'Kristin Luippold' tagged posts

Even the Gentiles

I remember the first time I saw a confederate flag in Tacoma, fixed to the back of a pickup truck and driving down 6th Ave without a care in the world.

I gasped of shock. It was during the 2016 presidential election and this memory crystalizes the division for me. The Other. The Right Christian and the Wrong Christian. Unfriending online and in reality. Everyone says, “We’ve never been so divided.” Perhaps we have never been this divided as a country (although the Civil War might beg to differ), but as a group of faithful following the teachings of Christ, we have certainly been this divided.

So then, even to the Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life. ~ Acts 11:18

Peter is speaking to Jewish people here, assuring them that Gentiles (anyone who was not a Jew) could experience the gift of the Holy Spirit as well and should be treated with the same respect as fellow Jews. But it’s not really this verse talking about inclusion of people who were from different ethnicities and backgrounds that tells me there was division, it’s the word even.

Even the Gentiles. . .

That little phrase says so much to us about the conflicts of the time.  It invokes a little shock, the idea that the original listener was going to be the tiniest bit horrified and would need some reassurance. Yes,

Even the Gentiles.

Advent: Looking into the Unseen

It was a sunny day, the kind that is perfect unless you are running around in heels, setting up for an event.

Which is exactly what I was doing, regretting the heels and starting to sweat–just a little bit. That evening, I was trying to make sure my three kids weren’t bothering the actors who were also trying to get ready for their performance. It was an event like any other event; if I’ve done one, I’ve done a million. But this time, as I watched my kids fold programs and chat with the actors, I knew this was different and I was especially grateful for the experience. The actors, who were eating pizza and getting their mics fitted, were members of the homeless community, here to share their experience of what it means to be unseen and unknown in Tacoma.

Long lay the world, in sin and error pining

Our family has tried to serve people who are in the midst of poverty and homelessness for quite a while now. We’ll donate turkeys, even assemble a meal. We have served at Tacoma Rescue Mission, bought socks for clothing drives. We often will purchase a water bottle for someone outside of Target, say a prayer for people as we drive by in our car, and carry extra gloves and blankets to hand out if we see a need.

 

But to be honest, anyone can do those simple actions. My heart was not affected – these actions cost me little. But about a year ago, I committed to do something simple, but much more costly. I committed to stop what I was doing, look into the eyes of the person, and acknowledge their presence. It made a world of difference and it brought me to the performance on that hot sunny day.

The Cost of Silence in the Face of Love

A friend of mine was at a gas station when a young man came inside, loud and agitated. The cashier instantly told the man to settle down or get out, but when confronted, the young man (who happened to be Black) said that he was upset because when he was outside a tow truck driver started calling him racial slurs. The cashier apologized while my friend went out to stick up for the guy, including taking the tow truck driver’s picture so she could report him. The tow truck driver started arguing with HER, swearing and calling her racial slurs!

My friend didn’t back down. She called the tow truck company.hen they heard what had happened, they were pretty upset. Hopefully, the racist tow truck driver has long since been fired.

When my friend told me this story, naturally my first thought was: “she is awesome!” But my second thought was:

“Wait, was this in Tacoma?”

Oh yes, it was. And not 1956, Tacoma, last month Tacoma.

Maybe some of you reading this are not surprised.
Maybe some of you reading this are a little surprised, but not too concerned because you know you are not racist.