How does one begin to explain this feeling?
Korean culture has a name for it … they call it Han.
Han. The overwhelming feeling of helplessness in the face of irreversible cultural sorrow; a cold fist that reaches deep into a people’s collective soul, only to pull away having grasped a fistful of emptiness and despair.
Something… simply… is… not… right. Continue Reading »
Posted in Culture, Humanity, Justice, Purpose, Uncategorized | Tagged African American culture, cultural Han, George Zimmerman, Justice, Korean culture, multi-cultural worship, suffering, Trayvon Martin | 3 Comments »
A word once spoken can never be taken back…
So goes the old African proverb, wisdom no doubt gleaned from a lesson that was learned the hard way.
Last week, we all watched the train wreck that resulted in Paula Deen’s removal from the Food Network. While Ms. Deen’s racial slurs were reprehensible and offensive, as her story played out in social and traditional media, I couldn’t help but wonder at the larger movement happening: how swiftly and thoroughly today’s court of public opinion exacts its own pound of flesh.
The deeper problem with Ms. Deen’s story is that the court of public opinion doesn’t exact justice. It cries for vengeance. I wondered, along with several friends, what would happen if people demanded that we be held responsible for the careless words we’ve spoken in the past?
Continue Reading »
Posted in Culture, Humanity, Justice | Tagged Food Network, Gregory Tyson, judge, judgement, mercy, Paula Deen, public opinion, racism, racist, shame, words | 1 Comment »
This is a reprint of an article I wrote that was carried by the Journal of Urban Mission.
This article will address (1) how mentors may biblically affirm a disciple’s physical cultural differences within a dominant culture’s message that there is something inherently flawed in his or her design, (2) how theology addresses a body/spirit symbiosis relevant to identity dissonance, and (3) how mentors may move a disciple from identity dissonance to identity satisfaction through a holistic application of Scripture. Continue Reading »
Posted in Dignity, Identity, Image of God/imago Dei, Ontology, Purpose, Significance | Leave a Comment »
A curious command and promise opens Isaiah 54:
1 “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
break forth into singing and cry aloud,
you who have not been in labor!
2 For the children of the desolate one will be more
than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
and strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
and your offspring will possess the nations
and will people the desolate cities….
While Isaiah is speaking directly of the little post-exilic community in Judea, he is also speaking more broadly of the future glory of True Israel. We just saw the anguished victory of the Suffering Servant in the passage before; now the Servant’s task is seen as fulfilled, and the prophet breaks into a hymn and shouts of praise from the “barren, childless woman,” welcoming the dawn of the New Age.
Hold up… did we read that right? What reason could a childless woman possibly have to rejoice?
Continue Reading »
Posted in Identity, Purpose, Significance | Tagged discipleship, infertility, mentorship, Mother's Day, Motherhood, redemption | 2 Comments »
The folks over at StoryCorps are doing a fine job recording and animating America’s stories, told by regular folk from all over the country. This tale caught my eye in particular, with two cousins recalling their formidable Sunday school teacher – Miss Lizzie Devine – the only woman who scared them more than their grandmother.
Really, didn’t we all grow up with a Miss Devine in our churchhouse? They were plenty of quirky ‘aunties’ and ‘uncles’ who always had a place at the family table. They were the ones who carefully and faithfully cut the crusts off the sandwiches and served them on big tin platters in the church basement, who shoo’d us rowdy kids from the kitchens, kept us from running in the halls, and who shushed us in the services – and we loved them.
These are the ordinary folk who make up the threads that weave together the fabric of our lives.- so glad to see StoryCorps remembering them for all Americans. Watch the three minute animated video here, and enjoy a warm chuckle.
Posted in Culture | Tagged Black History, oral tradition, StoryCorps | Leave a Comment »
Don’t tell my husband’s mom, but I bought her one of those giant boxed hearts full of chocolates for Valentine’s Day. I really can’t think of anyone who enjoys chocolates more than my mother-in-love. She can detect chocolate in the house more accurately than a heat-seeking missile – after all, she’s had some eighty-plus years to refine her detection technology. Between her and my chocolate-loving husband, such treats don’t last long in our house, but I think I’ve successfully hidden the chocolate heart out of the range of her highly-refined cocoa-radar … so far. Continue Reading »
Posted in Culture, Dignity, Identity, Ontology, Purpose | Tagged Black consciousness, black hair, Black women, Blackness, Harlem Renaissance, Harlem Sweeties, Identity, Langston Hughes, Significance, The Greatest Love Of All, Valentine's Day, Whitney Houston, Women of Color | Leave a Comment »
Dr King at a 1964 Lecture
This link will take you to a thirty minute chapel talk I was honored to give to the faculty, students and staff at Covenant College for Martin Luther King Day, 2013. The link will take you to their itunes playlist – to listen, scroll down to the title, “Liberty and Justice for All”.
(Audio content ©Ellis Perspectives 2013).
Posted in Human Rights, Humanity, Image of God/imago Dei, Justice, Ontology | Tagged Civil Rights, Human Rights, Martin Luther King | Leave a Comment »