Okay, now I am going to share a story that is far out. Now I understand why people want to ban the books. Ban the books! 😉
After breakfast with Richard, I went to a local bookstore that I keep seeing and wanting to visit when I drop the kids off at school. It was technically closed at that time, but the door was open when I went in. The person at the counter said it was fine for me to be there, they were not doing anything dangerous to prevent me from being there.
I thought that was a funny thing to say and she explained that they are about to tear down a wall and expand this store. Yay!
Me: Oh! I thought you were going to say you were not adding any more books at this time and that is why it is safe. Based on how people are acting, that is the most dangerous thing you can be doing.
Her: I know, right! Ha!
She explained to me how they arranged their books in the store, and I loved how she gave me stories about people as to why. One story was either her dad or grandfather did not want science books and books about magic in the same section. She told me there is a fine line between those two.
Me: I am a theology major and I feel the same way. There is a thin line between theology and magic. Madeleine L‘Engle inspires me in this way. I was able to study her a little bit in seminary and she blew me away.
Her: Where did you go to school?
I told her about my school—Perkins school of Theology in Dallas.
Her: What is your denomination?
Me: Umm. I am going to tell you, but it is not what it sounds like. I am Baptist.
Her: Oh, my. That is my background too. I left when I learned women cannot do anything, but this is interesting hearing from you your experience with it now. I have some friends who are Christian in a way that you can connect with who you might be interested in meeting. I can give you my number and connect you with them.
(Background: She no longer identifies as Christian. She goes to a Unitarian church now).
We start talking about White Christian Nationalism and trauma. I also learn she is Chickasaw. She said in her circle they talk about generational trauma. There is trauma memory in our genetic code, and it occurred to her as she was considering White Christian Nationalists that trauma is in their genetic code too. Talking about generational trauma has been healing in her community, and she wonders if we should change our public dialogue to we are all healing from generational trauma. We are all traumatized by our history of colonization, enslavement, and women having no rights. This history is in all of us and we all need healing. It might be more effective than framing it as perpetrator/victim. A lot of what we are hearing is in their genetic memory and it is unhealed.
I told her a bit about my story in seminary and studying indigenous spirituality that has brought healing to my own faith. It has only enhanced it, not destroyed it. I also told her about Jake’s grandmother and what I learned this past year about her history in a boarding school. This history is still fresh in our bones. I also told her how Jesus’ life reads differently to me now that I see him as fully human. He remained by faithful by remaining human. He grew in wisdom. (I said a lot more)
Her: The way you described the life of Jesus, I have never heard it described like that before. That is really interesting.
The convo went on. We also talked about quantum physics. It was wild what happened in those 20 min we were talking. Turns out it was dangerous for me to be there. LOL!
Here is the real quicker, tough. She gave me her card with her number and I saw her name. It was so familiar to me. We discovered we were both raised in Norman and she asked how old I was. We are the same age!
I assumed she would know Jake Bruehl, because most people do—but also because she went to Central at the same time as Jake. She did know him. But then I told her my name was Lindsay Blake growing up.
Her: What middle school did you go to? I know your name.
Her: I did too!
Then we discussed our friends and I started to remember her clearly.
Her: Well, I guess instead of saying nice to meet you, it is nice seeing you again, Lindsay.
There is a lot to this story that is too hard to describe in words how holy this encounter felt, but to realize people remember me in Norman too meant a lot. Sometimes I do not see myself in the story of Norman. To hear from someone I did not even hang out with tell me they remember me—that caused a shift in me.