Our family met Cowboy Joe the summer of 2004. Some of my family were trekking in a three vehicle caravan from California to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and then over to Glacier National Park in Montana.
The trip quickly filled with interesting moments. Like the day we spent at a truck stop trying to get the Suburban fixed when a trucker noticed three of the family playing guitars outside while we sat and waited. He gave us some ice cream from the load he was hauling.
We spent a day with my niece who was working The Geyser Grill at Yellowstone Park for a second season. Her hug was so tight it meant so much. Her “I love you” to me made me glad we had connected—she needed it more than we did. The candle she gave me, just heavenly, with a choke-berry scent and deep purple coloring.
Awkward: a 30 day challenge (Create Space Independent Publishing, 2014)
Jenna Benton has done it. Really. Through this delightful, short and easy to read book, Benton has captured the theme of what it is to live in an uncomplicated trusting relationship with God against the hubris of life. This is real life. Reminiscent of past generations of Jesus Followers like the authors, Ann Kimel, Glaphré and Rebecca Pippert, we are given an opportunity to see what it looks like when someone chooses to follow Christ even when it is uncomfortable and they feel insecure. Benton wants us to look at ourselves, take stock, let go of our fears and choose to move forward, which means, in real life, to do what is unfamiliar and awkward . . . and life-changing. I love her stories and her heart. Here is a woman who is saying it like it is. I think you will enjoy Jenna Benton’s spiritual journey and identify with her fears and her struggles. And, hopefully, you will love her Jesus and allow His love to change you. Each chapter in Awkward has action steps you will want to complete.
Today I was reading a blog about social misunderstanding of race and people who have been abused. The blogger made a statement full of raw passion. She said that if her abuser was at the same table as her, it would demean her presence. She would be lessened in value by her abuser’s presence. She applied this to race inequality and the lack of understanding of the marginalized by society at large. An African-American joined in. His passion for the subject was apparent his comments, but he was not rude. He said, those on the other side, the rest of us, will never understand what it is like to be born black in America because they have not lived it.
It made me think of one of my professors, a Caucasian male married to an African-American woman, who made a striking comment during a multicultural graduate course. He said the playing field in America will never be even. That was a almost two decades ago, and I didn’t agree with him at the time though I kept my opinion to myself. I’m starting to get where he was coming from. He has biracial children. They have a different voice in the conversation than I have. There is a thread to this conversation I am only now starting to understand.
Prejudice is taught by example. Equality is lived by example.