A Mother’s Heart

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I watch with interest as thousands of children arrive at our border. While the pundits on both the left and the right argue and do nothing but fight for political gain, I can’t help but be saddened. For us and for them.

I see a hopeless parent put their child on a train to cross borders of countries illegally in hopes of a promise. Perhaps the child will die in transit but for a parent it is better than the life they can provide. As a citizen in a country where we don’t even let our child play outside alone, let alone talk to strangers this must be heart-wrenching.

Oh, we can demonize the parent if it makes us feel better because parents of children from other countries can’t possibly love their children as much as we do. We can say it’s a political ploy and these are nothing more than pawns, and we are correct they are pawns, only the more we dehumanize children the easier it is for us to make snap judgment.

And they have lice and diseases, and we have lice and diseases, only we have access to a drug store and vaccinations and money and we clean up well and they don’t. And they send gang members and children who are incorrigible and we have gang members and children who are incorrigible in big cities sent to live with relatives in smaller towns, but somehow we measure more worthy because our poor children are a product of the lack of opportunity and a system that isn’t fair, oh wait, is that them or us? Are they simply pawns of human traffickers? If they are then what? And while we create a chasm of difference we forget that a parent sent this child on the road, and may never see them again, knowing the danger and risking their own child’s life a parent dared to hope. And what was Moses’ mother’s name because I seem to recall her story?

Your political view says I am naive, and I get why you think so! We have a messed up immigration system and people take advantage and draw unemployment on fake social security numbers and live in welfare housing undeserved and feel entitled and commit crimes and while yes, that is a real problem and I don’t like it, until you change a political system that is broken down, there will be no remedy. However I trust in a higher court, and in that court the people who cheat, lie, and steal, will have an end that will not be profitable for life despite their religious affiliation, but in the meantime a mother has sent her child across countries to find hope. And while I don’t have solutions I have compassion. “Send them to Mexico”, is the cry I heard and despite Mexico’s screams for immigration reform in the United States, Mexico does not care for the immigrant. They don’t provide medical care or education. They are country who screams for the United States to have compassion while I have seen none from them. A poverty mentality only looks after their own. So their doors are shut.

And the words of TD Jakes run through my heart in this time, “Where money rules there can be no justice”, I wonder if these parents would have sent their children away if they had not been desperate? For you see, despite America’s problems, we are still a beacon of hope. The Taliban targets us because they say we are the bearers of the cross and if that is so, then we must bear our cross. I have a Mother’s Heart and that heart keeps saying; There is parent out there that is desperately missing their child. They may never see each other again, or our government may send them back, the jury is still out. But we have a parent who thought, I can endure heartbreak and send my child away, or we can sit here until we die.

The Selfie-ish Generation

Duck Face Diva? This woman may never be out of the internet spotlight thanks to her memorable mugshot --> http://abc30.tv/1nqxDTI
Duck Face Diva?
This woman may never be out of the internet spotlight thanks to her memorable mugshot –> http://abc30.tv/1nqxDTI

 

I stepped out and said it. I did. I posted on my Facebook page that I was proud of Pastor Rob Cox, who pastors a group of young adults training for ministry at his church A Place Of Refuge, for all that he is doing. I also commended him for making a rule of no selfies for the seminary students.

I swim upstream here. I know I do. I don’t mind an occasional selfie. A profile pic, a picture on vacation, but I have an issue with the obsession of it.

Romans 7:9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.

Matthew Henry’s commentary on this scripture says:

Paul describes himself as in sensible of the corruption of his nature till he saw himself in the glass of the law (Rom. 7:9 ): “I was alive without the law; that is, I took all to be right with me, and thought myself not only clean, but, compared with the generality of the world, beautiful too; but when the commandment came, when the glass of the law was set before me, then sin revived, and I died —then I saw my spots and deformities, and discovered that amiss in myself which before I was not aware of; and such was the power of the law, and of sin, that I then perceived myself in a state of death and condemnation.’’ Thus, when we attend to the word of God, so as to see ourselves, our true state and condition, to rectify what is amiss, and to form and dress ourselves anew by the glass of God’s word, this is to make a proper use of it.

There is this look at me mentality that we need to overcome. All of us. And I’m not the only voice speaking. In an article by Stephen Miller True Worship in a Selfie World he writes:

This is the world in which we live, the world of the selfie.

The world where people take something that is not about them and make it about them through the lens of their camera.

Grown men pose with their best “Blue Steel” smolder while the tip of Paris’s breath-taking Eiffel Tower protrudes from the side of their heads like a tiny, awkwardly placed steel horn.

Teenage girls attempt their cutest look while a singular stone column of Rome’s ancient, awe-inspiring Colosseum is barely visible in the background.

We are not seeing the world through their eyes so much as seeing their eyes blocking the world.

And there is my point. I want to see the world through your eyes when I’m talking to you. Facebook is considered a one on one conversation with your closest friends. It’s the new water cooler meeting, the new breakroom chatter. I want to read about what you see in the world. I want to read about your thoughts on current events. I want to know what you think about issues that face our world. I want to read about how you are working in your area of ministry. As my friend Adrienne Piasta says, “tell me something good”. So I take the time to read my newsfeed and day after day I read, “I love myself.” Well, that’s great. I’m truly happy for you, the first 10 times, but after awhile I want to know if there is anything else going on around you? I want to know if you care about others? I want to know what you have going on today. I want to know about your goals. I want to know what you’re reading, what you’re learning, that you need prayer or you’re stuck in traffic and need a misery buddy for an hour. I love you, I think you are beautiful, but you don’t need constant approval….

