Jun 012014
 

WBC

Many of you have written to tell me that Westboro Baptist Church is planning to picket Mighty Maya’s funeral. Yes, I know. It’s really something, isn’t it? Last night I sat and talked with Craig about my need to make LOVE WIN in my heart when it comes to WBC. Because the energy that is stirred inside of me every time I hear of them is a powerless rage/sadness/confusion energy-  and it’s unhelpful.  I needed to find a way to convert that unhelpful energy into helpful energy because “powerless” is a lie. I’ve learned that we cannot change the fact that fear will be released into the world again and again- but we DO have the power to convert that fear into love. As it flows into us, we must CHANGE it before we allow it  to flow back out to others. We must interrupt the flow. We have that power. And that’s my favorite kind of conversion –  Fear to Love. So last night I decided that every time WBC appears on my radar- I will immediately log on and donate to GLAAD. Because our job as peacemakers is to write a better story down here. “Westboro Baptist Church Pickets Funerals of Heroes” is a crappy story. “Studies Find That WBC Activity is Directly Related to Huge Increase in Donations to Groups Who Support Gays and Lesbians” is a better story. Fear transformed to Love is the BEST story. That’s power.

And while we worry about Mighty Maya’s celebration, let us also remember that Dr. Angelou spent her entire life creating beauty and strength NOT because bigotry and ignorance and fear stepped out of her way- but because it SURROUNDED her and served as a foil to her acceptance, wisdom and courage. She was more beautiful BECAUSE OF THE NONSENSE. She was a star and the hate was the night sky. It made her more brilliant in contrast. The giants Maya faced down and the dragons she slew put WBC in their proper context. They are not a giant and they are not a dragon. They are an annoying gnat to be repeatedly swatted away. Maya was certainly never afraid of a few bigots holding cardboard signs- and neither should we be. If they come – let them come. Folks like them have always come and always will. That is not what matters. What matters is that they will not win because they do not have truth on their side. Truth is on the side of love, never fear. And so if they come, the Universe will respond appropriately, and Dr. Angelou’s funeral will be her final assertion that Love casts out Fear. She will leave the same way she lived – towering above small minds and hearts – casting shadows upon them as:

Still

She

Rises.

 

 

 

Happy Sunday. INTERRUPT TODAY. Love Wins.
G



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  49 Responses to “We Must Interrupt The Flow”

  1. I have two words for you… you. rock.

  2. But I don’t know how to wake up in the morning and face the sad eyes and begin again.
    If I start over, and let love in, I am saying you can trust me.
    And you can’t.
    Because I still believe the lie that I’m. Just. Not. Enough.
    I don’t want this WALL separating me anymore from the people I love.
    God, please give me the courage to just chip away at it and know that that is enough for today when what I really want is to destroy this wall once and for all and bask in the freedom and truth of the love I know is real but is too terrifying to feel.

    Ps. Sorry for posting this here.

    • Maggie–

      it’s perfect that you posted it here, because then we can see it. Because we’ve all, at one point or another, have been right where you are now.

      You. Are. Enough. You. Are. Loved.

      Keep coming back. It’s safe here.

  3. After 3 solid years of being VERY lost in my life, I stumbled across this blog.
    Before that, though, For many many night I had prayed a half assed, tired prayer just for willingness to begin again…to be willing to believe that I could find my center again. But I wasn’t willing to try. I didn’t believe I could sort through the mess that 3 years of fear and sorrow and confusion had created. I’m almost 40. Too late for me.
    But I used to know real love.
    But it’s too far gone.
    So I prayed just for fun. But I told God I’m just not willing.
    I’m too afraid.
    No one understands.
    It’s too confusing to live here.
    I have too far to go.
    I’m too sad and life is too hard. And empty and gray.

    My husband is like Craig (big tears). He believed in me and he has sad eyes and he wonders why I don’t fight and where I have gone. We met in a treatment center 13 years ago. I was real back then. I fought for Maggie. And for what God put in MY heart and for the gifts he placed in MY messy hands. I defended them and her in a world that has no use for my kind.
    But life, being a stay at home mom and then watching my kids leave my nest…and being overwhelmed with what that means and if I did it right, and surely I didn’t because I don’t do things right. Not me. That idea grabbed me and became real and then I became what I feared I was.
    And people die that you need.
    That shouldn’t.
    And people fail.
    People you need to see fight, stop trying.

