Upon accepting her much-deserved Oscar for Best Actress, Francis McDermott left the Academy with two words: inclusion rider. What is an inclusion rider? The stipulation in an actor or actresses’ contract that requires diversity in the film in which they are part.
Although her call for inclusion specifically targeted women, I am no less affected by it. I am a brown-skinned man who dreams of doing rom-coms. In the past, it was not our place to be the romantic lead. Or any lead other than the villain. But things are changing. There is Aladdin and West Side Story and Black Panther. In short, there is possibility now, and I am grateful. Wherever my journey takes me, I am grateful, because there are a lot of me’s in this world.
My sincerest thanks to all who have the power to make this change and choose to do so. Thank you, Francis McDermott. Party on!
Why is it that, in Exodus, God tells us that
They created the deaf, the mute, and the blind
yet in Leviticus we turn around and push them aside?
Why is it, in Genesis, that God creates
both man AND woman in Their own image
yet we get bogged down in gender roles
and social norms?
Why is it, in Romans, that we can bank
our entire faith on the fact that Abraham
came before Moses
and so are justified by grace alone,
rather than by works,
yet keep trying to earn our salvation
and set up obstacles for others to jump over to do the same?
God is calling all of us into immediate and total reconciliation with Himself.
Are we bold enough to take Him up on His offer?
Sitting still, waiting for the Spirit to speak
LORD, hold my muscles still until You say
So I can walk in Your ways, speak Your truth
live out Your mission for my life.
“I couldn’t do that, people are watching”
It’s exactly because people are watching that we must do it
Do what is light and love and true
For if we do not, if we are silent,
we silence the Holy Spirit inside us
the voice, our Jiminy Cricket,
that instructs on all that is pure and good and holy.
Do it so that people will see,
for their sake and for yours,
a taste of something good
We all have flaws
Things we need to work on
but if we start with a mindset of brokenness
We’ll always be swimming upstream
trying to keep up with the invisible Joneses
Instead, focus on Jesus
approach life with a perspective of self-love
Then life will become more a celebration,
Rather than a do-or-die situation
where every failure
sets you back a billion paces
This is not chutes-and-ladders, folks
It’s your life
Live it well
If you’re ever standing in front of a mirror
Stop and say, “wow!”
The God who created the heavens and the Earth
saw it fit to craft every quark
Every thought, feeling, emotion
Every bone and muscle and ounce of fat and curve and shape
The way you talk the way you walk the way you breathe
The way you perceive life the way you interact with it
The way you connect the experiences you’ve had
Your past your future this very moment
So that it was the way you see it now
How amazingly beautiful you are.
Do what inspires you
Do what entertains you
Do what completes you
Do what connects you
Do what enlightens you
Do what blesses others
Do what blesses God
Do what blesses yourself
There are so many opportunities
in the waiting
Do them, starting today