual rights are no different than heterosexual rights, that all the news is biased because PEOPLE are biased, that this election cycle is awful, and that at the end of the day nothing is better than watching sports while having a beer with friends.  We agree on what matter most… we love each other. No matter what.

It’s easy to say that the other side is stupid.

It’s easy to say that anyone who supports ______ is an idiot.

It’s so freaking easy to wash your hands of friends who support this or that person or idea.

But don’t take the easy way out, America, don’t do it.  The fact is that there will always be people who disagree with you on how to govern this country. Always.

The trick is to find a middle ground.

And if WE can’t do that as voters? Then we can’t expect our representatives to find a way, either.

I know it’s hard. I know that the rhetoric and shaming and hate is strong and to spend time around it may make your skin crawl. I know that it’s easier to shut the door, pull down the blinds, and hold on to the people around you who think and feel the same way.

It’s really easy to condemn each other in this political climate.

It is so much harder to love each other, even through our glaring differences.

Oh, but try… try to choose love, even in the midst of this madness.  Choose to meet each other in the spaces we currently hold, even if we don’t understand those spaces, even when we are afraid of those places. Until we understand what brought us to the places we hold, we can not understand how to change them.

Don’t condemn… love.

Be the change… hold on to the hope and belief that this whole country, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green Party, Independent, and Abstainers, will one find its way back to a place where we can love and respect each other…

Not in spite of our differences, but because of them.


Finding Accomplishments

Posted on | June 10, 2016 | 3 Comments

“I have a girlfriend,” my six year old son told me one day. I sort of rolled my eyes, because he’s six and him having a girlfriend is ridiculous. But then he said something that made me pay attention.

“It’s okay though,” he shrugged and grinned. “She’s pretty.”

It was the “she’s pretty” that did it.

I sat him down at the table and had the first of what I’m sure will be a number of talks about boys and girls. Because, as I told him, boys and girls should always strive to be people of accomplishment. And boys and girls should also strive to date people of accomplishment: funny, smart, kind, good at sports, a good writer. Any number of things come to mind… things that are accomplished through hard work, practice, good study habits. Things that show that a person IS something.

Being “pretty” is not an accomplishment, I told my son. Because it isn’t. We either fit society’s ideal of pretty or we don’t… through no fault or accomplishment of our own. So why would I ever want my son to tell me first that a girl he likes is “pretty.” Who cares if she’s pretty? Who cares if she was blessed with an exceptional genetic code? That doesn’t tell me anything about who she is. Just the same as having someone tell me my son is handsome isn’t exactly what I want to hear. Don’t get me wrong, I think J is adorable. But who really cares? What does being adorable say about him as a person?

The thing is, I want my son to aim higher than “pretty” or “handsome”.  I want him to aim for “Kind”. For “Funny”.  I want to hear him talking about a girl he likes because she’s “smart” or “clever” or “well-read”.  I want to teach him to aim for something that shows worth, for someone who shows diligence, who reveals a love of something more than the skin they were given. All too often I catch myself saying “Oh how adorable!” when I meet a little girl or boy for the first time. All too often, I hear myself tell J that this or that person is “cute” or “looks handsome” or “has great hair.” And there’s nothing wrong with those things… but man do I wish I could go back and compliment the important things just as often.

“Wow that kid is funny!”

“Hey she’s really smart!”

“He’s an exceptional reader!”

I want to teach my son to view “pretty” is an afterthought, that a woman is more than her face and figure, that HE is more than his face and figure. I want to teach him to ignore the surface and search for what’s beneath… to embrace the talents that make us all unique.

So I’m changing the way I talk about people… especially myself. No more “I look awful.” No more “I am fat.” No more off-handed comments about anyone’s appearance. Because it starts with me, I think. It starts with me saying “Man, you were really smart at work today” instead of “You look really nice.” It starts with me complimenting another attorney’s theory of the case, not her handbag or haircut.

It starts with me. Recognizing that I am more than my face and figure. Recognizing that I am smart and kind and funny. Recognizing that I am a person of accomplishment regardless of what size I wear or how my hair frizzes up in the summer.

I looked at J carefully to be sure he was listening.

