Saturday, September 28, 2013

Church Leaders and Reality TV: For the Love of GOD, Just Say No

So, remember when I wrote this little ditty about the latest hot mess reality show, Preachers of L.A.? Well, despite my best efforts, the show is still happening and I have a sad. Like a big sad. Rahiel Tesfamariam, columnist for The Washington Post, shares my sadness and concern and wrote a great piece about why reality TV and pastors don't mix. I encourage you to read it.  Here's a snippet:

"Like so many reality TV shows before them, these programs focus on black opulence. Often, they make a mockery of black wealth, portraying affluent African Americans as irresponsible, reckless financial stewards. These stereotypes are magnified by highlighting prosperity ministries versus churches rooted in a social gospel focused on the poor."

It's all fun and games until people look at these shows and assume that all churches and pastors are like the ones they see on TV. Organized religion already gets the side-eye from a lot of people, and I believe this show, and others like it (the pic on the left is from a new Bravo show called "Thicker Than Water"), will only push people further away from the church. Uh, that's not how it's supposed to work, but don't tell that to church leaders blinded by reality stardom and dollar signs. They aren't listening anyway. See why I have a sad? 

Stay Random,


Thursday, September 12, 2013

All the Family: When Siblings DON'T ATTACK--The Wedding Edition

So remember when I was questioning whether I was going to my sister's wedding? Well, I went to the wedding and like Martha Stewart might say, it was a good thing.

My sister and I didn't have any big breakthroughs or any Lifetime movie moments at the wedding. However, for a few days in August, it was like the ugliness of November and December 2012 never happened. My sister was a beautiful bride, and I actually had a lot of fun with my family and my sister's crazy friends/bridesmaids.

Even though I wasn't the Maid of Honor (my choice, mainly because I didn't want the responsibility), I did what you're supposed to do in these situations: I was supportive and helpful. I got my mom out of the bridal suite when she started to get on my sister's nerves. I bought wine for the bridesmaids because an alcohol-free bridal suite is wrong on so many levels. I took down my brand new two-strand twists without complaint because my sister wanted my hair to look "fuller."

I'm not saying this to toot my own horn, I'm saying it because it wasn't as hard as I anticipated it would be to just be there in the moment. Why? Because I had finally forgiven her, and I was happy for her. Now, how did I get to the forgiveness zone? Exhaustion.

Seriously, holding onto anger, bitterness and the desire to make someone hurt as badly as they've hurt you is like beating yourself up and wondering where all the bruises came from.  After nearly a year of pain, tears, headaches, stress and lack of sleep, I just couldn't take it anymore. I was suffocating under the weight of my hurt and anger, and I just wanted to breathe again.

Up until the wedding I was still struggling with the fact that we will probably say or do something again to wound each other because we are extremely different people who do not know how to communicate with each other. We may never have the close relationship I once desired because of past hurts and new priorities, which for her include a husband, a new house and new job responsibilities. As depressing as that may sound, I'm now actually kind of at peace with it because I've grown tired of trying to force my way into relationships. I can't make anyone do anything, and I can't stop anyone from doing anything. I'm officially letting go of the expectations and the anger and will just see what the end is gonna be.

I don't know what the future holds for me and my sister. I don't know if I'll ever get to point where I can be my most "primal self" with her, but forgiveness has at least opened the door.

P.S. Did I mention there was a New Orleans second line at the wedding (my sister's husband is from the NO)?

Or that my parents danced and drank at the wedding (they don't do either in real life)?

Orrrrrrr....that my uncle danced so hard that he fell on the floor? Yeah, all that happened. Told ya it was fun :)

Stay random,