integrity.

as i continue to see these tragedies happen day in and day out, as i see and hear people damning, condemning, and speaking only evil on the internet and in real life, i am grieved. i am grieved for the lives cut short, for the people who are being wounded, for the people who are so filled with hate that they have no room for humility to see where they may be wrong.

and i am grieved in my own spirit that i have spoken angry words, that i have spoken things that were mean-spirited. i’m grieved that i have been part of the problem in my words and deeds.

this is my heart breaking for my actions. this is my heart breaking as i realize that i am the rich young ruler, and i no longer want to be. this is my heart breaking for the all the beings of the earth, human and non-human animal, who suffer and are mistreated.

and i want to say that i’m repenting of consumerism. i’m repenting of speaking hate (death). i’m repenting of talking more than listening.

from now on, i’m going to listen more than talk. i’m going to ask more questions. i’m going to give more than i get. i’m going to speak only life. i’m going to speak honestly and with integrity. i’m going to let Jesus be more and myself be less.

american gothic [attempt].

it’s been two years. the media crews are long gone. the tweets and hashtags buried under new atrocities and awkward selfies. the debris has been removed and the damages repaired. the building stands upright once more, waiting for the new owners to start painting it with their vision. it’s going to be a bookshop. it’s going to be a place for conversation, for art. it’s going to be a place where all are welcome to sit among the stacks of books and escape. it’s going to be a place where all are welcome and none are judged. a place to listen and share around the stage talking about life. but as construction gets underway and the shop opens, people start noticing that wherever you go, you hear the faint echo of a hundred cellphones ringing. they never stop ringing.

my first attempt at the “american gothic” style of writing. it was inspired by a line a read about the Orlando tragedy where first responders reported being overwhelmed by the sound of so many cellphones continuously ringing.