Archive for February, 2009

26
Feb
09

Marking Lent with the Death of a Friend

My buddy, the poet, Aaron “Beau” Beaucage is dead.  Beau was an awesome guy and a good friend. He was a truly exceptional poet.

I visited with Beau every other day for 6 months.  He called often after I had ankle surgery.  He lived outside.  He was supposed to go on a fishing boat, but the fishing industry dried up.  Hundreds were out of work.  Beau ended up homeless.  He struggled greatly with depression due to his inability to support his two kids like he felt he should. His youngest was in Bali with her mother.  He loved them both and wanted only to get himself back on his feet so he could go and be with them.  He left from Seattle to California for work.  When he arrived to California, the promised job was no more.

Beau died in his sleep with over half his life left in front of him.  I guess he thought death was a better option than his current situation…

I wonder if we were willing to open up our home to him.  To care for him during his bouts of depression.  To provide some semblance of stability in his currently whirlwind life.  I wonder if we had opened up our home if he would have died…

This is a video of my buddy Beau doing his poem “Nothing is Meaningless”.  Please watch…

13
Feb
09

thank God for opening my heart

For those that don’t know, I grew up a right-wing fundamentalist Baptist.  It was like growing up Southern Baptist but on crack.  You know the type…women are less than men, blacks don’t belong in white churches, you don’t date inter-racially, don’t drink, don’t smoke, homeless people are just lazy bums, only use the King James bible, and we are the only people that have all the right answers.

Today I found myself sitting have coffee with an older black male who is homeless and is a Muslim.  Today was his birthday.  I am proud to call Perry a friend.  We reflected today on love and marriage, a husband’s role and the influence that our stories play in our lives and how our lives are shaped by the legacy of others.  I feel privileged to know him.

As I set there I noticed that I had three messages.  One was from a woman in her early 50’s who identifies as a man.  The next was from a black male in his early 40’s who happens to be gay.  The next was from a white male, almost 30, who pastors a Christian church.

I looked and thought to myself, “wow, God has blessed me with some cool friends”.  I look at this group, along with Perry, and am amazed how much they have taught me.

Thank you God for opening my heart, for helping me to see beyond class, sex, religion, and orientation.  Thank you for helping me to love them.  Thank you for my friends.

02
Feb
09

apparently I’m a woman

GenderAnalyzer, one of those new faddish sites on the internet, uses Artificial Intelligence to determine if a webpage has been written by a man or woman.

Well…apparently, at the time of writing this, it’s 95% sure that my blog is being written by a woman, and you know what?  I couldn’t be more pleased.

You see I grew up in a very male dominated culture.  Fortunately my mother and grandmother who both raised me were very strong women.  Yet, I still adopted a very low view of women.  Until I came to Washington I had never interacted one on one, outside of my family, with a woman who I felt was an equal.  I know thats horrible, but it’s true.

By God’s grace, I finally started re-examing every area of my life back in late 2004.  At that time, disgustingly enough, I probably had gone on dates with over a 100 women.  Then I met my now wife.  She blew my mind.  I felt she was not only equal but above me in many areas.   Also, my wife’s best friend Tiffany was a challenge to my mindset.  I respected them in the initial stages of our friendship more that I did most of my male friends.  I still do…

Then I came to Washington and WOW!!!  On every side, I was surrounded by women who were challenging me, encouraging me, forcing me to grow, and teaching me.  Their friendships have blessed me and they serve as mentors to me in all areas of my life.  When I married my wife it was hard for her to understand that I wanted 50/50 leadership and guidance, that we were equals under the eyes of God and would structure our marriage as such.  The thought was foreign to her…

Now I look back and ask myself, where they always there, the voices of strong women leaders?  Or had my patriarchal society so quelled their voices while at the same time teaching us as males to pay to no heed to their stories?  Perhaps both…

The only thing I know, as I sit at my computer with my IVP Women’s Bible Commentary in front of me, is that I praise God for opening my heart and soul to be taught and live life as equals, and co-labor alongside my sisters in Christ.  95% female?  Thank you God for whatever that means.