“Never have any friends, boy or girl, if all you have to say about them is that they are pretty or handsome,” I told my son. “And never have any friends, boy or girl, who don’t have anything to say about you other than that you’re handsome. Because how you look isn’t something you’ve worked for… and it’s the things you work for that make you who you REALLY are.”

I honestly don’t know if it sank in. This time.

But I know that I will continue to remind him, again and again, that “pretty” isn’t an accomplishment, until the day I first hear him describe a new friend with words that tell me more about his heart than his face.


Posted on | May 16, 2016 | 1 Comment

Last week felt like some sort of “survive and advance” week.

Just get out of bed one more time.

Just get dressed one more day.

Just get to work one more morning.

It was as though if I could just get through that one week, everything would be okay.

I pasted the pieces of my heart together, shellacked them shiny and pristine, hoping not even I would spot the cracks and crevices where some pieces were irretrievably lost in the initial collapse of hopes and dreams.  I pressed on. I did the work. I cooked and cleaned and smiled as though everything was just peachy damn keen, and I didn’t need one single thing, thankyouverymuch.

When last night rolled around, I felt pretty good. I mean, I’d survived a week and a half. The worst was over.  My heart was back together; one complete, though mended entity, and I’d made it through. Everything would come up roses, now, right?

Only… that’s not really how grief works, is it.

I woke up at 4am this morning with an ache that started somewhere around the empty of my uterus and spread up and outward to my head and heart. I sat up in bed, feeling that everything was inexplicably wrong in every single possible way, and maybe this past week I was so proud to have survived, was really just… numbness.

Maybe now the real hurting begins. Now… after the flowers have died and the condolences have stopped pouring in. Now, after everyone else has moved on with their lives and I’m still here, empty-armed and teary-eyed.

Maybe I’ve done all this wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t have pushed through last week. Maybe I should have let myself curl up in the smallest of balls and cry the loudest of tears. Maybe then the pressure in my chest would be less, the tightness at the back of my throat easier to bear.

Or maybe this is just the way it works… two steps forward, one step back… until there’s a moment when I won’t see an expectant mother and feel the tell-tale crack and ache of my pasted-together heart, shattering all over again.



One Week Later

Posted on | May 11, 2016 | 2 Comments

It’s been one week.

One extended ache of a week since I casually walked to the restroom, the sway of my hips proudly announcing “expecting.”

It’s been one brief and endless week since I was able to rest a hand against my abdomen, smiling that secret, all-knowing smile of a woman in love with someone she’s never even met.

It’s been one agonizing week since a slash of red blurred and crossed my vision, blinding me with a series of question marks and broken dreams.

My stomach is a little flatter today, softer against the press of my palm; there’s no more hardened rise of life to greet my hand or eye. Yet in what seems to be a total betrayal of self, my clothes are still snug, pressing against the weight of my sorrow and leaving tiny indentations of memory pressed in places that used to house the flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood.

It’s only been one week.

One long and heart-breakingly slow week.

One week to think about the moments that might have been, the life we might have lived. The child, to have and to hold, that is no more.

But today, around the time I was checking into the hospital last week to wipe clean the slate of dreams that had smeared and ran the length of my cheeks, I will wait at the door of another hospital room.

I will knock.

I will tentatively push open the door.

I will smile at the dearest of friends through a curtain of my tears.

And I will clutch to my heart a tiny girl, brought tenderly into this world in the wee hours of yesterday morning. And though she is not flesh of my flesh, she is blood of my blood… a child of my tribe, a daughter of my village. And, yes, I will weep, of that I am sure. I will weep softly over the aching emptiness in my self and over the sweet newness of this child. But deep down, I will know… I DO know… that life continues.

Life moves on.

Life… simply moves.

And though today, one week later, life may move me to tears with the reminder of what might have been once… it will also move me to remember what can still be again.

Today, one week later, life will keep moving me forward… onward to the place and time when I will not simultaneously break and rebuild through the sighs and coos of a newborn.




Posted on | May 6, 2016 | 3 Comments

I’ve done a lot of thinking about why miscarriage is such a secret shame… why women don’t talk about it, why we don’t WANT to talk about it.

I’ve thought a lot about why it is we feel ashamed by our bodies, ashamed by our inabilities, ashamed by something that is often totally and completely outside of our control.

And it comes down to this… I think it’s time the English speaking medical community re-names this horrific accident that rips  women and men into pieces and leaves them shattered. Because “miscarry”? That doesn’t seem right to me.

