Reinventing the 4th – Part 2

Continued from Part 1….

This Fourth of July was quite different for me.

The second component that impacted my celebration of Independence Day 2020 relates to my continued choice to respond thoughtfully to the recent social unrest regarding racial injustice. I am listening and learning as stories are shared by the black community. On the weekend of the 4th of July, the historic speech given by Frederick Douglas came to my attention again and in many formats. I was reminded of some harsh truth. That speech impacted me, and I thought more deeply about the experience of others this year. Here is a video of one of the best recitations of that important speech that I saw or read this past weekend.

I lament the power and wealth disparity in our nation that I believe feeds on the suppression of certain groups. I will take steps to change that in the days to come. But for this July 4th, I sat quietly at times, to honor others and their stories.

Continued in Part 3….

Stay compassionate, my friends.

Pause to Lament – Charlottesville Violence


My heart was saddened by the complicated events in Charlottesville, Virginia that took place on Saturday, August 12, 2017. My thoughts and prayers are with the residents, governing officials, law enforcement, and all the families affected. I pray for the families of the three who perished, as well as the many injured. I also must pray for the family of the young man who used his car as a weapon. I pray for the participants on both sides of the event, though that is packed with challenges. I am reminded in the biblical text I read to guide my life that I am to pray for enemies. Never easy.

This is a tragic reminder of an evil reality rooted deep in some of the broken, systemic problems of our dear nation. Hate is a poison that kills good, justice, and peace. It cannot be tolerated. I lament and ask God for wisdom, mercy, and guidance, both for recovery, restoration and reconciliation. And I ask myself how can I be part of the solution?

Lament: To mourn.