Three weeks ago I discovered the digital comic strip of artist Yao Xiao. A China-born illustrator now based in New York City, Yao Xiao’s artwork delves into human emotions, identity, and friendships. Her lesson in a particular comic strip, Baopu #15, touched me deeply as she highlighted the tendency some of us have to say “I’m sorry” when what we really mean to
say is “Thank you.”
Some of the examples include :
- If you want to say “Thank you for understanding me,” don’t say “Sorry I’m not making a lot of sense.
- If you want to say “Thank you for listening,” don’t say “Sorry I’m just rambling.”
The final thought stood out to me. “Don’t apologize for simply existing. Because it is not wrong.” Continue reading
I read the comments. I know they say, “Don’t read the comments,” but I read the comments, and now I feel like I need to respond. The current comments that I read were on a Facebook post under a link to a Louisville, KY news station’s report about the response of the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to a church asking for a review of Donald Trump’s membership in the PC(USA). (Spoiler alert: Although he was baptized in a Presbyterian congregation, he’s not currently a member of a PC(USA) congregation, so there is no membership to review or, as the headlines are implying, revoke.) Mulitple comments, however, didn’t even address this specific question. Instead they made declarations like “…we as a church have no business in politics.” And that’s what fired me up.
The Song of Zechariah found in Luke 1:68-79, are some of the first words the priest uttered upon the birth of his son, John, the cousin of Jesus, the one we know as John the Baptist. Zechariah had been made mute by the angel Gabriel at the start of his wife’s pregnancy because of his fear and disbelief, but when the child was born and Zechariah and Elizabeth named him John as Gabriel had instructed them, his tongue was freed and filled with Holy Spirit John’s father, Zechariah, spoke this prophecy. Listen now for the words he proclaimed.
Zechariah had been silent for the entire duration of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Silent. He spoke not one word. He didn’t ask how she was feeling. He didn’t wonder aloud with her when the child would come. He also didn’t stick his foot in his mouth asking inappropriately about just how big her stomach would get, so maybe there were some advantages. But Zechariah had been silent the entire pregnancy, unable to speak at home or in the temple. Continue reading