Christmas is a time to enjoy cozy lights, sweet treats, and Dutch gezelligheid – a wonderful word without pure translation, but roughly: nice/comfy/friendly/cozy- ness.
Some think of “baby Jesus,” or making everything just right, and still others wish to fast forward through the season. Holidays can be painful for some so I want to share a verse I’ve never heard at Christmastime which may give hope, especially to any who’ve ever been oppressed. Or maybe it gives more perspective beyond the baby in a manger.
Disney’s Brave touched my heart like Frozen, but deeper. In Frozen we glimpse our divine identity and sacrificial love, but Brave touches on the reality of our love-hate relationship with God. (Warning, spoiler alert.)
Fiery and fun-loving Merida wants to live on her own terms, like most of us, but cultural traditions oppress her spirit. Her mom tries to prep Merida for the way of a princess, including arranged marriage and great authority, but the mom and daughter are losing their minds and eachother.
This has been an extra hard post to write and share. The danger in revealing something of your heart is it becomes open for ridicule, but it can also spark hope in someone– do people know how loved they are!? So I write knowing some identifying as Christian will dispute, just like I dispute the Nashville Statement – please don’t think that speaks for me, other humans, or those identifying as “Christian”, or even God *Himself
Religion can steal/steel compassion and common sense, resulting in misinformed, cruel statements, actions, policies. But bible verses have always been used against fellow man, woman, child, even the environment.
Even the devil quoted scriptures.
Remember Frollo? Another religious leader who lost his heart/mind/way…
(*I use He and His as simple pronouns for God but fully recognize God with male and female “identity” -for lack of a better word- as demonstrated throughout the bible and blatantly through humanity. Related post here.)
So for those not wanting anything to do with God or “Christians” because of those calling themselves “Christian,” and to stand (or, ahem, #takeaknee) with rebel Christians who’ve been persecuted and pushed out of churches for thinking, doing, or flat-out being something “different,”
And for every child, woman, or man that heard your voice doesn’t matter because of your age, skin color, gender, marital or parental status, anything external, and for every creature and all nature that was abused under the notion that those made “in the image of God” are superior, this is for You.
REBEL CHRISTIAN MANIFESTO, or APOLOGY
Dear Children, little brothers and little sisters, You are the Mightiest Warriors of all.
Your heart, ideas, dreams and very life matter, not because of anything you do, but simply because: You Are. We are humbled by you. You’ve gone through fire because of the grave failings of our own adult hearts (Proverbs 17:3), and our grief is bottomless. (What are these tears God wipes in heaven if there are no more tears there? Maybe the ones we cry when we see just how much you’ve endured on our behalf…)
All heaven will bow before you. Thank you for your willingness to exist in this time with us.
Dear Women, Sisters, “Equal but with separate/different roles” was a lie spoken over you like “separate but equal” was spoken over those with darker skin color before you. You ARE equal to your brothers and your value rests not in your (in)ability to birth or raise children, to cook or clean… Your “role” was never meant to be defined by society, culture, the church, or anyone. God has always challenged our perception and understanding of identity and contrary to popular belief/practice, your giftings and talents were never supposed to be checked at the door when you came to a church service.
Why doesn’t Lightning come down straight? It’s ferocious and 5x hotter than the sun, so shouldn’t it just, literally, charge down? I never gave lightning much thought untill I heard a Capital Kings track, Forever. One lyric line, “I feel Your Lightning in my veins,” touched something in my heart and I was inspired to find lightning for my phone wallpaper. As I admired, I realized how much lightening looks like our veins…
How can music banish a bad mood and transport us to a place where problems, cares, fear, sometimes even pain (and certainly time) don’t exist? For a moment there’s just that beat, or lyric line, or bass, or …plug in your own thing– it’s magic. I’ll be feeling down but if a song comes on that rocks, something changes–and even babies know the feeling:
Melodies can spark our spirits, balm our hearts, mirror something of our soul, and sometimes floor us. Who needs Ecstasy when some tracks are flat-out orgasmic?
And Music also heals Socially…
Just think: when we rock to the same jam, things like Race, Gender, ‘Status,’ etc., disappear. Love takes shape in a sea of people grooving. Unity, peace, joy, no fear, no shame, No Problem.
The world puts people in boxes: you’re female so you feel like this, you’re Christian so you think like this, you’re American so you act like that…
God likes to mix things up to help break the social/tradition walls we build between people. Just consider the movie Hidden Figures(based on a true story) where we see brilliant, computer-like brains placed in– not just black, but black, female bodies– in 1960s America. LOL, God is such a rebel…
In Racer X like Jesus (Part 1), I shared how you can hear from God in unexpected places: timely counsel from a neighbor, that special song in the store, the wisdom of your kids, the breeze on your skin.. I got unexpected lessons from Frozen (5 Lessons I didn’t See Coming), so an encounter in Speed Racer should’ve been no surprise.
But once your spiritual antennae are up, movie dialogue touches deeper than simple script. Here were 6 gems I pulled: