Righteous Mind with Rev. Cynthia T. Turner
  • Righteous Mind with Rev. Cynthia T. Turner
  • Righteous Mind with Rev. Cynthia T. Turner
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    Soul Rythem

    Righteous Mind with Rev. Cynthia T. Turner

    This has been a season of things breaking,  about to break, or crippled to the point of  being broken. The gutters above my porch. The check engine light on the car  again. The railing  outside my mother’s door. And the Bruno Stair Chair Lift in my mother’s home. Perhaps that’s the one that hurts the most because it is designed to carry my mother.    

    It’s supposed to hold her  at all times so as to give the illusion that no obstacle is too big, no hurdle too high and no stairs too steep to ascend. That’s the sales pitch. But that’s all it is, because the reality is it’s broken and of no use until the repairman can fit taking a look at it into his overloaded schedule next week . 

    I hate when things break. Especially me. I need to hold it all together at all times, not just for me but for the generations who preceded me and withstood far more hardship than I’ve known. And for the generations following who seem to cower under the slightest weight and discomfort. They need to see how I can hold up under real strain.

    Also for the congregants I serve who secretly wonder at times if God is real. For those millions of nameless women whose backs are bent under the strain of trying to house, feed, educate and clothe an entire family for under $2.50 a day.  For the women whose bodies were violently entered and whose minds and hearts were raped of the hope that anybody cared.

    And for the little children who can’t afford for the grownups to break. Especially for my 5-year-old great niece who believes I am invincible. I can’t break, because if I do who will lift all those folks?

    Yeah, right. All those fine noble reasons aside, I don’t want to break because breaking hurts. And I hate that. But I also fear the fact that broken things aren’t of much use. They get put up on a shelf for later fiddling. They get wheeled in front of a TV until the next meal. They get left behind. They get swept up and thrown away. And even if they are glued back together, one wrong move or a bit of close scrutiny will reveal their cracks. Don’t believe the hype. Everything is not necessarily stronger in the broken places.

    Truth be told, I have been broken, am breaking now, and most assuredly will endure breaks in the future. I’m publicly whole and privately fragile. I could never live up to always being the strong, independent woman I was raised to be, who refuses to crack under pressure, no matter how forceful. While I may still resist it, I no longer believe breaking – excruciatingly painful as it is – is the worst thing. It demands new ways of seeing the same old situation and it rejects the need for me to hold on to the got-it-all-together facade.

    It’s the prequisite to Resurrection. And if what rises after the break is less heroic, less prideful, more authentic, more Christ-like and less self-centered than who I am now, then by all means, I will take the break. Bring it on.

    Each Friday during Lent, the Rev. Dr. Cynthia T. Turner, pastor of the Dayspring Community Church in Lanham, MD, will write about the “Righteous Mind” on the Soul Rhythms blog. Click here to read other pieces by Rev. Turner.

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