It’s been a long time since I’ve done a links post partly because I’ve been busy with my book and haven’t been reading as much, but there’s some good stuff out there so I resurrected ~It Speaks to Me~ so you’d have a chance to read these too if you missed them among the 180 million blogs in the world.
Gender, ethnic, or socioeconomic biases affect how we choose leaders. In his book on Asian American leadership, Paul Tokanaga compares Asian American and dominant American behavior to highlight how Asian American behavior is often interpreted as a lack of interest or lack of leadership skills. He says, “In an Asian American gathering, it feels presumptuous, aggressive, and even arrogant to raise a hand and say, ‘I’ll do it.’ . . . What is called respect in one culture looks like apathy in another.”
In some cultures, leaders are applauded for stepping up; in others, leaders disqualify themselves by assuming they can lead. They need a sponsor to invite them to lead. Some leaders I have worked with in my community are intimidated by wealth and education, and therefore do not see themselves as having something to contribute. As you share your leadership, consider that even your method of inviting others to the table has cultural elements at play.
This article felt like it was speaking straight to me and helped me sort out some of my frustrations with writing advice about building platforms and making connections necessary for book publishing. These few paragraphs were revelatory to me as I figure out what it looks like for me to authentically pursue opportunities for serving, leading, and writing.
by Kathy KyoungAh Khang for Sojourners
She told Jesus the truth when she could’ve slinked away into anonymity. She stayed. She told her story despite being afraid. Her faith continued to guide her. And then she was freed.
I’m a bit of a Kathy Khang fan-girl. I’ve appreciated her leadership, wisdom, and humor. Our mutual love of spam and kim-chee was enough to make me say hallelujah after so many years pretending both were gross so I wouldn’t get made fun of. Her instagram makes me want to follow her around the country and just share her meals. I’m sure that wouldn’t be weird at all. See how quickly I derail when food is brought up? Back to the link, this article on the bleeding woman spoke to me so deeply. I have felt both invisible and unclean for so much of my life that to be truly seen by my Jesus is something that transformed everything. Kathy’s words reminded me of that freedom and made me a little braver to reach out my hand instead of slinking away.
by Olive Chan for She Loves Magazine
You brought me to places so emotionally dark and difficult. In doing so, you gave me a glimpse into the grief of the world. I see people through a different lens now because I know what it’s like to be fighting an invisible battle every day. I hope I have become more compassionate and empathetic because of you.
I just discovered Olive’s writing on the internet and I’m so glad I did. This post resonated so deeply with me. I have written extensively about depression and bipolar and the emails, messages, and comments I receive in response are often from those who are suffering in silence. And yet, they are some of the strongest women I know, because just surviving their days is a battle and they’ve come so far. Olive’s letter captures some of the strengths I see in women who have faced down the beast that is mental illness and come out stronger not only despite it, but because of it.
by Nilwona Nowlin
Paella is a Spanish rice dish that is choc-full of meat, including seafood. It is an expensive dish to make – especially for a family living off of food stamps and meager disability benefits. But my parents made a sacrifice and cooked this dish. This experience obviously met the objective of teaching me about Spanish culture. However, I learned a more valuable and longer-lasting lesson by witnessing my parents’ demonstration of sacrificial love. In fact, Southern-rooted poor people living in the city and cooking paella wasn’t just a demonstration of sacrificial love. It was a defiant laugh in the face of Oppression and his siblings Hopelessness and Shame.
I met Nilwona at the Voices Retreat for People of Color in February. We’re both members of The Redbud Writers Guild so it was fun to connect in person. If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you already know how I feel about ethnic food. But this post captures more about the heart of hospitality and a common table, and using food to speak life into seemingly hopeless places. I’m about that.
Lastly, I found a new podcast I’m enjoying. It’s a new launch from Christianity Today called Quick to Listen. I first heard of it through Pastor Jonathan Brooks, who I also met at the Voices Retreat. He shared about protests and civil disobedience. I thought of this as the Trump campaign prepared to hold a rally in Chicago and protestors came and shut it down. The reactions of Christians on both sides were telling with some being proud Chicago took a stand against racism, misogyny, hate, and violence and the other believing that it was the protesters who were unlawful, violent, and disruptive. So much of it has to do with who we’re choosing to see and what we’re choosing to listen to. I love Pastor Brooks’ insight into lament, rage, and the cry of the unheard.
What have you been reading lately? I’m always up for suggestions, so feel free to leave links in the comments.