Since my last pipeline, I have been to Guatemala, had my mama (plus a few other Arkansans!) come to visit and watched the glorious arrival of spring in Germany!
It’s been a wonderful month of connecting face to face with people. Lots of eye contact and soul-nourishing talks across tables.
April will be quieter (for travel and visitors) but we have lots of spring walking planned and I have a desk full of writing projects. I am super grateful for both because writing and walking are two of my favorite ways to spend time!
Here are a few links for you!! Lots of good reading this month…
I read Race and Place which is actually written by a friend of ours in Seattle. I think that this is a hugely important book to add to the conversation about racial reconciliation in the US, and especially in the church. I’ll share a a quote from the introduction I found especially helpful in the hopes that it will encourage you to get your hands on a copy:
…I hope to map a distinctly Christian vision of racial reconciliation that challenges the church to dig deeper into the soil that structures our lives together. Only by transgressing the socially constructed lines of racial division can we begin to reimagine places that cultivate human flourishing instead of strife. If I am right in assuming that geography indeed determines much of our perspective on race, then the purpose of this book is to provide some tools to (1) better understand the “placed” contexts of our racial division and (2) practice ways of being a new kind of community that reshapes our cities and neighborhoods in the image of divine belonging. Simply put, we must be Christian in all the places we’ve located our lives, and we must do it together.
To assume something as challenging and complex as racial division will just work itself out without serious reflection and radical praxis is dangerously naive, and for many, even life threatening. The status quo of isolation and segregation has been too costly, and too many vulnerable and valuable lives in places of exclusion have been lost along the way. Sadly, so many of the signs on our streets point to abuses of power, cries of pain and outrage, and elusive structural inequities that “all land, with great violence, upon the body.” Regardless of our color or creed, we cannot ignore how much these precious lives matter in the eyes of God. So let’s read the street signs a little more closely, dig deep with new determination, and link arms with our neighbors in solidarity and love. I hope we’ll find the courage, conviction, and creativity to follow the Spirit into uncharted territory.
-David P. Leong, Race and Place
In other reading, I finished the novel A Man Called Ove in a fit of laughter and tears.
I love it when people mark their birthdays in significant ways. I remember one year my dad got up early on his birthday to go run at the track where he went to high school. He ran a lap for every year of his life, praising God for every year he’s been granted on this earth. In the spirit of marking birthdays, I loved Tiffany’s 36 lessons from 36 years of her life. It was hard to choose a favorite but I might have to go with
“God is faithful, even when you are not.”
I’m especially collecting more children’s book titles for my list and while searching for books I came across this inspiring 11-year old boy who started Books and Bros to get his peers reading.
I read that the state of Arkansas is rushing to execute prisoners on death row because the drugs they use for the death penalty are going to expire. If that seems strange to you, listen to this podcast from More Perfect and it will seem stranger still. (Related: All Christians Should Oppose The Death Penalty)
As you may have noticed from my book on letters, I am a daily becoming a bigger fan of letter-writing. If you feel the same way, you might be interested to know that April is National Letter Writing Month! Joining in with a campaign to write more letters last April reignited my love for letter writing, and as a result I have been writing more letters ever since.
Related: I’ve recently discovered a website totally devoted to helping you write to a prisoner.
That’s about it for me. I hope you are enjoying the new life that is blossoming everywhere!