by C.J. Kirkland on May 28th, 2018

I’ve often been asked how I “do it” with a husband who is away from home so much for work; how do I manage everyday life as a working mother to a young son, with virtually no family members living in our vicinity who could lend a hand if need be. I would just as often answer with the analogy of a military family, whose life circumstances I considered very similar: when one parent is required to leave for long periods of time to serve our country, the other parent must figure out how to “do it” and often- just like me- has no family nearby to help. But at some point I realized that this was not a fair analogy to make.
 
My husband served our country as a Marine and has frequently expressed that, as civilians, even on our most difficult days during his absences they are still not as difficult as what some military families must endure. My husband’s current career offers no viable threats to his life. Though I do of course worry while he is away, I don’t worry about one day receiving a knock at the front door that he won’t be returning home. And I don’t worry about him returning home unable to perform basic life functions because of injuries he has sustained while at work. So, I figure out how to “just do it” because even on my worst day, it doesn’t come close to being the worst.
 
For the spouses and children of our military men and women who have been grievously wounded or killed during active duty, life has irreparably changed. They must now rise from above the rubble and rebuild without the person who, more times than not, had been their family’s architect and foreman.
 
I learned today, Memorial Day, that The University of Memphis has become the first institution of higher learning in the nation to help these families in their rebuilding efforts by offering FREE tuition to any student or spouse (not remarried) whose parent and partner has fallen or become severely injured in the line of duty. The university will, beginning next school year, accept the Folds of Honor scholarship given to these students as payment-in-full. They will also be assisted in finding other scholarships to meet their various needs and will not be required to pay the university a cent for their education.
 
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13
 
And even greater a love that he lay down his life for strangers, complete strangers like you and me who reap the benefits every day of the sacrifices these families have made. I am proud to live in a city whose namesake university has recognized these most selfless acts and has said, through their actions: we see you, we salute you, and we honor you. Above all, we thank you.

C.J. Kirkland Is a freelance writer currently based in Memphis, TN.
Call (310) 871-4720 or email cj@cjkirkland.com
Photo credit: @uofmemphis Instagram (2017, September 11)


by C.J. Kirkland on October 5th, 2017

​I sat on my bedroom floor and cried, wishing that the world would just pause so that I could catch my breath before having to face it again. This was after my friend and neighbor assured me there is much more good in the world than not, and after I read Psalm 30, desperately seeking confirmation of her words: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning…” I wasn’t sure how any joy would follow the nights Puerto Rico, Barbuda, the British and United States Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Mexico and now Las Vegas have endured. I could not see how weeping would give way to joy after the destruction that has been caused recently not only by “acts of God” but acts of men.
 
The heinous attack on our fellow human beings in Las Vegas was the most unimaginable culmination to a week during which I have seen the ugliest displayed in and against humankind. It was the final straw that broke me down after social media showed me over these past few days that the production titled “Let’s Agree to Disagree” is now played out with scenes of degradation, insult, and personal attacks on one’s character. It showed me that the line “we don’t have to like each other but we should at least respect each other” has been erased from the scripts some hold in their hands and replaced with words I dare not repeat here. I could not see past the pain of those being attacked long enough to catch any glimpses of joy. But it was still morning.
 
My phone’s beep alerted me that I had a new message: there’d be a tour of Clayborn Temple in a few hours and, if available, I was welcome to join. A short while later I stood in front of this historic structure where Memphis’ sanitation workers gathered in 1968 before the start of their solidarity march. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. visited the church numerous times and it was a place known for its compassion towards and safe-keeping of those involved in the Civil Rights Movement. It was here where the “I Am A Man” signs were distributed, images of which are now synonymous with the movement. Yet despite its rich history and significance to Memphis and the world, the church fell into disrepair until a group of Memphians determined they could not and would not allow this sacred place to fall.
 
I stood on the sidewalk with native Memphian Deondra Henderson, who left New York to return home and help rebuild that which was once neglected but in which lies so much potential. I stood with developer Rob Thompson whose enthusiasm and eagerness to see Clayborn Temple rise from the ashes is almost as passionate as his desire that whatever is done be an honorable reflection of the people who gathered here, and who perhaps recited Psalm 30 more times than I ever will in my lifetime. Allison Carson, cityCURRENT’s Communications Director and Johnny Pitts, founder of cityCURRENT, stood on that sidewalk too, brainstorming on how Clayborn Temple’s restoration could be realized because the impact of its rebirth will be immeasurable. “We have to make sure this happens” Pitts said in a soft-spoken, authoritative voice; a reminder, for me, that the sanctity of this place cannot be suppressed.
 
