I’m afraid for the lives of my students



It has been less than 24 hours ago that police killed Alston Sterling and Philando Castile. It has been over the course of my shift that I started thinking how I am afraid for the lives of my students.

One young man, a kind demeanor, playful and articulate, this is what I’ll remember him for, but what if for some reason he gets singled out by the police and pump him full of lead? They don’t know him like I know him, they won’t have the reach that I do with him, are they going to “shoot first and ask questions later”?

What about another student of mine, a guy who wants to go to college, who wants to make a difference, who wants a wife and family some day. Doesn’t his life matter?

I used to be concerned about my students not adjusting to life in the community, or in a group home setting due to not taking their treatment and individual plans seriously, or just plain old learned helplessness. Now, if anything, I’m concerned that they might become another killed by a cop statistic!

I’m not fearful, police violence has always been around, but now with technology it is more at our front door than it was before. I don’t want to read about my former students shot by the police, especially when I know them and I know some of their families, that kind of hurt I’ll carry with me forever. God forbid they’re found to be innocent and the cops walk free.

The system isn’t successful, the system is corrupt, and no newly elected President will solve anything. Change starts from within, change starts at the grassroots level, and until those changes occur there will be no overarching change within our society.

No justice, no peace!
~ Nathanael~

subvert the norm; Christmas Eve edition

Christmas Eve musings

It humbles me to think how God subverted the norm through Jesus. How he sent Jesus as a baby, not a conquering warrior. His presence was made known to lowly working class shepherds, not wealthy well-to-dos. He lived a life of love and grace that was modeled upon following not believing. He pointed out the faith of those who occupied his people’s lands and marveled in it. He wrestled with doubt, atheism, and the absence of God.

He demonstrated a way of life that turned everything on its head and was killed because of it. But 3 days later he shattered the walls of death, tore down the separation between God & humanity, and the division was no more because it was indeed finished.

May we continue to subvert the norms of today in the name of God, in the name of good to all. May we love till it hurts. May we unbind the shackles of legalism and self proclaimed religiosity, and extend and receive faith and grace to all. May we see and explore this good world through a lens of color, and not one that’s black and white. May we be part of the process of tikkun olam and perfect shalom.

Be blessed and continue to bless others!