See “mis-“, means “Wrongly” , “badly”, or “Unsuitably.”

And “carry” means “to have something with or inside you” or “to move something while holding or supporting it.”

If you put those two together, what we’re really saying to English-speaking women is “You carried this wrong.” “This was your fault.” “You were an unsuitable home for your child.”

Is it any wonder that no one wants to talk about it? Is there even a question as to why an English-speaking woman, ANY English-speaking woman, would immediately feel as though SHE did this. SHE caused this to happen. SHE carried her child wrong.

Can’t we rename this? Maybe “misformed”,”misattached”, “misgravidity” or maybe just “mispregnant”? Because semantics matter, you know. And when I hear the word “miscarriage”, what I hear is “your body screwed this up.”

And trust me, we women already feel like it’s all our fault, anyway.

Maybe it’s just another way our society, like to place the blame, and the shame, on the woman. Maybe it’s just another way the English language likes to beat up on the “weaker” sex. Because in French, it’s “fausse couche” or “false confinement.” In Spanish it’s “aborto espontaneo” or “spontaneous end to pregnancy”. It’s only in English that we place the blame on the woman… miscarried. Carried it wrong. Carried it badly.

Lost your baby.

Lost your pregnancy.

No, it wasn’t taken from you, you silly English women. This? This was YOUR fault.

The Faces of Pain

Posted on | May 5, 2016 | 3 Comments

I woke up around 2:00 am this morning.

Everything hurt and I couldn’t get the image out of my mind of that ridiculous chart hanging on the wall at the hospital. I lay awake for four hours before I got up to cry over a long-awaited cup of coffee, wondering how to circle the way I felt, wondering how I could characterize the feeling of curling in a ball beside your sleeping husband and weeping onto his shoulder until, even in his sleep he pulls you to him for comfort. I wondered how I would respond if someone asked me, on a scale of ten, what is your pain like? What does it feel like to rest your hand on a still swollen belly and know it is empty? What does it do to your heart to know that the plans you made for first Christmases and first birthdays are all gone in one brief instant of physical agony.


The whole time I was waiting in the hospital I just stared at that chart… because, how can you estimate the pain of loss? How can anyone point to any number or a face and say “This. This is the face I make when I learn I’ve lost someone I care about.” How do I quantify what it means to hear nothing where there should be a heartbeat?

The cramping was worse this morning than last night and I took one of the Ibuprofen they gave me, still refusing to numb any of this with something stronger. It feels dishonest, I guess, to minimize the pain of losing something so precious. It’s the same reason I find myself here, un-showered, and wondering if I’ll feel able to stand and wash away the remnants of the child that never was.

I don’t know.

I don’t know when I’ll not feel guilty for smiling, for sharing a laugh with my son, for showering away the weight of some of these emotions that just. won’t. abate. I don’t know when I’ll stop feeling guilty, as though it were something I did wrong that caused all of this.

And still I think of that chart. And I wonder if because my body is healing, it means I’m no longer a 10 on their faces of pain.

Broken (Warning: Trigger)

Posted on | May 4, 2016 | 11 Comments

It was a busy morning… like all mornings are when you’re juggling getting ready for work with pregnancy, fixing breakfast, and mothering a six year old. There were the normal fights over what to wear (both mine and his) and the battle of “just try one bite or no (insert some sort of bonus)” between Banks and J.

It was, by all accounts, just a normal morning.

There was a twinge of sadness in the air, mine, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I just felt… off. As a result, I was a bit more subdued, a little less exuberant about heading out the door and getting J to school.

We had pulled out of the driveway and started down the street when all of a sudden, the silence of the car was broken by a sweet, tender voice.

“Oooooh. Oooooooooooooh. Oooooh. Ooooooooooooooh…”

I smiled a little and looked back in my rearview mirror. There was J, buckled in and clutching his lunchbox.

“I had a dream so big and loud, I jumped so high I touched the clouds…Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-a-ohhhh”

He was singing. He was singing about how it was going to be the best day of his life. His li-i-i-i-i-i-ife.

