When I was a child, we played outside daily unless the weather was unreasonable. It was a philosophy in our house that, “The fresh air is good for you.” Between bike riding, tree climbing, tetherball, basketball, and so on, the bumps and scrapes were sure to come. It was a badge of honor if the scrape qualified for my mother to apply a bandaid. I remember crying in pain and pointing out a scrape to my mother. When she applied a bandaid it miraculously eased my suffering. There was something about a bandaid that represented covering and comfort and an assurance of healing.
When I think of our society and the overall condition of our world, I think there is a great need for the revival of a bandaid. It seems that we prefer to cover our wounds with duct tape which not only does not allow the wound to breathe the healing of fresh air, but it comes with a removal that is a ripping exposure. We have become heartless. When we see the wounds of those around us, we would rather apply duct tape so that we don’t have to be involved in the process.
When I see the plague of sexual offenses that is afflicting our nation, I wonder if there would have been a better outcome if we had used bandaids instead of duct tape. I am not talking about lessening accountability but altering the intent of the response. Our sexualized morality is destroying our nation. We collectively turned our heads and accepted the “good ole boy” dominance as an acceptable hierarchy. That mindset has permeated both the religious and secular realms. Now that the duct tape is being ripped off, we want to turn our heads from the irritated area.
We have multiple areas of wounding in our nation that are being exposed from tearing of the duct tape. Racial prejudice, discrimination,corruption, violence, addictions, broken families, abandoned generations, and political hypocrisy, are al being exposed on a daily basis. There is a difference between a covering that will result in healing and hiding for purposes of denial. Perhaps our society would do well to leave the duct tape behind and go back to the comfort of bandaids. W
Dr. Kathy Williams, 24K Leadership
About six months ago, I started to get a serious wake-up call about being overweight. I began making some changes in the way that I was eating and made a conscious effort to drink more water. After a few months working on the changes, it was time for my six month check-up with my doctor. When I got on the scales I was completely devastated to see that I had gained weight. I struggle to get through the day at work. On my drive home, I returned a call to a friend that I had not heard from in several months. She said, “How are you.” I responded, “I am fine.” She said, “Why don’t I believe that.” I broke down and cried and told my friend how I felt like my weight issues are a spiritual issue. I said that I struggle with the spiritual implications of being overweight because it feels like that is an area of my life that I have not learned to trust God. I kept crying, “How have I learned to trust God for so much and yet I am such a failure in this part of my life.” My friend listened and then quietly said, “Do you know that God is not mad at you?” Her question melted my heart completely. I cried even harder, but this time my tears were cleansing the pain. Simple truth is that I am not a perfect person, and I am very dependent on grace. As I continue to struggle with my flaws and imperfections, I at least have the peace of mind of knowing that God is not mad at me.
Life has taught many new lessons to me in the past month or so. A little over four weeks ago I was in excruciating pain and unable to take a single step. It is as if that pain embedded itself in my mind. When it is time for me to stand up from being seated on the side of my bed or from a chair, I find that I am hesitant and internally bracing myself for the pain. The difference is that I am no longer actually experiencing pain and have not had pain for about a week.
I think that many of us live in the memory of emotional or spiritual pain. We haven’t actually been in pain for a long period of time, but we have a embedded trigger that says “just in case.” Perhaps today would be a good day for letting go of triggers that are actually empty and have no influence on our present life.
Dr. Kathy Williams
For as long as I can remember, I have been a night person. When I was raising my children, I disciplined myself to be a day person. When my grandchildren were younger, I made myself be a day person so that I could support them in their sporting events and other school activities. For the last few years, I have returned to my routine of being up in the night, particularly during the fourth watch. The scripture supports that when we hear and see God during the night then we become rulers of the day. I have tried to describe to people what it is like to be a fourth watch person. For me, there is a peace that comes when daylight breaks. There is a sense that everything is all right, and we can go forward with the day. We have a right to ask God to let our health spring forth at the breaking of day. Isaiah 58:8 says, “Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” The fourth watch is particularly notable as a time for the Lord revealing his glory. The fourth watch is the darkest part of the night, but it also precedes the brightness of day.