I was also reminded, shortly after the tour ended, of my three year anniversary as contributing writer to cityCURRENT. In stark contrast to my other experience with it this past week, social media showed me (via an “On This Day” post) that the past three years have been filled with stories showcasing the most beautiful in mankind, culminating (for now) with a conversation in front of Clayborn Temple between a diverse group of people who have chosen to stick to a script made famous by our beloved Dr. King, an excerpt of which is:
 
“This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.”
 
Thank you, cityCURRENT Team, for all of the joy you’ve sent my way. 

by C.J. Kirkland on October 22nd, 2015

For the first time this past Sunday we visited Calvary Episcopal Church in downtown Memphis. My son got a bit timid when it came time to walk up the aisle with the other children en route to Children’s Church. To no avail I tried to convince him that there was nothing to fear; then the gentleman who had greeted us at the door walked over. He held his hand out and said to Luke, “Come. I’ll walk with you.” Luke glanced at me, I smiled at him, and he placed his small hand in the palm of the large hand that had been extended for him to grasp. Together they walked up the aisle and in that moment fear was overcome by a gesture of love.

In that moment, through my eyes, I saw a manifestation of the new Memphis in one of Memphis’ oldest buildings.

A small, smooth brown hand that hasn’t yet labored very much in this world firmly held on to the large, weathered white hand filled with the stories and wisdom gathered from its many years of labor. A boy with just half a decade on this earth walked alongside a man whose life spans tens of decades. They are from different cities, different generations, different ancestries, yet in these differences I understood the depth and importance of what there was to learn.

Over the past few weeks I’ve read numerous articles that make reference to the “New Memphis.” It is inferred to be new because of the large number of millennials now living in the city and they are infusing their new ideals, new ways of doing things, new approaches and solutions to old problems.

I love it. Who doesn’t love “new”?! As a GenXer, there are days I secretly wish I were a millennial and wouldn’t have to spend so much time learning all of this “new” that is basically second-nature to them. Yet as I watched my son and the gentleman from Calvary boldly go forth without fear, I hoped that as we embrace New Memphis, we would understand that new cannot exist without old.

While we GenXers, many of whom are raising Boomlets, admire (sometimes even envy) all that a millennial embodies, we still look to the wisdom and example of the Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation to help us navigate this oft-puzzling map called life. It may appear we don’t have very much in common, but commonality is more than the color of one’s skin, the year of one’s birth, the lineage of one’s family. Commonality can be found in the gesture of extending a hand and understanding that beneath the surface we all battle the same fears and all long for the same reassurances that if given a chance, we can win the battle.
Welcome to the New Memphis.
C.J. Kirkland Is a freelance writer currently based in Memphis, TN.
Call (310) 871-4720 or email cj@cjkirkland.com

by C.J. Kirkland on September 16th, 2015

Maybe the best time to quit is when late-payment notices outnumber the “Thank you for your payment” slips. Or when those whom you hold in highest esteem repeatedly ask that you please consider getting a real job and start pursuing a career worthwhile.
 
Perhaps the best time to quit is when you’ve grown tired of fear lurking over your shoulders:
Fear of never achieving the success for which you have sacrificed so much.
Fear of losing it all after having finally made some progress.
 
I assume the best time to quit is when you begin to feel enough years have lapsed during which you’ve put off vacations, delayed making “special” purchases and tried to convince yourself that being a true artist means truly embracing pauperism.  
 
I’ve wanted to quit many times. I actually did quit sometimes.  But being married to an eternal optimist (though he would argue he’s a realist) meant there was never enough fuel to flame my pity parties so eventually they fizzled and I got back to work.
 
And so now we spend our days doing what we most love to do and actually make money doing it. We live in beautiful homes and are able to provide for our son much of what we never had growing up. There are times I look around and still can’t fully comprehend how we got from there to here, other than to consider two pressing things:
 
He never quit which meant WE never quit.
 
“There but for the grace of God go I.”

