I’m particularly grateful for so much this year! For health and safety, for family and friends, for the chance I had to travel to the U.S. in March and to Norway in July, for ten years of marriage with my partner and dear friend, Fabio, for thriving bridge-building in Lyon, France among people of diverse backgrounds, social classes, beliefs, and cultures. I’m grateful for those who read this blog, those who keep in touch, those who pray for me and my family, for my inter-cultural/global leadership doctoral program that is called Redeeming Power and Liberating Equity for Gender/Ethnic Relations. I feel spoiled to be participating in what life is giving me at the moment even as my oldest daughter is home sick from school. I’m grateful for the work I’ve been able to do online with women around the world who suffer from trauma and PTSD and the consequences that go with those experiences. I’m grateful for the weather and the trees, the crisp, fall air, for fresh coffee with milk in the mornings, and many cups of Rooibos, Green, Mint, Licorice teas, for good food, new recipes to try like last night’s Scandinavian salad with potatos and broccolini and sage/rosemary chicken, chocolate brownies, a friend’s muffins with M&M’s, for flowers that I recently planted, lettuce that is growing in our daughters’ room, for the tiny Christmas tree Fabio and J brought home last night… I’m grateful to be alive! I’m in awe of the little things and the way that joy can encompass all of life’s complexities including sadness, anger, and loneliness. True joy can handle it all and has big enough arms to embrace death, suffering, poverty, destruction and despair (to paraphrase R.Bell).
I just watched part of this video on the Doctrine of Discovery and the ongoing steps (finally!) to move toward a more equitable future for our indigenous sisters and brothers. It is a long and sometimes difficult video to watch, but around 55 minutes, you can hear the mediator share why it’s an important topic for anyone who is “relational, thoughtful, and increasingly equitable”. Even though everything seems to be political in the U.S. right now, my heart is not to cause division, or even unity for that matter. My reason for posting this video is to challenge myself and all of us to live toward a more wholistic view of Creation, of God, of ourselves that includes the Good News of Jesus Christ without compromising justice or equity in the world. This is a tall order. It cannot be done perfectly. We do it as best we can with the knowledge and the experience that we have – being willing to learn along the way. How I long for us to see one another as made in the image of God. This is my contribution for the day. To my indigenous friends around the world, whether connected to tribes in North America or Asia or South America or Africa or Australia, I think about Thanksgiving 2021 with a different perspective… and fight with you for you to be seen and heard as equals on this earth.