conversation is an engine

A lot can happen in a conversation

Posts Tagged ‘Privilege

The 99 and the One

leave a comment »

Merry Christmas! ChristmasTree-12252013

Over the course of 2013 I’ve voiced criticisms and critiques of religion and Christianity, trying to sort culture from subculture and truth from fiction. Eisegesis vs. exegesis. Questioning which texts I privilege and why. Such unwinding and rewinding seems like waking up to the world around me. I’m mostly happy with the process. But it is also unsettling.

One enduring piece of this—one mystery that pulls me in again and again—is the birthday we celebrate today.

It is always dangerous to reduce this to that, so without reducing, I’ll simply point to this small story and say I like how it sets the mystery front and center:

What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?  And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Some will ask “What is astray?” Others: “What is perish?” Some will say, “Why ‘Father?’” All reasonable questions and of a piece with how we process the world today. But this notion that God wants relationship with people is mysterious and, for me, quite compelling.

I suspect 2014 will be even more full of mystery.


Image credit: Dumb Sketch by Kirkistan

Written by kirkistan

December 25, 2013 at 9:24 am

Talk to Me (Life of Privilege, Part II)

with 2 comments

Be a Tool Today

It’s what we each crave: the incisive conversation that changes everything. Some of our most thrilling moments are verbal, from “I love you” to a simple “Thank you,” thoughts and affections formed into words can warm us like nothing else on a cold day. Words are arrows snapped directly into the deep-inside-brain-heart.


We privilege words spoken—and rightly so. When Kerri Miller hosts Talking Volumes, we listen in because we want to hear some fresh take on the author’s art. We hope the author will reveal some secret to the writing process that fleshes out what we know of her work. We listen intently for some meta-comment that shows how he organized the story. We want more and spoken words are our most believable medium.

Freshly-thought words spoken with spontaneous candor often achieve that end. Fresh words are a response to relationship and a response to the present moment. Which also explains why the CEO’s vetted and scripted remarks at the press conference reek of plywood and formaldehyde. We’re more likely to hear the real story from an employee down in the ranks.

Writing is a technology. Computers, smartphones, pen, ink: all technologies.

Words spoken are not a technology. They are made of breath. They are kind of alive, if only for a moment. But they can also live on in memory (for better or worse).

Which is not to say words are not tools. Words are possibly our closest tools. We use words to accomplish all sorts of things. Words may be our most important tool.

What relationships will you encounter today that will conjure conversations using words you never dreamed you’d say?

See also: Lorde & The Life of Privilege (Part I)


Image credit: Kirk Livingston

%d bloggers like this: