salt of the earth

i want to write about the time he said, “sometimes, you have to know your place, know your audience. sometimes, if you’re not the one making the calls, you’ve got to accept that.”

bullshit.

i mean, i guess it made sense at the time for surviving in a leadership environment, a church environment where you don’t want to cause trouble. for a while, i was so bitter. i couldn’t understand why he couldn’t understand, and using pretty language with a touch of passive-aggression to maintain ‘positive vibes’ doesn’t automatically make everything okay.

there’s something about the word ‘authentic’ that sends shivers down my spine. maybe we did some good. maybe we thought we were doing good ‘for the kingdom’ —

i’m no saint but it all sounds like patronizing bullshit when you want raw, powerful stories that ‘touch’ people, yet pretend you don’t hear me when i ask us to consider whose stories aren’t being included. where is the line between trying to be a good team member and silencing yourself, disengaging when things get uncomfortable?

i remember the feeling of being on stage and being celebrated afterwards.

i remember feeling like i was part of something important.

i remember the dreaded gut feeling, worrying about supposedly ‘reaching people’ when the spotlight was still on us.

i remember the skepticism i felt towards sensing god’s movement when maybe emotions were heightened from the music.

i am afraid of not doing things properly.

i am afraid of gaining a platform and abusing it.

i am afraid of being a fraud, making something look sacred when it’s completely self-serving.

“know your place, know your audience, accept when you’re not making the calls.”

i remember the many times i fell silent and resorted to uncontrollable tears, overwhelmed by my inability to articulate myself, to make them understand.

i remember, i still remember the day i began to realize i don’t have to make them understand.

Clear blue sky and mural: black cityscape silhouette with yellow and grey windows, vibrant flowers over white background.
Clear blue sky in East Danforth, Toronto. Mural in an alleyway: Black cityscape silhouette with yellow and grey windows, painted flowers over a white background.

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