    And the days rolled on…and now that kindergartner that went to school that day, that day I stumbled and never got back up all the way, that guy is a third grader and he wonders, with sad eyes, where his free spirit of a dancing barefooted mom went. Why is she always staring far away, missing everything. Why isn’t being 8 making her smile. Why can’t she find anything and why would she rather sleep than watch me play hockey. I love hockey mom.

    Then one night I prayed and just said, okay God I’ll crack open the door of willingness but that’s all I’ve give ya. Just a crack. You gotta come get me because I’m too weak. And I won’t do more than a crack because I just don’t trust you. You make beautiful things fade away. You know I need permanence and I’m just too mad and scared that life isn’t like that to participate. And people are just….quitting. And on Facebook too much to even notice they’ve quit.

    But I am needed. Now. Even with their big feet and eagerness to know who they are in the world WITHOUT me, my kids need me. My husband needs help.

    The very next night I was numbing myself with Kim Kardashian news and somewhere In the comments of tmz or something there as a link to your Pinterest. I read some of the memes there and laughed so hard tears came and I got cheek cramps and something snapped in my abs. I haven’t laughed like that in 3 years.

    Then I went to your blog.
    I woke up the next morning and the gray had some color.
    And each day since, there is more color.
    And I can feel again.
    Just because one woman had the courage to reveal herself….and it had to be you. I’m like you in many many ways. And these things I hide. And it’s exhausting. And you make them okay. More than okay.

    There was a time that was okay with me, being….messy, because I was close to God and he liked me.
    But I forgot because I need other women being like me to make it okay to be like me. But they aren’t here.
    I know I’m posting this in the wrong place but I’m not sure where else to put it.

    Thank you is not enough.

    I can begin again, my journey. Oh. My. God.
    I can begin again!!!!!
    I don’t even care where I’m going.
    I’m GOING somewhere! I am moving.

    My sister said, when I told her about you, I wonder if she knows that she is someone’s Maya. So maybe it is okay that I wrote all of this here.

    Thank you Glennon.

    This is a little scattered. I’m glad I could write it out somewhere. Thank you.

  4. WBC will be the new standard of a life well lived! Thanks for turning it on its head!

  5. I think one of the most amazing gifts to come from the WBC is the coming together of such diverse groups who respond to the WBC. With messages of love and efforts to protect the family or group subjected to this protests. Bikers, evangelicals, LGBT supporters and more all put aside their differences and focus on love. Best response I have seen to the WBC was at a high school in Palo Alto. People created angel wings and wore them. Lined up between the WBC and the school, turned their backs to the WBC group and stood silently. Never engage them. Block their hate from our mourning families and our children, unite in peace and love. That is the good to come from their hate. And thanks to all for not using the word church or Christian to describe the WBC.

  6. We’re seeing Westboro unraveling. Family members leaving. They even speak poorly of the guy who founded them and recently died.

    But those who speak love. Those like the Mighty Maya, MLK Jr, Dorothy Day, and many others will be long remembered.

    Thanks be to God.

  7. Love this. “….let us also remember that Dr. Angelou spent her entire life creating beauty and strength NOT because bigotry and ignorance and fear stepped out of her way- but because it SURROUNDED her and served as a foil to her acceptance, wisdom and courage. She was more beautiful BECAUSE OF THE NONSENSE. She was a star and the hate was the night sky. It made her more brilliant in contrast.”

    …. simply, beautiful….especially the last two sentences above. you say what I cannot put in such eloquent words.

  8. You have such a mighty gift–you can make me smile even after having a very horrible day.

    I just watched Maya read this poem on Upworthy. Bliss.

    They were going to picket graduations in our area last year–the year my daughter was graduating (hello neighbor…I’m in Lakeland). From what I heard, no one came. Silly loud mouthed trolls. My husband says most are lawyers so they are looking to goad people into fights so they can sue them. If I were there however, I’d gladly be a human wall for Maya.

    Good for you Glennon. One more reason why you are my Maya. <3

  9. Glennon, I don’t know if you realize that you are channeling Dr. Angelou with your donations to GLAAD. In a radio interview with Diane Rehm, Maya Angelou answered a question about how to forgive:

    “CALLER: My question is just about your advice for forgiveness. You describe these terribly hard things from your childhood, but you’re able to forgive in such a beautiful poetic way really. What would you advise for other people?
    ANGELOU: Well, one of the things that, Ms. Laura, is I’ve changed that word to make it two words and turn it around to give for. So if I have someone who has embarrassed me or broken a promise to me or betrayed me or in any way hurt my feelings I will find something, a bag of potatoes, a bag of onions and a roast and give it to a needy family. And I say I’m giving this for Joe who hurt my feelings. And somehow I’m free. I’m not carrying Joe around on my back. I’m not tugging him along everywhere I go. He’s not making me look old and tired and weird. I’m free of him. I have given for him. I don’t where I got that, but that’s what I do.”