Or do you?

 

So, I honor Pastor Rob Cox who is trying to change a generation’s view. I honor the Apostle Paul who said and I paraphrase, “I thought I looked okay until I looked in the mirror of the Word of God and then I realized there is a bigger picture.”

Stephen Miller ends his article perfectly:

May we all resist the temptation to fill the frame with our face, but rather fill our minds with his eternal glory, and never stop repeating the refrain of John 3:30:

“He must increase. I must decrease.”
“He must increase. I must decrease.”
“He must increase. I must decrease.”

 

At War With Women

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I was raised by a first generation feminist. My mother broke into a male dominated field full force. Her generation was the one who shouted, “I am woman hear me roar!” Her generation demanded to be treated as equal in the workplace and not just a piece of meat, “a honey”, or “a sweetie”.  She brought to the table the intelligence to do her job and the strength to push through boundaries of race, culture, and gender. My mother used terms such as Male Chauvinist Pig to describe men who tried to objectify her and tried to take her back to where she had to use her body instead of her mind as a way to move forward in life.

In the beginning of feminism it was about equality. Knowing you were a woman, but not limited to roles in job or pay. Today feminism, like every other movement, has gone to places I can’t follow. They have created a chaos in women’s identity but the one thing they still revere and I still appreciate is that they believe intelligence doesn’t favor a male, in fact, it is equal to those who choose to apply knowledge.

So what is the deal with women today? We have decided cleavage is power. Once again we don’t feel smart enough to compete in the workplace so we use our body. There is a term that when I first heard it, made me cringe and not believe it, but I have to be honest, I am agreeing with it these days. It’s called Female Chauvinist Pig and she is empowering men once again to objectify women by issuing her own war on women by allowing herself to be defined by her body. What causes her to breakdown the work of the women who forged a path for her? Clearly, it’s a self-esteem issue. She doesn’t think she has the smarts to win the battle in the workplace. Women admittedly say they showed cleavage because mistakes on the job were overlooked. Really? So when we don’t have a brain we show our body because being objectified allows us to keep a job we aren’t qualified for? I don’t think so. Women fought hard so that a woman was viewed as a whole person and not just the sum total of her breasts.

In Kathy Shiffer’s article Cleavage=Control? I Don’t Think So, she refers to an article written by Marge Fenelon entitled Cleaveage Does Not Rule where Marge Fenelon makes the statement:

Let’s go back to the title, which suggests that a woman can and should use her cleavage as a means of control over her life. In actuality, it’s not the woman’s life she’d be controlling with her cleavage – it would be the people around her and the way they perceive her. To take it a step further, she wouldn’t really be controlling her life; she’d be controlling the way people respond to her generously-revealed breasts.

Sorry but cleavage isn’t sexy when it’s free to everyone and no one ever looked down a woman’s blouse thinking she was wise.

Men Don’t Matter

What a lie we have been given.

If you haven’t read Part 2 click here.

As women, born of this generation in America, we have this ideal of a single mother that while true for some is not true for most. We can buy a house without a man, we earn our own income and for some we earn more than the man in our life. For some women who are not interested in equality in a marriage, often because of their own daddy issues, this becomes the seat of power in which we devalue a man and emasculate him to show our power. This has nothing to do with love and everything to do with pride.

We can buy a car, we have great credit and we can afford to do so. We can pay for private school, camp, medical care, and trips to amusement parks. This is the picture of a single mom. Only that usually isn’t the case. Many single moms struggle to make ends meet. Often have more month than money left at the end of their payday, and life isn’t this happy place they thought it would be. They get up early to get their children ready for school, lunches packed, themselves ready. They work hard to get the laundry and dinner and homework finished while they are dogged tired. They make grocery lists and hope there is enough money for the food they need to buy. They make pancakes for dinner at the end of the month because sometimes that’s all there is. They don’t get to go and have spa days or go with friends to have a nice dinner because it isn’t in the budget.

And no matter how much we try and no matter how much advances in technology and medicine we make:

A woman can’t be a father.

 

No matter how much we try to fill the void of a male influence we can’t do it. We’re failing miserably statistically. Our children are missing out whether we want to admit it or not. Sure, there are statistics of moms who raised incredible people on their own but they don’t outweigh the statistics of those who can’t. I have a saying,

“A woman can do it all. She just can’t do it all at once.”

So while we’re busy earning a buck and climbing a corporate ladder, our children are missing out on a critical component of a family. In their mind, they are learning that they may have to go it alone that one day, they too may be called to raise children on their own because families may or may not be sustained.

So let’s throw the lie out. Let’s begin a discussion with young women about how valuable they are and how we need to make better choices in the men we choose to father our children. Let’s talk about working on our marriage before they are broken and let’s talk about marriage before babies. I know it sounds counter-culture and I know it it will sound sexist and it will be met with push back and name calling but I’m okay with that. And here is why: Watch this video and tell me daddies aren’t important. Watch this video and tell me that she has someone else who fills this void in her life regardless of who her daddy is. Tell me that these daddies are not necessary. Tell me that she isn’t affected.

“When he does time, she does time.”

 

I’m okay with the being an unpopular voice if a child gets an active, involved, worthwhile, father. I’m okay with the term baby daddy being thrown out of our vocabulary. Because it was never meant to be there in the first place.