CJ

by C.J. Kirkland on September 10th, 2015

​While working out this morning Beyoncé’s song “Irreplaceable” came on. I always think about my friend Tonia when it plays because this is the last song to which she and I danced. With our arms raised and index fingers pointed high in the air, we swayed back and forth on the side of the road at Smith’s Point Fish Fry in Freeport, Bahamas.
 
“You must not know ‘bout me, you must not know ‘bout me,” we belted out to the unsuspecting passersby, nearly falling over from laughter (us, not them!) Less than two years later my friend was gone.
 
I can’t say she lost her life to cancer. I say instead that cancer is the vehicle God used, even if inexplicably so, to get a head start on spending an eternity with one of his favorites.
 
In some ways, we didn’t know ‘bout you, Tonia. We didn’t know the incredible strength you bore within, a strength that had steadily grown with each unfair and unkind hand you had been dealt. It is what made you laugh at my cheesy jokes when Claudine and I visited you, even as you lay there in excruciating pain. To be honest, I didn’t know what else to do other than what you and I did so well: make each other laugh.
 
Some of us didn’t know that the reason you externalized your hurt so boldly is because you internalized so deeply the love that you felt for those around you. For all of us, in all circumstances and in all things, hindsight is 20/20. For some of us the perfect vision of who you really were, and are, manifested only after you could no longer be seen.
 
Even today, Tonia, I see your smile and hear your voice, “you must not know ‘bout me…” My sweet friend, in many ways we didn’t know. But we know now. 
We miss you.
I miss you.
You’re irreplaceable.

by C.J. Kirkland on March 16th, 2014

Sometimes I weep. It used to be a source of shame for me until two words finally helped me conquer that self-condemnation.
 
Jesus Wept.
 
I weep because my best friend has to beat this cancer. There are a few things we’ve put on OUR Bucket List over the past twenty years that haven’t yet materialized. I am certain we are supposed to see Hillsong perform live in Australia before we’re too old to look cool at a Christian rock concert.
 
I weep because my husband has to get his Golden Globe. Or Oscar. Or whatever big industry award awaits him after he’s landed his dream role. Because the magnitude of the sacrifice determines the magnitude of the reward and I don’t know anyone else, personally, who has sacrificed so very much. We are still discussing whether or not he’ll do a back flip on stage.
 
I have explained to my son that the tears he sometimes sees are Happy Tears. I cannot believe for miraculous healing with a sorrowful heart and I cannot believe for miraculous breakthroughs with a bitter soul.
 
So sometimes I weep but after all these years I have finally found the Happy in those tears.

​CJ


by C.J. Kirkland on December 14th, 2013

Dear Moms,

Apologies sometimes don’t come easy for me so please forgive that it has taken me this long.

I’m sorry for being that person who looked at you with the Eyes of Fire when I saw you sitting with your baby in the airport terminal, awaiting our flight. While chatting away on my mobile phone the pleasant, laughter-filled conversation was interjected with the bitter “Ugh, I hope that woman and her baby are not seated next to me on the plane.” I gave you the Stare of Death as you walked down the narrow airplane aisle juggling baby, diaper bag and carry on, my blood pressure rising as I prayed that you would not sit next to me on this flight of unassigned seating.

How self-centered of me.

I’m sorry for telling the person standing behind me in line at the grocery store that you needed a lesson in Disciplining Kids because you sure were sucking at it right now. All I needed to do was pay for my three items and go about my busy day. But here I was stuck behind you, your child throwing a tantrum because he couldn’t have one of the dozen chocolate bars strategically placed at check-out for our enjoyment. “Is it really that hard for her to control her kid?” I asked the stranger behind me. “What that kid needs is a good old-fashioned whooping!” I exclaimed. The stranger and I nodded our heads in agreement, as if we were practicing for a synchronized swimming team. “In fact, if that were my kid, he would surely not behave that way because I’d know how to discipline my kid.” The stranger and I would chuckle and puff our chests out just a little more, confident that we were better people than you, confident that we would make better parents than you.

How asinine of me.

Please accept my apologies for being the person who summed up your entire parenting philosophy and implementation of such based on the two hour interaction I’d just had with you and your child at our mutual friend’s birthday party.  In between sips of wine I rehearsed all of the child psychologists I studied in college and tried to decide which would be of most help to you. And when your child had a meltdown towards the end of the evening, I rolled my eyes so hard they nearly got stuck in the back of my head. “Did she seriously bring her kid to this party? Is her kid seriously disrupting the party right now? Aargh. You know, I’ll just attend Adults Only parties because having kids at parties is insane. This is for the birds.”