    Here’s the source: http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2013-05-08/maya-angelou-mom-me-mom/transcript.G, you’re giving for the WBC. I can’t think of a better way to respond to the WBC’s actions but to spread hope and love. Thank you!

  10. Love wins…that’s all.

  11. I’m scared that like the WBC god hates me because I’m a girl who likes other girls….

    • B,

      I firmly believe, like G, that God is love. Jesus says nothing about homosexuality in the new testament and while I’m still searching my soul and His word, I have yet to find anything to convince me that it is a sin. But the following thing I am sure of. God does not hate you.

      God doesn’t hate the sinner, He hates the sin. I know this sounds cliche but it’s true. I’m a single woman who likes to watch pornography. I am sure that this is a sin, but I can rest in the knowledge that He loves me in spite of my weakness. And so even if being a girl who likes girls was a sin, He wouldn’t hate you.

      But I don’t think God even bats an eye at the fact that you are a girl who likes girls. He’s not surprised or put off by this fact, it’s just this broken world that is having trouble coming to terms with it. God made you, He wove you together in your mothers wombs and he knows the desires of your heart. He loves you more than any of us can comprehend.

      • Brilliantly stated, and I say “Amen!” to that. I would add that I question whether God hates anything or anyone. Sin is simply missing the mark. Repentance is turning away or back; to where? To the presence of God which is always, always there. Be at peace B.

      • As a teenager, my brother got deeply addicted to drugs to numb himself from a hard reality. What followed was two decades of horror, heroin abuse, sickness and misery. My parents kept him at home, because he was so broken down he couldn’t care for himself, and the doctors told him he was dying. For years he managed to hang on, most of the time in terrible pain, Through all the relapses and 3 am trips to the emergency room, my parents continued to love him, even when it was beyond clear that he was never going to “get better.” That love made an impact, in spite of everything, and my brother started to show an interest in God, and asked for us to pray for and read the Bible to him.

        Two weeks before he passed away, we sat together on the front porch of my parents house, his head resting on my shoulder, and his tiny, wasted frame almost lost inside his clothes, while he tried repeatedly to stay awake through his pain killers enough to talk with me. He told me he was afraid to die, because he didn’t want to go to hell.

        I don’t remember what I said. I know I tried to reassure him that God loved him, and that it was going to be ok. I wanted to say more, but his head kept drooping from exhaustion, and he could only stay alert for short sentences.

        I wanted to say that our parents’ love, the love that had suffered with him, sheltered and cared for him, forgave him and never rejected him…that love could have as its source only God. In fact God’s love was far bigger, far more understanding, far more patient and merciful, than my parents. Can we outdo God’s goodness, and love my brother more than his Heavenly Father? Isn’t every kindness we meet on earth just a poor shadow of the Real Thing?

        If I’m sure of anything, it’s that God did not hate my brother. And He does not, absolutely does not, hate you.

    • God is love. He can’t hate you. He made you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Now, go find a good church and give praise to our wonderful maker and pray for those who hate. Jesus said to remain in me so I can remain in you. Read the word of God everyday. If you never have, start with the book of John.

    • B,
      I have decided that in my head your name is Beloved. Because that’s what you are. By God. By me. By us. He made you exactly as he intended. You are his beloved child, and God knew precisely what he was doing when he designed the heart of his beautiful, beloved daughter. We need you and your love in this world. Your love in ALL its forms. Thank you for your courage and beauty in sharing your fears. May your day be filled with the warmth of love. Much love, Em

    • Darling Bee……….Don’t you worry pretty girl. You are loved. Put that in your pocket every single day and go forth.

