Archive for July, 2015

I opened my phone to a text from a rare sender, extremely rare, my grandmother.

Confused by the content, I gave it some time before looking at the news.  The message was an expression of worry for my life and the lives of my friends who may have been victim in the Lafayette theatre shooting, although there is a great distance between where I live and Lafayette.

My next emotion: a slight anger.

With all the studying, discussing, and acting to reconcile racial tensions and using my “privileged voice” to stand up for and support those who are deserving of respect and an equal voice, I immediately went to “why is she worried about an event that happened so far away and not those which happen here every day?”  The answer in my mind: “because the news only broadcasts the violence that affects the African-American population of New Orleans, of the south really.  She doesn’t see a threat to my life here.”

Unfortunately, my life is less at risk here than many others in the city, who are no more or less deserving of what haunts them day and night.

But this isn’t a blog about segregation, racism, violence, or even racial reconciliation.

For my personal life, for my testimony, it is much bigger than that!

Part of my life I lived ostracized, seen as a complete disgrace as I made the decision to disrespect everything my dad ever offered me.  I chose to be baptized, and that choice seemed, at the time, to end any hope of reconciling the family tension from the previous generation.  I chose to follow Christ, not as an intentional sign of disobedience towards my father’s family, but rather with the desire to become a part of a grace-offering Family.

Now, I see Christ’s Body as so much more, but am still very grateful for our first days together, as I was welcomed into His Family.

It actually wasn’t until I had fully read the Old Testament, as a Christian, that I understood the differences of beliefs and began to understand why my Jewish ancestors were so offended by my believing and following Jesus.  No one ever educated me on the religious standings and their differences of perspective and tradition, during my childhood.

Since serving as the Maid of Honor six years ago for a seemingly Jewish-scientology-like ceremony, then asking my Grandmother about Jesus as Meshiac versus Messiah, and finally tonight’s brief text exchange, I see there is spiritual reconciling for this family line.

I pray they die (when the day comes) with Jesus in their hearts, but for now am in awe that such kind words are shared, “I will love you always,” implying I cannot do anything that would deny myself her love.  That’s different.  She continued, “You’re so special the entire Demlinger and Shapiro family agree.”  (Shapiro, the ever so popular Jewish surname).

What this shows me, is as long as we live completely devoted lives, dedicated to working out what God wills for us, He cannot go unnoticed.  For unconditional love to be shown towards me, at this point in our family history, I know that God is involved, and that is stupendous! “Special,” might we all be known for the special presence that is within our temple.

Jesus we know You are present always.  You make Yourself known and felt by those whom love You.  We come before You, recognizing our differences.  Teach us, encourage us, provide us the voice to stand with our brothers and sisters.  With courage and humility, might we know when to listen, when to speak, when to sit, and when to act, according to Your will Lord.  We praise You for Your invitation into a Family of everlasting love.  It is unconditional.  Here we are Lord, Your servants await Your call.


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