How judgmental of me.

From the deepest parts of my heart, I am sorry for always saying how superior So-and-So’s child was to yours. So-and-So’s daughter would never scream in public. So-and-So’s son would never writhe around on the floor of Target after being denied a toy. So-and-So’s son would never wrestle with another boy over a stupid little toy truck when there are five others scattered about. So-and-So’s daughter would have been able to sit on the sofa, for hours, entertaining herself while the adults around her enjoyed themselves at the birthday party. So-and-So’s son would never, ever do anything that would set my eyes on fire, force me to dust off my child psychology books, or ponder attending a party at which children would be present. Because So-and-So’s child is perfect. At least he was during the 480 minutes I spent with him this year, so obviously he’s also that way during the other 525,469 minutes.

How illogical of me.

You Moms would often tell me that there are some things I just won’t “get” until I become a Mom, too. You were right. It was not until I became a Mom that I realized how self-centered, asinine, judgmental and illogical my frame of thinking had been towards those of you with children. I had no idea of how hard you worked at trying to be the best Mom you could be. It never occurred to me that your blood pressure rose even higher than mine when you boarded an airplane, or that you had already read gazillions of child psychology books- and still had not mastered defeating the onset of a toddler tantrum in Target. I never imagined how many tears you shed in the privacy of your home after being told by someone how perfect So-and-So’s child is and how, perhaps, you could learn from So-and-So about how to parent the right way.

In closing, I want to throw in a very personal apology to someone whom I love and admire tremendously, particularly as a Mom. Nikky, do you remember when we were on our way to the store and I made you turn the van around and take me back home because the twins were crying? I saw the frustration in your face as you tried to calm them. I saw the slight tremor in your hands as you pulled out toys and snacks, reaching for anything you could as you tried to soothe them. I didn’t even offer to help because I was too wrapped up in Me and my so-called agony. I am sorry. Forgive me for my lack of compassion. Forgive me for my lack of understanding and lack in even trying to understand. I know better, now. Because now, I am a Mom, too. 

by C.J. Kirkland on August 20th, 2013

It is a place where people can add you to their lives as friends without really being your friend. The neighbor who rarely speaks to you can be vocal in your life by clicking the Like button- or not.  It is a mecca for those who have mastered the art of being passive-aggressive: their status updates filled with reprimand for The Person Who Shall Remain Unnamed.  Photos and posts are made Public so that the extraordinary life being detailed can reach beyond the circle of Friends and Friends of Friends. Then, she logs off and sobs into the very hands which moments earlier had written of a life that could not possibly warrant sobbing of this kind. Broken hearts and spirits are masked by re-postings of captions set against graphics that exclaim “I don’t give a f*#k,” “I don’t need anyone but me” and “I can do bad all by myself.” I Check-In with friends at establishments that were once beyond our reach while singing the catchy Drake loop, “Started from the bottom now we’re here; started from the bottom now the whole team’s here.” But you may mistake my gratitude for arrogance because emotion cannot be conveyed through black words against a white computer screen. You’d have to look into my eyes and listen to the inflection in my voice to understand just how low our bottom was and just how much these Check-Ins really mean. Your birthday is celebrated more at this place than any other. You awaken on the Big Day to hundreds of well-wishes that quell any negative thoughts you may have had about getting old. Sorry, older. It is a place where dreams are shared, encouraged and followed until they are realized. And though it’s easy to stay here, sometimes it’s good to leave. You can always come back.