    • B, I don’t believe God hates you because I don’t believe he hates me. I firmly believe in my connection to the divine and Glennon has helped me reconnect with a feeling of “church” that I’ve not felt since I was a kid. You might asking why it matters? Well, the honest truth is that I love a girl and have been in a relationship with her for almost nine years, and not only is she a girl, but she is also married and for the last five years, my daughter and I have lived with her and her husband and our family is generally happy and content despite our oh-so-non-traditional status. And perhaps more importantly, I have strengthened my relationship with the divine because of my relationship with my partner because she has helped me to become a better, healthier me. And there are people who will happily tell me that I am wrong and that they are disappointed in me and that I am somehow doing harm to my daughter by introducing her to my “lifestyle” (though I’ve yet to figure out which part of three adults in the house, two of whom she recognizes as her mothers is detrimental, but, hey, I’m not writing their tired script), and who will tell me that I should have stayed in the abusive, unhealthy situation I was in when I lived with my parents because of “everything they did for me”. It has taken me a long time to realize that I am not responsible for their thoughts and feelings and that their thoughts and feelings have no room to impede upon my life, no matter who they are. So, I am building a better me, one who is able to set healthy boundaries and who is learning to love herself because I have the space to actually be who I am.

      So, B, I don’t believe God hates you because to me, a God who would hate a creation they made isn’t worth worshiping. I believe that you’re special and amazing and that some girl (or girls) will be lucky to have you in their lives. Don’t let people like WBC affect your relationship with the divine because it isn’t worth living in fear of what other people believe. Seek within yourself and find your own peace. You’re beautiful and you deserve love and I hope you find it and it is as amazing as mine is.

  12. I felt the same way you did when Maya died. Like the folks were gone and I was all alone. Again. She, and Mother Theresa have guided my path like ships on the sea. Storms come, but they both knew how to remind us to steer, persevere, go with the flow, harbor when necessary and send unwanted presents back when the pirates came aboard. Love, dignity, unshakable intentionality, and faith go far. A whole life time in fact. WBC is also one of my favorite teachers these days; they provide a perfectly resonate example of the bottom of the barrel, only propelling the mind to function in a transcendent state. Remember their hate and confusion, and perfect love floods. We are light! Let it Shine!

  13. WBC is a big problem, no question. I hope your donations to GLAAD make you feel better, seeing as it represents your “mountain to die on” or however you phrased it.

  14. I love this Glennon. Let’s also think about how we can be even more radical, and love WBC, and pray for them, that love would win in their hearts someday too. That love would win over their fear filled hearts. As awful as they are, Jesus died for them too. Maybe a love revolution could change them someday.

    • I like where your heart is at on this one! I’ll join you in your prayers for WBC that The Lord would change their fear to love with truth and grace. Amen.

  15. I love this. I have never commented. I feel compelled to today, to honor Dr. Angelou. God rest her soul. Love always conquers.

  16. I live in the liberal college town next door to WBC. We’ve been dealing with them forever. Basically every event from junior high forward growing up was picketed by WBC in my town. One of the best responses I’ve seen was at the local college when they were going to picket pride week. Students created a booth and pledge drive – people would pledge an amount of money for every hour the Phelps were out. If memory serves the money went to the local AIDS charity.

  17. Word. I havent heard about this circus, thank God! But you know what I have heard? Quote after quote of Dr Angelou’s exquisite message of love and I have been soaking it up and pledging to live that love in her honour. My favourite: “Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it empowers us to develop courage; to trust that courage and build bridges with it; to trust those bridges and cross over them so we can attempt to reach each other.”
    I committ to more courageous, loving bridge building (in your honour) Maya.

  18. Love on G!

  19. “She was a star and the hate was the night sky. It made her more brilliant in contrast.”

    Beautiful imagery.

  20. Amen, sister. God’s power is from love, and that is some pretty powerful stuff. Humans push love to the side, underestimate it and have exclusions for who deserves it, as if it isn’t the greatest power there is available to every single person.

    Thanks for your truth telling.

  21. “Fear transformed to Love is the BEST story. That’s power.” Amen! Great thoughts. Always better to transform our feelings of hate or anger into positive gestures, like donating to good causes. Great idea. The funny thing about W.B.C. that for all its bad there is at least one good outcome of the Phelps family and that is Nathan Phelps, son of the infamous founder of W.B.C. Fred Phelps. Nathan is a LGBT rights activist who seemed to have gone opposite to his father’s path, embracing all whom his father had rejected and condemned. I am exited as Nathan will be attending the next Called to Question event, in June, to present his story and what he is passionate about advocating. So out of the darkness there still radiates light, however small it may be.

    Again great thoughts and thanks for the inspiration.