And something in his high tenor struck me and suddenly my tears began to fall uncontrollably. I couldn’t stop. I cried all the way to his school and after I dropped him off, I called Banks and cried some more. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something terrible was going to happen. It was J’s first field trip for school so we thought maybe, just maybe that was all it was. Maybe I was sad because my little boy was growing up. Maybe it was just the pregnancy hormones that made me feel like somehow I was never going to see my child again… like something awful was going to happen and it wouldn’t, ever, be the best day of our lives.

But Banks eventually calmed me down.

I went to work. I did a few lawyerly things.

And it wasn’t until 9:00am that the bleeding began.

By 9:30 I was in my OB’s office. I waited an eternity filled with smiling pregnant women and exhausted mothers with the tiniest of infants in carriers beside them.

Finally they called my name and I shuffled, eyes downcast as though I had shamed myself before these women… as though I’d done something wrong that had left me on the other side of their happy. I couldn’t make eye contact. I couldn’t smile at the babies who cooed and smacked in my direction.

The ultrasound nurse was kind but she kept the screen tilted away from me. I heard the click and pull of each measurement, each silent picture of what was happening inside me. Still no one spoke. The doctor came in and in a moment his voice pounded out into the silence:

“Measure it again,” he said.

And I knew.

I knew what they weren’t saying a moment before they said it. Just no heartbeat. No growth for two weeks. The baby was gone.

The baby is gone.

They gave me a room to cry in then walked me out the back door into the cold lobby. With no pregnant women to watch me pass, I let the tears fall.  I went home, alone, to wait for Banks to arrive… to wait for the hospital to call to schedule the procedure that would take away what was left of the life I never had a chance to know.

They called around 1 and we went back to the doctor, ushered into a room with a giant wire torso of a pregnant woman hanging from the wall. Around her belly a gaping red sash hung like the beginnings of my nightmare.

There were papers to sign and date and initial and then we were sent to the hospital for a backless green gown and white knee high stockings.

“Are you pregnant,” the woman asked at the check in, and the tears began again as I whispered out “Not anymore.”

And then they took me back to my room to wait the few hours before and until it would all be over. I thought it would just be me and Banks. I thought we would stare at each other and cry.

But we were not alone from the moment the first nurse came into the room.

My hours there were suddenly full of women with hugs and stories of loss that they whispered and braided around me until I was encapsulated by their strength. My nurse suffered through two losses. My anesthesiologist assistant, five. They held my hands and squeezed and nodded and just… Knew. They knew the way only women can.  They caught and dried my tears before they fell. They brought me into their arms and rocked me gently into the sleep I needed to carry on with the task ahead of me.

In a moment I was asleep.

And then, a tiny lifetime later, I was awake.

But our baby is gone.

And for all of their strength and compassion, I am still broken.





Posted on | April 25, 2016 | 7 Comments

I always wanted more than one child. I wanted two or three or a dozen… anything other than just one. And when I got divorced after J was born, I thought that dream was gone.

Then I met Banks and we fell in love and, wonders never cease, he wanted kids, too. A few years down the road we got married and still wanted kids so we thought we’d give it the old college try. I was stoked. I always wanted a house full of kids.

And then four months in to our marriage, suddenly everything changed.

I remember it vividly. I was run down from work and life and juggling all the things. And as I thought about the idea of another child, a terrifying jolt of fear shot through me.

What on earth was I thinking? Why did I want more kids? Wouldn’t J feel replaced? Wouldn’t he think that maybe he wasn’t a part of this new family that Banks and I were creating? Would it be weird for him that his last name was different? Would he feel like an outsider in his own home? WHAT WAS I THINKING? I started to feel as though maybe Banks and I needed to have a long talk about the reality of having another child. It wasn’t just J I was worried about. I was getting old… I was already fighting a losing battle against weight gain. I’d given up running for a herniated disc. I just wasn’t exactly at a point in my life where I felt like I could handle a baby.

The sleepless nights.

The painful tug and sting of nursing.

The endless green and yellow runny diapers.

No. No, I wasn’t sure I’d thought this through. I have a kid who is pretty great. He doesn’t crap his pants anymore. He gets himself dressed in the mornings. His school is… FREE.

I’d made up my mind. I was going to talk to Banks about it. We just needed more time. We just needed to really think about how this would affect the dynamics of our family… our little family of three that was working pretty darn well, thank you very much. I was already so worn down and exhausted… how could I think I would be able to handle a BABY.

