jesus is the biscuit, let him sop you up!

i loves me some latrice royale but i completely disagree with her when she said that gay unions should not be called ‘marriage.’ history will show that separate is not equal it seems that a few decades after we determined this and people have already forgotten. one minority should certainly show more compassion towards another for the exact reason that they have both experienced the exact same type of injustice rather than the former voting to take away the rights of the latter simply because they now benefit from the rights as part of the majority.

another history lesson on separation we need to take a look at is that of separation between church and state. people, especially christians, need to realize that this part of the constitution is designed specifically to protect their rights to practice their religions without the threat of punishment. it should not be used to take away the rights of others.

there’s been a lot of talk about the influence of the black vote on the recent gay marriage ban in north carolina. indeed, there’s been a lot of black church leaders speaking out against gay marriage (there’s been a lot of opposition to gay marriage from people of different colors and they all get their share of the blame too). i just really wish that history wasn’t so easy to forget and we uphold the dreams of people like martin luther king, jr. even his wife and widow, the late coretta scott king, fought for the rights of those in the lgbt community.

it makes me happy to see that there are strong black leaders, like rev. dr. otis moss III speak out for the equality and the distribution of civil rights for all people. below is an excerpt from his recent sermon followed by the video:

we have the fingerprint of the divine upon our spirits. there is no doubt that there are people who are same-gender loving occupying prominent places in the church but for the clergy to hide with a quick dismissive claim of poor biblical scholarship is as sinful as unthoughtful acceptance. when we make biblical claim without sound interpretation, we adopt doctrinal positions devoid of the love ethic. deep faith may resonate in our position but the ethic of love will always force you to reexamine and prayerfully reconsider your position. the question that you got wrong is the question that should be raised: ‘should all americans have the same civil rights?’ this is different than the question ‘does the church have the right to perform or not perform a religious rite?’ r-i-t-e. there is a different spelling between r-i-g-h-t and r-i-t-e. these two questions are answered in two different arenas. one in the pluralistic arena of civic debate and the other in ecclesiastical counsels. i do not believe ecclesiastical counsels are equipped to shape civic legislation nor are civic legislators equipped to shape religious rituals and doctrine. the institution of marriage is not under attack because of the president’s words. marriage was under attack years ago when men viewed women as property and children as trophies of their sexual prowess. marriage is under attack by low wages, high incarceration and lack of education. marriage is under attack by clergy who think nothing of stepping outside the bounds of marriage to sleep with ‘preaching groupies.’ same gender couples have not caused high divorce rate but our adolescent views of relationships and our inability as a community to come to grips with the ethic of love and commitment. we still mistake sex for love and romance for commitment. my father eloquently stated to a group of ministers the other day that our ancestors prayed for 389 years to get a president of color in the white house. we led over 200 slave revolts, fought in 11 wars, one civil war where 600 thousand people died, women’s suffrage. people were lynched for the civil rights bill of ’64 and the voting rights bill of ’65. he stated his father never voted and he rushes to the polls to pull the lever for every member of his family who was denied the right to vote. he said that he will not allow narrow-minded clergy or regressive politicians to keep him from exercising his right to vote and helping to shape the future of his grandchildren. the economic crash, foreclosures, and attack on health care were not caused by gay and lesbian citizens. poor schools were not created by people who desire equal protection. we have much work to do. to claim that the presidents of the united states must hold your theological position is absurd. he is the president of the united states–not the president of the baptist community convention, not president or bishop of the sanctified church. he is called to protect those who are jew and gentile; male and female; young and old; gay and straight. we, as a church, if we dare still wait from the noise of this debate will be able to hear the voice of the prophet to say that we are called to do justice, live mercy and walk humbly with god. gay people have never been the enemy and when we use rhetoric to suggest that they are the source of all our problems, we lie on god and cause tears to fall from the eyes of christ. i am not asking you to change your position but i am stating that we must stay and dialogue and not allow our personal emotional prejudices or doctrines to prevent us from clearly seeing the possibility of the beloved community. november is coming and the spirits of ella baker, septima clark, fannie lou hamer, a. philip randolph, james orange, medgar evers, and martin luther king, jr stand in the balcony of heaven raising the question ‘will you do justice, live mercy and walk humbly with god?’ emmett till and four little girls of alabama did not die for a sunday morning sound bite where you can show disdain for one group of god’s children. they died because of an evil act by men who believed in doctrine over love. we live today because of a man who believed in love over doctrine who died on a hill at calvary in the dusty plain of palestine.’

take us to church, latrice.

hallelujah, holla back.