  22. Glennon, my sweet friend, I must tell you about my observations where WBC is concerned, but first a true story.
    Several years ago my HS daughter and friends decided they wanted to go into DC for the Memorial Day parade (VA residents here). They ended up on a corner which happened to be across the street from where WBC was protesting the parade. Our HS children had no parade permit, so they had to make do with loving and kind comments, and taking pictures of WBC to put up on a their own social media. Anti-anything slogans kind of lose their sting when they are misspelled and make no sense. WBC went home having changed the minds of no one, and probably sunburnt too. The HS kids went home having made a small, good difference to humanity and two of the girls, my daughter being one, got to be in a picture with the cutest WWII Marine you’ve ever seen.
    But back to my point – WBC used to pack somewhat of punch, but only in the way that they upset people. There are not very many of them. But their name, kind of like Voldemort, stirred up much fear and unease. At this point they have NOT shown up for a lot of funerals they threatened to be picketing. Because the rest of us have said “Be Gone! You have no power here. Go before someone drops a house on you.” And interestingly enough, the Pride house in all of its rainbow glory showed up across the street from their HQ. :-)

    They have inadvertently become the touch paper that start the flames for Good. That bring out the circles of Love. That make the warriors say “Glennon, what do we do?” So keep donating to GLAAD, but I think the change you want to see is already happening…love surrounds Mother Maya, and fallen soldiers, and Sandy Hook, and our sweet lgbt friends. It turns WBC around on the interstate on their way to places they do not respect and where they have no business being. I sometimes think that they are the thing sent to the rest of us to help us remember that love is also a verb.

  23. oh yes- “They are not a giant and they are not a dragon. They are an annoying gnat to be repeatedly swatted away.” – well said!

  24. G,

    You are phenomenal.
    This is beyond brilliant!

    Thank you.

  25. You are phenomenal.
    This is beyond BRILLIANT!

  26. This is awesome. Not that it makes any difference, but to curb concerns, WBC rarely pickets the funerals they threaten to these days. Not sure if its because they can’t afford the gas or they get just as much attention by making threats as they do showing up. In fact, when they show up it is opportunity for the public to see what a paltry force they truly are.

  27. The WBC vs. Maya? Sheesh, they continue their ignorant march to shock and awe. However, as a resident of Kansas, mother of a gay son and a three time encounterer of WBC I would have to say that they are more than an annoying gnat. There presence is so rattling and disturbing that I could relate in detail each time I have crossed their path……the 1st being across the street from my kids school in the middle of the day. Yeah, God Hates Fags is what every parent wants their kid to see outside the library window. While they are guaranteed the right to their free speech they are so heavily protected by local police wherever they show up that the mother of a gay kid (who I worry about every time he walks out the door) can only dream that his rights will be equally valued. So while I am in complete agreement with every thing you wrote, I would also add that in our own personal encounters when casual remarks and homophobic jokes and snickers are passed off as amusing that we take a stand against that as well. It is easy to rage against a group like WBC. That is their sole purpose, but looking a friend in the eye and saying, “I find that offensive,” is difficult. Those kinds of conversations, however, are the painful, exhilarating journey of belonging to each other.

    • Good remark and well said! This is both brave and kind :o)

    • Thank you! I often let it slide by if a friend makes an off hand remark that I take offense to. Next time, I will remember your son and let my friend know it was not okay to say that.

    • Thanks so much for this reminder. For me, the offensive comments come mostly from people of my parents’ generation, when homophobia was rampant. An employer commented that a prominent actor was “Pretty successful, for a gay guy.” I said, “He is brilliant, period.” She agreed so heartily that I think she got it. But the remark made me cry when I repeated it to my friend, in a candid conversation. He is also gay and brilliant. I wept for another gay actor, a dear friend from college, who is a towering genius and who has had to navigate exactly that sort of knee-jerk dismissal all his life. Love needs its warriors, such as Glennon and Maya, to combat nonsense like the signs you cited. I think that should qualify as a hate crime versus free speech.

  28. As usual, beautifully and perfectly expressed. Thanks for this.

  29. Glennon – you’ve said it exactly. Yes! Powerlessness has no ‘power’ on us if we endeavour to Convert Fear into Love every time INSIDE ourselves.

    It increases the true, beautiful power of love inside of ourselves AND all around.

    Maya knew this well, and Oprah too, and so do you :o)

  30. G,

    You amaze me everytime I read your words. I was just ranting Friday about WBC but that changes nothing. You are wise beyond your years. Thanks for helping me see things in a different way!

  31. Glenna,

    You continue to amaze me. Thank you.

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