CJ

by C.J. Kirkland on December 11th, 2012

“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
~John Wooden, legendary basketball player and coach


My son’s vocabulary has increased dramatically in the past few months and he has begun to repeat much of what he hears me say. One of the phrases he’s picked up is “go, go, go, go, go.” The first time he said it, we were heading out the door on our way to school. I laughed aloud, realizing that on this particular morning, he beat me to the punch. I am usually the one saying “go, go, go, go, go,” as I rush out the door, later than I’d hoped to leave. When we pull alongside the curb in front of the school, I hop out of the car and rush to my son’s door. I hurriedly open it, then scramble to get him out of his car seat. I silently hope that today he won’t drop Thomas the Tank Engine and Percy in the grass because my bending down, picking them up, wiping them off and giving them back to him will add another two minutes to my tardiness. Alas, there goes Thomas. And Percy. After they are both safely back in his hands, I grab his wrist and estimate that we will now be only twelve minutes late. But he must stop and admire the beauty of the fire hydrant. I try to mask my impatience with a smile as other parents pass me with their children walking briskly en route to class. My loud sighs do nothing to convince Luke that we should get going, as we are now already thirteen minutes behind schedule. I exhale loudly, but Luke is completely oblivious to my timetable as he giddily admires the butterfly in the bush. With no choice but to stand and wait, I look across the street. A parent opens his car door and gently lifts his daughter onto the curb. His son then exits the car and he slowly places his son’s backpack on his shoulder. There was a noticeable calm about this parent, something so serene in his demeanor towards his children. “He’s just having a really good day,” I thought to myself, before turning my attention back to Luke- who by now was walking snail’s pace up the sidewalk to his class. 

Perhaps out of subconscious curiosity, I watched this father and his children numerous times following that day. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the rapport he had with his children on what I deemed his “good day” was the rapport he had every day I saw them. If his daughter dropped her toy, he patiently waited while she picked it up. Then, he assuredly placed his arm on her shoulder as they continued walking. He engaged in conversation with his children, seemingly soaking in every word they spoke- blissfully unaware of the passage of time. This stroll up the sidewalk, around the bend and into the classroom carried meaning in it for him. While I was overly concerned with how quickly Luke and I could arrive at our destination, this father appeared to relish in the journey. I watched from afar. I watched, giving no indication that I was watching. And that is what made this father’s rapport with his son and daughter so much more poignant for me.

As this year comes to an end my heart has embraced the grace and mercy by which I made it through. Now my heart turns to what lies ahead. I want to be more compassionate, more giving. I want to stop more and admire the simple beauties around us, the way my son does. I want to pause long enough to see the butterflies. I want to pass the character test. 

As we walked up the school’s sidewalk one morning, I told this father that I plan to nominate him as a candidate for Parent of the Year, though I neglected to tell him why:

I would nominate him not only for what I watched him do, but for what I watched him do when he wasn’t aware that anyone was watching. Because that is the true test of a man’s character.

by C.J. Kirkland on September 10th, 2012

At the end of the day, first thing’s first.

Before I begin working on the new assignment - deadline tomorrow, I read a bedtime story to my son.

Tonight, his book of choice: Dinosaur Roar.

Before I dissect the article - written two days ago, I lay my son in his bed and pull the blanket over his little legs.

His blanket of choice: Cars, set against a blue backdrop.

Before I attempt to fuse together scattered thoughts and floating ideas into one coherent piece on paper, I kiss my son goodnight and sit next to his bed for a while, keeping watch as he falls asleep.

Because  at the end of the day, before looming deadlines, necessary edits and impending pieces, first thing’s first.

“At the end of the day,  my most important title is still Mom-in-chief.”  ~First Lady,  Michelle Obama


by C.J. Kirkland on August 23rd, 2012

​“Last Night a DJ Saved My Life” was a hugely popular disco song released in 1983 by the group Indeep. Many years and many remakes later every time I hear it I still sing and dance along to the infectious tune. The music and its lively beat always held my attention more than the words themselves- but that flip-flopped last night.

Because last night, a DJ saved my life from a broken heart.

That DJ was Dr. Jen, veterinarian and owner of Utopia Animal Hospital in Memphis.

My Cairn Terrier, Rudy, was knocking on death’s door when I took him to Utopia. The cause of his life threatening condition was an enigma. When we arrived at Utopia we were in our third week of mystification and Dr. Jen would be the third veterinarian to see him. I sat in the exam room and heard her speak of all the tests she’d run to try and get to the bottom of it but I wasn’t really listening. I was lost in reminiscence of the life my family and I had shared with Rudy.

Rudy used to lay at our feet during dinner, when meals consisted of Ramen noodles and whatever filler item was on sale at the discount grocery store. He lay at our feet when our white porcelain dinner plates were laden with prime cuts of beef and the highest quality of sides purchased at the gourmet, organic grocery retailer. Rudy was just happy to see and smell food, caring little about whether it was discount-fare or fine dining.