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not a destination

i just feel so lost lately. actually, i started to feel lost when i started nursing school. the past year and a half has been really tough on me. it’s been blow after blow to my self-esteem and i can’t figure out why it is that i can’t do as well as i know i can. what happened? i just got so good at faking being fine and then falling apart occasionally, picking up enough pieces just so i can manage to more forward. every little thing gets to me. i think back to when i quit my job, went back to school and moved out on my own. i was so much stronger, so much more courageous, so much more clear about my future. and now i’m just struggling with my life, my relationship with gibius, my family, his family, my friends, where i’m headed and always always struggling with where i’ve been. i hold everything in and it’s too much at times.

reading about a little bit about cat stevens and listening to this song has been inspirational. it at least gives me something to look forward to… a reflection of where i was headed before, where i want to be headed now.

que sera, sera

so i haven’t been fasting for ramadan. i wish i could say that it was simply just because i can’t deal with the hunger. it is because i could not think of anything but the hunger. and when i’m fasting just for the sake of doing it, then my motivations are wrong. i’m not having the clarity of mind that i need to have and i don’t want to view fasting as a form of punishment. it needs to be something to which i look forward. it needs to be something that helps me grow.

the semester begins tomorrow and i think the challenge that will help me be the person i want to be is to learn acceptance to changes and to things i cannot control. life will be life, people will be people, i’m going to be who i am supposed to be when it’s time. there are things i can do to help me move forward but i can not move faster than i am… and the same things can be applied to my expectations of others.

a friend reminded me the other day that just because i see the potential in others, it doesn’t mean i have the right or it’s fair for me to expect them to live up to it. people are doing the best that they can and it’s not my responsibility to hold them to the same standards that i hold myself.

this is quite a tall order for me but i will get there when i get there. and that’s how i will begin.

Change the fabric of your own soul and your own visions, and you change all. ~Vachel Lindsay~

‘cuz my mama taught me better than that

wednesday was my last day of clinicals and i have to say, when i woke up at 5:30 that morning, i was not sure how i was going to make it through the day. between last saturday and that day, i must have gotten an average of two to three hours of sleep per night, and i definitely do not function well when i have not gotten my usual eight hours. given my emotional state from the previous evening and knowing that my patient for the day had just received devastating news regarding his health/disease process the day before, i was preparing myself for the saddest clinical day yet. but i had to go–this is what i signed up for.

i arrived early and when my clinical instructor arrived, i warned her of the possibility of me breaking down some time during the day. she said i can go home but i told her that i would not have the time to write a paper to make-up for missing a clinical day. i expressed my concern about caring for a patient who would possibly be in the lowest spirits while i am not at my best and she offered for me to switch patients. but i committed to being his nurse, knowing that he would be in this state on the day i would work with him. there was no question, i had to try to make it through the day if not for myself but for him, who was much more vulnerable and fragile than i could ever feel that day. i got permission to skip the morning’s group meeting and headed up to the floor, afraid to face the day.

but i could not have predicted what was in store for me.

i asked the night nurse how the patient was handling the news and she said he was fine, considering the circumstances. this seemed promising. i went into his room to let him know i was here and if he needed anything. it was 6:30 in the morning and he appeared more melancholic than when i had met him exactly 24 hours prior. he shared his bad news with me, not knowing that i was briefed about his condition even before i met him. strangely enough, he was still in higher spirits than any other patient i had had this semester. it made me want to work that much harder for him.

when i met my nurse, i figured i would be stuck with another one who did not care for passing on any wisdom and generally felt that student nurses just got in her way but i was wrong. she guided me that morning and entrusted me with responsibilities i had always been ready for but was never given by any of the other nurses. not only did i have my patient relying on me but my nurse actually believed in me and it motivated me that much more.

throughout the morning, my patient and his family were laughing and joking. i was surprised and inspired. for these people to be there, enjoying the day, perhaps more than any other day, was a scene i was lucky to have seen. i escorted my patient and his wife for a procedure and while i felt their anxiety, i also felt their determination to fight. at the same time, they didn’t treat me as a worker or a servant. they talked to me as a person.

the most touching conversation i had was with my patient when his wife had stepped out to make some calls. he began to reminisce about his life growing up, his father, his old job and friends, his dogs and his granddaughter. he confessed that he was afraid and that he had not gotten any sleep. aside from the feeling of pride that i had chosen those exact two nursing diagnoses for my care plan for him, i felt an immense amount of privilege to have been here with him and his family on this very day. i sat there and offered what i could say but mostly, i listened because i knew the comfort of having somebody there just listen while you let your emotions spill from your chest, through your lips and into somebody’s ears.

as a student nurse, i could not provide much for him in terms of caring for his health at that point. but as a person, i could provide friendship.

the rest of my clinical day with my patient carried on with one goal in my mind: to provide whatever i could, little as it may, not to my patient but for this man. he was a person too. and at the very core, that is what nursing is all about–touching people’s lives when they are at their worst and in turn, being touched by them and their circumstances. it is the human element. i am never going to look at this career as one-sided; i get something out of this too. every day, with every person, will give me humanity.

(that day, the doctor said that my patient did not have a recurrence of his disease but he would need to conduct a biopsy to be sure. i hope it works out for him and his family)

the universe is listening

[after patho class]

pathophysiology professor: how are you?
me: you mean… in school?
pathophysiology professor: life in general
me: um… ok, i guess.
pathophysiology professor: it can be tough

i don’t talk to anyone at school about my personal life and my professors would be the last people i would confide in… but the universe can hear me and is letting me know that i’ll be taken care of

have a vision? state it.

here’s mine and i need to recite it now more than ever.

 

I am the person I have always wanted to be. I am in a loving relationship with my family. I understand where I come from and I know where I am going. I have openness for the world and its people and as a result, I have great reverence for life and am humbled by it. This life is mine and I control my destiny—I choose how to feel, how to do, how to move, how to smile and laugh, how to live, how to be. Everything I do is to bring myself closer to who I am meant to be. I am happy.