I’d talk to him that night, I decided. Or maybe in the morning.

Because I was just really tired and didn’t feel all that well.

It was probably just a cold, you know, something I picked up from J or work.

I just needed a quick nap and an early bedtime and I’d feel better and we could talk about how I might be just a little too old and too anxious to have another baby.

The next morning I called in sick to work. I just couldn’t get out of bed.

“It’s the flu, I know it,” I told myself. And hauled it over to the Minute Clinic for testing.

Not the flu. Not a virus. Not at all what I suspected. Suddenly all my anxiety made sense. Suddenly all the fear and terror at bringing a new life into our family made blinding, perfect, plus sign sense.

We’re having a baby.

Ready or not.

Civil Discourse

Posted on | April 6, 2016 | 5 Comments

A few weeks ago, I opened my email to a message from a local church leader, inviting me to come visit with him about my beliefs on some of the bills that have been introduced lately across our country, dealing with (among other things) LGBT marriage. His email was in response to a fired off email I sent him earlier in the week asking that I be removed from his “marketing” list due to an email I received telling me to support one of those bills.  I thought it was very brave of him to invite me to talk, so I accepted. Because really that’s what is missing in our society right now… polite conversation that doesn’t resort to name calling, about the things we disagree on.

It was with great trepidation that I shook his hand and sat down across from him to talk. See, I have pretty strong beliefs when it comes to What Would Jesus Do, and what it means to be a Christian. I believe whole-heartedly in the ideas that Jesus preached about love and patience and embracing people from all walks of life. So I was worried about sitting down with someone who was a church leader and who seemed to feel so very differently. But I guess I thought that maybe through talking to each other, I would see that we don’t feel so very differently. I thought there would be a common ground we could find where we’d smile and say “Well, yes… THAT we can agree on.”

I wish I could say I came away from that meeting feeling like we found a common ground and that his and my “versions” of Christianity were simply parallel lines that could maybe swerve a bit somewhere down the line and find their way back together.

But I can’t.

Instead, I left that meeting feeling sad and heartbroken about the future of the religion I hold so dear.

I have always believed that when Jesus said “Feed my sheep,” he meant feed and care for them all. He didn’t mean lift and separate them into acceptable sheep and unacceptable sheep.  I believe that when Paul wrote to the Galatians “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female, for all are one in Christ Jesus,” he actually meant that in God’s eyes we are all the same. As in, indistinguishable.

But in that large and sprawling mega-Church, I was told that Christianity is, “by its nature intended to be exclusive.” I was told that Jesus selected only 12 disciples because he meant for Christianity to be limited in scope. At least that’s what I understood this particular leader to be saying.

When I left after our 1.5 hour meeting, I was depressed. I sat in my car in their wide and expansive parking lot, and I cried into my steering wheel, because I can’t imagine my Jesus turning anyone away from the path to righteousness. I can’t imagine my Jesus saying “I’m sorry, you don’t fit my image of Christian, so I’m going to have to ask you to sit in the back.” I can’t imagine my Jesus embracing a church that says “All are welcome to worship… but you have to fit in this neat box right here if you want to actually be an accepted MEMBER of this congregation.”

Though I had hoped to find a common ground, I left the meeting reminded that my Christianity and his can never see eye to eye. Because my Jesus, my Christianity, is not exclusive by nature. It is wide armed and smiling and ready to forgive again, and again, and again… even if you are exactly like me and you screw up over, and over, and over.

Because we’re not perfect, and I don’t believe that Jesus charged us to go out and find a particular brand of perfect-ish people to embrace into the church… I believe that Jesus charged us to feed all His sheep with the love and compassion of His church.  And that doesn’t mean just allowing them to worship in the next pew. Because what sort of message does it send, really, if you tell someone “No, no… you can worship here with us. But you can’t be a part of our membership.”

Doesn’t it say “you’re not as good as me?”

Doesn’t it say “I think I’m better than you?”

Do either of those things sound like something Jesus would say?

So to the church leader who met with me, I will reiterate what I said as I was leaving. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me. Thank you for the civil discussion we engaged in.

But I extend a hearty “No, thank you” to your request that I come and worship with you, because honestly?

I like my Jesus a lot better than the one you teach.

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    Based on a work at http://www.law-momma.com.
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