Feel the weight

Feel the weight

I stood here in this
spot on the porch
and I had a lot
going on in my
heart and mind.
I know you can’t
tell from the picture…
but just trust me on this one.
I looked at the picture
that I made,
compliments of
the sun, and
I took a moment
to feel the weight of
what I was feeling.
Maybe you are in
that place, too.
Maybe you are
carrying heavy burdens –
for yourself,
your family,
your friends, and
for our country.
I feel it, too.
I am just one voice.
You have one, too.
I am just a little shadow
but please note from the picture
that I also have a stage.
You have one, too.
So let’s remember this
moment of being full
of righteous anger,
let’s allow it
to propel us
to take up our space
on our own individual stages
and speak truth.
Go ahead and be loud,
but please pace yourself.
Your stage may be leading
your kids to understand bias.
Your stage may be leading a
book club to discuss a book on antiracism.
Or perhaps you dive in and unlearn
and share what you are learning anew.
Perhaps your role is to
share your stage and
amplify another’s voice.
Don’t forget what you feel.
Don’t forget you have a stage.
See my boy

See my boy

Sweet, little toes.

Precious nose. 

Chubby cheeks. 

First steps.

Belly laughs.

ABCs and 123s.

Strong legs run fast.

Make-me-laugh antics.

Off to kindergarten.

Discovers Spiderman.

Makes new friends wherever he goes. 

He loves any and every kind of sport that includes a ball.

(Black boys only play basketball and football.)

He graduates to middle school and embraces strong opinions and loud music. 

(Why is that bass so loud? What a bunch of disrespectful kids.)

Hugs, belches, and debates are commonplace. 

(He is too boisterous for his own good.)

Eighth grade is a beast that he conquers and is also the year of his first crush.

(My daughter is off-limits to your affections.)

High school is here and it is a busy life with games, events, lessons, and friends. And of course, several missteps that we have to work through.

(Why isn’t that tall boy playing basketball? What do you mean he is on the debate team? What’s he doing there?)

He’s discovering who he is as a person.

(He has a hoodie on and has suspicious intentions.)

It’s a glorious sight to see. 

(Stay in your lane. Don’t challenge the status quo.)

He is a handsome masterpiece that I get to watch being chiseled into form.

 (He might have more options if he didn’t talk the way he talks.)

It’s an honor to watch him grow his friendships and work so hard to accomplish his goals. 

(He’s awfully friendly with all the girls.)

There’s the culmination of four years of homework, meetings, group projects, and games.

(I don’t trust him.)

I beam as he crosses the stage. 

(Wow. He’s going to that university? How did he get in?)

He works through college, falls in love and I watch him step into his own.

(I am sure he’s a good guy, but not good enough for my blue-eyed girl.) 

He is a joy to those who love him.

(It’s just a funny joke.)

He is strong and I can count on him. 

(If I saw him coming towards me at night, of course I would be worried.)

He works so hard at his job. 

(He got let go because he didn’t know his place.)

I am a proud mom.

(They are all the same.)

He will always be my baby boy. 

You don’t see what I see.

You don’t even try.

You can’t see clearly through racism.

The world sees only the color of his skin and the response to him is fear and brutality.

(He reached into his pocket.)

(He should not have been in that neighborhood.)

(He fought back. If he had just cooperated, it would have gone differently.)

My boy. 

The man who lives his life and makes the world a better place and you discount him, discredit him and act as though he is disposable. 

Because he is black.

Your desire is to snuff him out.

Because of the color of his skin. 

Your disdain is disgusting and abhorrent against people made in the image of God and yet you still believe you are defending your nation, your values, your neighborhood.

I am emboldened to be strong in spite of your grotesque excuses, jokes, and silence. 

See my boy for all that he is.

See his joy, see his worth, see the impact he makes in the world, see his complete humanity. 

See him. 

See past what you think you know, see past the biases that enshroud your heart and mind, unlock the chains that hold you to false narratives.

My boy isn’t safe in this world.

I need you to do this work. 

See my boy.


**Written with Siobhan Dunford

You’re never far

You’re never far

We might be five miles apart, 

next door, or 2500 miles away

from each other. 

But you’re never far. 

Distance can’t change 

what the heart holds. 

Distance can’t dilute 

our determination 

to care for one 

another well. 

We will find a way.

Distance cannot

weaken love.

It just doesn’t 

have that kind of power.

Distance only makes

us ache to be more present.

This can fuel how

we show up in 

our own homes 

and in our communities.

Don’t hide 

from what you feel –

dig deep, process your

thoughts to be able

to love and serve

those close and those

far away.

Otherwise, I am afraid

we risk not 

showing up at all and

we just can’t

afford that. 


Not alone

Not alone

You’re not alone.

You’re not alone.

And if you are

convinced you are –

I’m there, too.

I may feel





But friend,

I am not


You are weak from


against the

assault of the

relentless wind

but I need you to

shift your gaze.

Look up.

Look up.

I’m here.

I see you.

I see your heart

and you see mine.

No words required.




We may be tired,

beaten down,

but we are

determined to

weather the storm.

You hold me up.

And then it’s my turn

to orient you.

You are never alone.

I’m right here.


In the wrong

In the wrong

The greatest gift we can

give someone is

inviting them to be

fully themselves with us

and then cheering them on

as they pursue all

they are meant for.

We don’t all receive this gift. 

And this is why:

We withhold

permission from 

others to step 

into all that they are

made for

because it will 

personally cost us something. 

It sure doesn’t feel great

when this happens to me.

I feel defeated

and it is that much 

harder for me to 

take up my space.

I don’t appreciate when someone

denies what I see in me,

or tries to keep me small. 

And yet I put others through it –

the cost is too great, 

and we make excuses. 

And what happens then?

We are all miserable. 

All of us living out lies, 

all of us in the wrong.

We are either wrong for 

witholding permission 

or we are wrong for 

waiting for it.