I Am Nobody

I am nobody. White. Female. Middle-class. A blur in the masses. 

I am not Hillary Clinton. I am not Oprah Winfrey. I am not Beth Moore. I am Barb. 

But… I write to heal. I write out of obedience. I pray I write to teach and to learn.

I grew up in a small town in the Midwest. I grew up poor, but not in poverty. I lived at the bottom of the street. The rich people lived at the top. Just a few blocks from us was where poverty lived. Black people lived on one side of the town. White people lived in the rest. A hold over from the days of segregation. I did not live through desegregation. (The law of that happened before I was born.) One of my best friends growing up was black. I stayed at her house on the other side of town. She stayed at my house. My favorite teacher was black. I never thought about it. She was just a great teacher. She loved me. I loved her. She just happened to be my good friend’s mother. They lived there, and continued to live there, because that was where family property was. I never asked them about being black. I didn’t know to ask. I didn’t know it was that different. I asked why she slept in a shower cap. That was a difference I could see. So I asked. I wish I had known to ask more. But, I didn’t.

As an adult, I’ve lived in 2 cities. I did not like the hustle and bustle of the city. I hate traffic! It wasn’t about diversity or crime. It was about the hurry. I did not like it. 

For the past 20 years I have lived in 2 small towns in the deep south. I love the south. I love the climate. I love the history. I love the manners. I love the people. But today, it makes me nobody. Far removed from the issues we are facing. Or so I am told. 

But, let me clear something up. I am SOMEbody. I am a daughter of the King. Joint heirs with His son Jesus. Righteous through the blood He shed. The core of my heart was evil. Just as everyone’s is. But Jesus came and cleaned it. Made it new. And because of that, and only that, am I able to love and see people as He sees people. Because of that, my heart breaks because I know his heart breaks. Because of that, I want to know more. I want to understand. 

The crimes we see today are simply a surface problem of a much deeper issue. Racism is still here. It always will be. It’s in every country. (Again, evil heart.) But we have to see the core of it all. I’ve watched it happen over my lifetime and it’s escalated to an alarming size. There is an overall devaluing of human life. 

That anyone could sit and film a man dying while another man (police or not) have their knee on his neck is horrific. They cared more about getting the video than helping save a man’s life. 

That anyone could film and watch an elderly man bleed out on a sidewalk because a police officer pushed him down, while yelling someone needs to help him is horrific. They cared more about getting the video than helping save a man’s life. 

That not ONE person stepped in to help the elderly man laying on the street gives me deep chest pains. NOT ONE!! The police officers looked at him and walked off as they called for an ambulance. Hundreds of protesters stood and looked at him, shouting for someone to help him.

How many stood around George Floyd and watched him die under the knee of the officer. Were they afraid? Without a doubt. But it’s time for us to relearn the value of a human life. 

SOMEONE HELP THEM! Stop watching them die. Value their life over your own fears. 

I don’t know how to end this blog, because there is no end. I pray someone reads this and next time they see harm coming to another human being, they remember and decide human life is more important than the video. Human life is more important than their fear. Human life is worth stepping in to save. Every human life!

I will. Because I am not nobody. I am a reflection of Jesus and he values life to a point that He gave His very own for every one.

What’s Hindering Your Love?

“For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

– Galatians 5:1 (CSB)

What hinders you? What keeps you from living the full life you were created to live? What keeps you from loving your neighbor? Or, as my pastor asked us recently,

“What does love require of me?”

I cannot answer these questions for you and I’m guessing a majority cannot answer them for themselves. We don’t like to think about it. It’s deep. Down in the depths of our souls. The answers to these questions. The answers hindering us to love, to live lives free. Yet we do because we fear the outcome. Our progress is slow and we are holding back living the full life that loving others bring. Afraid to let God in. Because we may have to admit we were wrong. We may have to love someone we used to judge or taught to hate. So we hide and pretend it doesn’t exist.

The first act of hiding came shortly after the creation of man. We cannot know for sure how long it took, but we can see it is in the third chapter of the Word – Eve ate, Eve shared, Adam ate, they hid. Well, that didn’t take long! Adam knew he had disappointed God. So his innate response was to hide from Him. He suffered from the guilt of exposure! From there mankind made it a way of life. A way of coping. A way to keep from disappointing God and others.

Yet, the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23a) The first wage of the first sin was the death of freedom. Adam no longer felt free to be open with God. 

He no longer felt free…

     ~ to be exposed 

     ~ to live in paradise. 

So would begin the long journey to find that freedom again. Stories of great men of God ~ Abraham, Moses, David… ~ hiding in their selfishness, abuse, self-destruction, sexuality, and I dare say greatness. Nothing is new under the sun, now is it? The same things we try to hide behind even today. The same things that hinder us from the fullness of freedom God has provided.

Today, be brave! Take time and think about what is hindering you from the fullness, from the freedom to love those around you. 

Do you disagree with their politics?
…Love them anyway…

Do you disagree with their lifestyle?
…Love them anyway…

Do you disagree with their beliefs?
…Love them anyway…

The freedom Paul spoke about in Galatians 5:1 is freedom from slavery. Christ died to break the yoke of that slavery. Whatever it may be. Oh, friend, freedom is possible and I’m so excited to take the next days, weeks, whatever it needs to be, and let the Holy Spirit lead us to find it. 

Father, even now, as I read this, may you move me beyond hindered love. Move me beyond what is holding me back so I may find fullness of love in You. Open my heart and my mind to hear from you through these simple devotions. Show me what love requires of me. Guide me into freedom. Amen!