Rudy loved sticking his head out of the window of our used, oil-leaking, engine-smoking car just as much as he loved sticking it out of our brand new, two-door sports car. All he cared about was feeling his nose cut through the fresh air as we drove down the streets of Los Angeles; he cared nothing about the vehicle transporting him through those streets.

I began sobbing, thinking of all the great times we’d had with this little furry creature, and some of the profound lessons he’d taught me:

~gratitude in knowing that though we had little, we had.

~faithfulness in times of struggle and times of prosperity.

~appreciating the complex simplicities in this life, such as feeling the fresh air cut across our noses.

That day I tried coming to terms with the pain my heart was experiencing. I tried coming to terms with the reality that my time with Rudy may have come to an end. In between the thoughts and tears of despair I wished that I would have paused and given thanks more often for all the ways in which he had blessed me and my family.

But then, a DJ saved my life from a broken heart.

And she solved the enigma of Rudy’s life-threatening condition. In fact, she would not stop-did not stop-until she had done so.

I can think of only one way to thank the DJ: by installing a super-sized disco ball in Utopia’s lobby and keeping the hit song by Indeep on a repeat loop.

Utopia is located at 1157 Madison Avenue. Dr. Jen and her stellar team, including Dr. Smith, may be reached at (901) 746-8758

by C.J. Kirkland on July 26th, 2012

In the end, he paid with his life so that my son's life could be better.

by C.J. Kirkland on May 13th, 2012

“I don’t care what anyone says.  You are a writer.”
           -my Mom

A mother will take all of your doubts, fears and insecurities and turn them into a force of inspiration.  She will tell you to stop saying “I can’t” because you can- you just need to start somewhere, anywhere.  If you call her and, through the tears, say you don’t believe in your talents anymore she will be more stern than comforting. 
“Wipe your eyes,” she’ll say. 
“Get it together,” she’ll instruct.
“I believe in you,” she’ll reassure.
“You must believe in yourself,” she will demand.
A mother knows exactly what to say to make you feel as if you can conquer the world, no matter what comes against you, no matter how many times your work is rejected, no matter how long it takes you to accomplish your dreams.
Because Mother knows best.
Thank you, Mom, for exemplifying all that a mother is.
Thank you for believing in me and for making me feel as if I can conquer the world.
I love you. Happy Mother’s Day.



by C.J. Kirkland on April 15th, 2012

​In the absence of grace mankind suffers. In the absence of extending kindness and favor to one another mankind suffers through acts rooted in fear of the unknown and judgment of the unfamiliar. On February 26th, 2012, mankind suffered. 

George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenage boy. Mr. Zimmerman saw Trayvon, a person whom he did not know, walking through the gated community of which he was the neighborhood watch captain. He was overcome with fear. He saw a young boy with whom he was unfamiliar and whose style of dress was perhaps unfamiliar to that gated community. He cast judgment. Against police advice he followed Trayvon and as the distance between them grew smaller, the fear in Mr. Zimmerman’s heart grew larger. That night, Mr. Zimmerman withheld grace and caused Trayvon’s blood to stream alongside the very rain from which he was seeking cover beneath his hoodie. 

A simple act of kindness would have eradicated Mr. Zimmerman’s fears and judgments when it unveiled that he had been in pursuit of a teenage boy whose only intention was to get home safely with his snacks. Had Mr. Zimmerman taken a moment to set aside his fears and instead initiated a call of courtesy to Trayvon he may have avoided adding to the suffering of mankind. Today a mother suffers because she will have to visit the gravesite of the child she carried, gave birth, loved and nurtured for seventeen years. A father suffers because he has lost a son, and there is no greater bond than that between a man and his son. Mr. Zimmerman also suffers because his heart and mind will have to bear the burden of having carried out the murder of a young boy whose only crime was walking to the store to buy a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. 

And so this is the point at which we hope that grace may abound. This is the point at which Trayvon Martin’s family will have to extend to George Zimmerman the very thing he withheld from their beloved son and brother: grace. No, he may not deserve it, but that is, in part, the essence of grace. It is an unmerited act of kindness, given from the depths of a merciful heart. 

by C.J. Kirkland on April 7th, 2012

Do not mistake necessary solitude for unnecessary loneliness.





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