In leadership, we have to know our identity and our assignment. Do not allow your identity to become subject to the rituals and traditions around you, either by denomination or organization. I am not suggesting that you should not be faithful to your responsibilities with your local body, but I am encouraging you to understand who you are by kingdom identity. If you are a night person, ask God what his purpose is in you. Take time to study the watches and ask for guidance with your specific assignment. Understanding the watches places us strategically within God’s timeframe. When we become strategic, we are not just a presence but a force to be reckoned with. Blessings, Dr. Kathy Williams
On 9/11, I was a manager for public housing complex in Muncie Indiana. As I walked into the office building, I noticed several of the staff in the conference room with the large screen TV playing a news alert. I heard the broadcaster say that the twin towers had been hit. As a midwesterner, I thought they meant the two large poles on the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago. My first thought was, “How in the world did a plane manage to hit those two poles?” Within seconds I realized the reality of what the broadcaster was saying. Like everyone else I took a seat and watched the horrifying events unfold. The buffer zone of being hundreds of miles away from the actual event deprived me of the opportunity to put my day on hold. Applicants for the public housing apartments were arriving for their appointments and I was expected to go through my day. I went to my office and used the Internet to pull up a news channel. By then the second tower had been hit and the Pentagon had been hit. I called my goddaughter who lived in East St. Louis and worked in St. Louis and told her to turn on the news and begged her to stay off of the bridge that crosses the Mississippi River. I told her that our nation was under attack and because St. Louis is a major city, there was no guarantee that it was not also on the terrorist list. I wondered if there was anything about Indianapolis that would make it be one of the targets? It wasn’t long before news of the plane going down in the fields of Pennsylvania added another layer to the tragedy. I have often felt guilty for not being more personally affected. I have no relatives or friends or even distant acquaintances that were among the victims. I never had to witness bodies falling or smell the death or see the destruction. I never had to attend a funeral or send flowers or comfort anyone. In the years since, I have watched many documentaries and movies and news reports in an attempt to grasp that day. For years I have said that I am going to drive to Shanksville, Pennsylvania to the memorial and then to New York City to Ground Zero and then to the Pentagon. Somehow I always thought that would make my apology for being so distant a little more real and to honor those who paid the ultimate price for the freedoms I have on a day-to-day basis. When I write for 24K leadership there is usually supposed to be some sort of lesson to be learned or some nugget of wisdom to be offered, but I don’t think I know what that is just yet.
I noticed that my last blog was posted on March 23, 2017. By blogging standards that is pathetic. One of the main reasons that I started to blog is a recommendation that it will help me be accepted to become a published author. I actually find that to be a conflict of terms because blogging is based on shortness and authoring is based on longness. I tell stories when I talk and when I write and blogging is like asking me to do a television commercial instead of writing the sitcom. I am probably already over the psychological word limit of blog readers. Maybe they are the bloggee and I am the blogger? Maybe I will be back later today and write something that will grab the attention of the serious blog audience. Even the label sounds rather blah. Please pray for me while I finish processing this whole blog situation.
There is only one of me seems such a simple statement and one that few people need. Most of us know about having a unique fingerprint and every snowflake having its own design. The concept of identity could fill libraries. The “me” factor is everywhere; however, if we remove the rest of the world, do you actually get it? Do you know that there is only one of you? What keeps you from embracing the simplicity and complexity of saying, “There is only one of me.” Trust me, that this is going to be a positive conversation. While we are surrounded by identity messages, we are also surrounded by the notion of comparison. We need to be smarter, taller, faster, skinnier, brighter, prettier, funnier, braver, wealthier, and on and on into the oblivion of being either -er or -ier than someone else. Isn’t it a bit comical that the same -er is used as a form of comparison between two or more but is also used as a word when you don’t know what to say? Trying to find the definition of -ier results in the direction to look up -er. Our first conjecture is that comparison leads to competition and, most likely, unnecessarily so for the good of those being compared. “Your brother is smarter than you.” “Your sister is funnier than you.” Who told parents that the way to inspire one child is to use the other child(ren) as fuel for the comparison fire? I am certain that a psychologist could analyze what I have written thus far and charge me $75 per session for the next six months. Rather than pay that fee, let’s you and I dig into this further. What is the end goal? The end goal is that you and I smile when we hear the phrase, “There is only one of me.” The end goal is internal peace and a sense of satisfaction with the recognition that there absolutely, totally, unequivocally is only one of me. By the way, did you know that the suffix -ly means a dispersed state? Great! That means that who we are spreads all over the place! There is hope and ambition for the “one of me” movement!