Lament for the Human Race

Great Mercy, Ocean of Love Abide in sorrow of dreams denied Defied by pride and slicing violence Of those who despise Loathing is destroying us Deep inside, eliding all inviting All healing repeating flowing Instead blocking, instead mocking Tears flowing filling rivers Oceans poisoned by grasping Blind to the gasping, the gaping Wounds inflicted and given title Our humanity scarred, scared Barred, bearing the weight Of some primal cry For a way to feel safe At home with violence Swaggering, daggering, daring Staring, watching, surveilling Reveling in the affliction of fear Dear Spirit, living, breathing We evoked you Choked you, … Read the full post

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Do You See It Yet, White America?

Can you see it? Are any more white people waking up out there? Do you see what’s going on, what has been going on?  Do you see it now? If I hear one more white person say: “Why is all this bad stuff happening to Black people, it just doesn’t make sense,” I might resort to one of the temper tantrums I use to throw when I was five years old. For the love of God, everything that is happening—EVERYTHING makes perfect sense when you acknowledge the depth and power of white supremacy culture and patriarchy:  The chaotic and dangerous … Read the full post

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Are You There, Humanity? It’s Me, Marcia.

Are you there, humanity? It’s me, Marcia.* We’ve tried talking before—the whole lot of us.  I am a theologian, after all. What in the world would I be doing if I weren’t trying to talk to all of humanity? I come from a particular context, and context does limit perspective. But, this time, I am actually really hoping you all can hear me out. The truth is, I’ve been concerned about you, that’s all of us, for a while now. We can be such a self-destructive bunch!  It’s breaks my heart, and I know you probably feel it, too.  War, … Read the full post

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Mis(sing)Understanding: Kobe, Pompeo, and a Paper Towel by Marcia Mount Shoop

My latest post on the Feminism and Religion Website: Who knows when each of us first learns that sensation—the sensation of being misunderstood.  My hunch is that it comes early on in our lives, maybe even before our brains are making narrative memory, maybe even before we have begun to understand much of anything about ourselves or the world. But it doesn’t take much for the seed to be planted in us that the world won’t always understand us. My mom has long told me a story about me as a frustrated toddler trying to be understood. I was sitting in … Read the full post

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Fallen Friend: A Poem

The mournful, eery groan of a majestic felling friend Finding the ground she had shaded and stood sentry Called me to come and be a witness. The loamy smell of secret dirt, roots Torn from their 100s of years underneath The lost height now stretching endlessly toward grey liminality. A wash of grieving tears for this mother of so many, still budding Still reaching for growth Her battle scars, her rings of ancient days beautiful and wrenching. Brother hawk sat vigil, too Both of us knowing enough To come and be. To come and be.

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History and Healing in America: Can Governor Northam Help or Hurt?

A few years after my mother was born in 1937 in Fayette, Mississippi, my grandfather, a carpenter, farmer, and contractor planted a live oak sapling in their front yard. He planted it in the center of the yard in front of the house he built for his family to grow along with my mother. Every summer while I was young we’d sit under that grand live oak in lawn chairs, you know the kind that left an imprint on the back of your legs and that you could replace the vinyl strips if they started to wear out. We’d eat … Read the full post

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Nothing But The Truth: A Word to White America After the “Recent Unpleasantness” in Washington, D.C.

When I was a Junior in High School in Danville, KY, my U.S. History teacher burst into the room shouting and loudly dropped an object on the floor.  A few people in the room (who had been prompted by him) shouted back and began running out of the room.  The whole class erupted in chaos for the following several seconds and then the teacher said, “What just happened? Write down what just happened.” We quickly figured out that we all remembered things differently. There was a lot of disagreement on what happened in those chaotic seconds in our classroom.  “That’s … Read the full post

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Not Yet the Death Rattle (Latest Feminism and Religion Post)

I have had the honor of sitting vigil with dying people. And I have prayed through the coming of the death rattle. It can be painful to witness, especially for those witnessing death for the first time. Sometimes the person can hang on, seemingly fighting the inevitable final step of their transition into death. In those times, I have encouraged families to share affirming words with their loved one, to tell them that it’s ok for them to go, that they are going to miss them, but that they will be ok. I have listened as wives tell husbands thank … Read the full post

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Sleepless in America: Awake in a Rape Culture

Then some of his promises came true—knife, speeding car, footsteps on my roof. Me belly crawling through my dark teenage room into my sister’s—“help.” Lights on. He took to the shadows—he still might be there. I can’t remember his face, only his weight bearing down. A body remembers. ~MMS, Let the Bones Dance (WJKP, 2010) I can’t sleep. In my 49 years I have had countless nights like this one. Awake in the thick quiet of the world around me sleeping. I wrote a lot of my first book in this liminal time—when I needed sleep, but couldn’t sleep. I … Read the full post

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To Dread and To Savor: Mothering in Real Time–Feminism and Religion Post

It happened in the blink of an eye. So much of how we got here is blurry. I try to parse out the moments that came together to add up to this many years. I pause to absorb fragments, moments of the past. Hunkering down to watch a spider waiting patiently on her web.  I can see his tiny hands balancing on his knees peaking out from his blue overall shorts.  Driving to baseball practice forty minutes from our house and realizing he doesn’t have his shoes twenty-five minutes into the drive. I hate the sound of my voice yelling at … Read the full post

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