Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I Am Not a Fighter of Giants

I keep hearing people talk about having a place at the table. I’m not arguing that they shouldn't pursue a seat.  I know that a lot of good could come from more diversity at that table and I know some people have a calling to face off against giants.

But I don’t think that table is where I want to be.

I am not a fighter of giants.

I hate being in any situation where I don’t feel welcome. I’m not going to spend my days trying to get the attention of someone who ignores me when I extend my hand. I will let people exclude me, because I know I cannot make someone see me if they refuse to look or hear me if they refuse to listen.

I also hate to be in a place where I am welcome, but others are not. Even at a table where everyone is allowed a seat, if some of those seats are offered grudgingly, with averted eyes or conditions or shying away, I don’t want to sit at that table. That kind of table will not feel like home. I don’t to be where I know anyone else feels unwanted or where I am only welcome if I close ranks and ignore others who are still standing, unwelcome. 

want to sit at a table where we see and honor all the ways we are different, as well as all the things we have in common.

I want to sit at a table where we see each other’s identities and bodies as reminders of Incarnation, without designating any single type or expression as the norm from which others vary.  

I want to sit at a table where pain can be spoken of freely and is heard without hostility or excuses, where we truly listen to each other and value each other as individuals. I want us to celebrate each other's joys and triumphs as though they were our own.

I want to sit at a table where we see the world as it could be, should be, as a beautiful tapestry with all of us woven together to make something strong and breathtaking out of whatever expression of God’s image we experience in our embodied selves.

I want to sit at a table where we are siblings in humanity and love is our language, where even if our names for God are different or even if people join us who don’t believe in things like Incarnation or the Imago Dei, they still feel welcome to pull up a chair.

I want to sit at a table where there is always more room for people who want to experience family and speak to each other with love.

Yes, I know many will scoff and say it is impossible. I will be called an idealist and a dreamer for wanting that table to exist and thinking people might join each other there. 

I don't care. 

I know there are others who also want that table and are already showing up, making connections, doing the work to try to make it reality.

So maybe, at least in some moments, it already is.


  1. You may not be a fighter of giants, but you sure do need to write more. (Easier said than done, right?) There is a LOT of wisdom in this post...

  2. Thank you, Ben! I write because it is the best way for me to process whatever I'm thinking or reading or hearing. Seems like I'm always in that tension between wanting someone to read what I write and feeling terrified someone will read what I write.

    And yes, it is always easier to say I'll make more time for writing than to actually do so.