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Mike hopes to see the world turned upside down through local communities banding together for social change, especially churches which have recognized the radical calling to be good news to the poor, to set free the prisoners and oppressed, and to become the social embodiment of the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven. He lives with the blessed memory of his wife, in Durham, NC, and has three adult children living in three different states. He also shares his life with the Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, the faculty and students of Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, NC, and the faithful fans of Duke and Baylor Basketball in his neighborhood.

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Facing My Shortcomings

I had a conversation with my son earlier this week.  He was commenting about preparing for guests in his apartment, and somewhat amused that he was trying to make sure that they did not make fun of his housekeeping after they leave.  He said that he was trying to think about what people who visit other people might deem to be important.

As is often the case with my children, I take something they say to me and begin to associate it with various theoretical understandings of ethics or theology or history or whatever pops into my mind.  This is often accepted with interest if I don't push it too far.  What I usually do, however, is drone on too long until they are wishing they had never started the conversation.  I did that again, comparing the development of conscience, that shared (con-) knowledge (science) that is held in communities, growing out of the way we come to understand and internalize what others believe is important.  Blah blah blah blah blabitty blah blah.

Yet I have had to relive that conversation over and over again as the week had dragged on.  It is grading week.  I am the worst of grading procrastinators.  And each day as I have struggled to get on with my duty, I have realized that getting my work done has depended to a great deal on having Everly in my life.  I know I have to be honest and face her if I am profligate.  This is the first grading period I have had since she died.  And the tendency toward being what Aristotle called the "weak-willed" person is stronger than ever.  Here and now, facing my shortcomings, I am reminded again of how Everly made me stronger than I am alone.

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