There is a knowledge that is dressed to compel, to move a person’s soul.

A Starting Place for #BlackLivesMatter

A Starting Place for #BlackLivesMatter

#BlackLivesMatter. In an era of timelines and feeds, this statement and its various representations can easily be misunderstood. I wanted to help anyone who is interested in understanding what this statement means and the context that holds it. With full humble disclosure, I must say that I am still learning and understanding. Still, I thought it worthwhile to put together a few resources that may help anyone wanting to open themselves to perspectives they may not have to consider on a daily basis.

Please Note: You may have to put some preconceived notions (prejudice?) aside in order to truly listen. Similar to when two people are in discussion, the listener’s ability to listen well is impeded by them only thinking about what they will say in rebuttal.

This is not intended to be a thoroughly comprehensive or exhaustive list of resources. It is difficult to estimate how long it would take to process through the items below, but it seems that if a person dedicated the next week, or month, or season in their life to broadening their perspective, they certainly would not be wasting their time. Sometimes listening and being able to hold the pain of the other is an initial step that simply cannot be skipped over.

I am observing that some people are in a stage of slumber, where the only way they might consider these things is if the unrest forces them to, or Facebook and Twitter alert them. Once jolted on a Wednesday evening, or for a week, these people may ask, “Now what? What is even going on? How do I process this? Who is a safe person to ask? I don’t want to say the wrong thing.” Given my background, I extremely empathize with this position because I was in this state up until recent years.

Other people may consider themselves #woke, and are able to sympathize, or even empathize. The pain and outrage this past week does not utterly surprise them. To some degree, it hurts them too. The dismissive comments frustrate them too. They message their closer brothers and sisters in private or call them to let them know their thoughts and prayers…that they are aware. That is a start, but if you are in this position, you need to speak out.

You need to talk to your communities, and I will even say especially your white brothers and sisters. There comes a point where empathy alone falls tragically short. Would you stick your neck out as well? Would you stand as an ally? The resources below may all already be things you’ve internalized. Perhaps it is time to move beyond just listening. This is a people-pleaser’s nightmare, I know, but I pray you consider it.

I am learning how to do this and mess up often. To find my mistakes, you may have to look no further than somewhere in this post. I know I am listening and talking about race imperfectly, but it is better than not trying. Still, by God’s grace and through other gracious brothers and sisters, I am growing. Take heart.

Again, it is on purpose that I have placed just a few items here in hopes that it may be a launching pad for some. I invite you to be awakened to the challenges and injustices that your brothers and sisters face today, and to not stop there. I pray that fruitful and loving conversations emerge and systematic racism against African Americans would be more broadly exposed, uprooted, and eliminated.

—-

This is a 10-minute smattering of wokeness. The crash-course-esqe style may be helpful for immediate help.

The video mentions two books currently available for free during a trial-run of Audible. These are considered must-reads, so I encourage you to read/listen to them in some way, shape, or form.
     

It may be helpful to read this pastor’s response to Coates’ book and other writings. Thabiti Anyabwile infuses more hope into these situations in his article A Call for Hope in the Age of Mass Incarceration.

As you are reading the two books above in coming days, you could begin listening to some of these programs.

Episode 34: Black and White: Racism in America (1 hr, 38 min)

 

Is Black Lives Matter the New Civil Rights Movement? (47 minutes) 

 

Pass the Mic

Pass the Mic is the official podcast of the Reformed African American Network, which addresses the core concerns of African Americans biblically. As a former staff member, I know the hosts personally and I cannot emphasize enough their love for the gospel. Their grace and love to me has changed my life. Here is a list of episodes and also two recent episodes I will highlight below. This is a conversation that you want to continue listening to, pray for their work, and even support financially.

Tamir Rice Settlement (50 min)

How to Be a White Ally (41 min)

NPR: Code Switch Podcast – Ever find yourself in a conversation about race and identity where you just get stuck? This episode is a response to the week of July 4, 2016, The podcast is definitely one you want to follow each week. (26 min)

Millions March NYC - REIMAGES

Some might say the events that transpired in Ferguson during the summer of 2014 turned the Black Lives Matter “moment” into a movement. I have collected the blog posts of Thabiti Anyabwile, a minister who wrote regularly as events transpired. This will help give more context to the week of July 4, 2016. Download them here (ThabitiOnFerguson) print, study, and mark them up. Hopefully, you can bring questions into a real conversation.

Just a start. Please get in touch if you have comments, concerns, questions, etc. I would love to hear from you.

Alicia Joy

@alicia2joy  |   reimagesblog@gmail.com

 

What motivates the critic “is no more and no less than the simple desire to function freely and beautifully, to give outward and objective form to ideas that bubble inwardly and have a fascinating lure in them, to get rid of them dramatically and make an articulate noise in the world.”

H. L. Mencken

Tri-Perspectival Approach to Counseling

Tri-Perspectival Approach to Counseling

Here are excerpts and links to a four-part series written by a counselor who briefly explores how triperspectivalism can positively condition counselors and anyone looking to help and love other people. Perspectivalism is the method that inspired REIMAGES, and I personally hope to continue applying it in multiple areas.

Following the Holy Spirit’s Lead in Biblical Counseling: A Triperspectival Approach

“So it’s good stewardship to see things triperspectivally, from three perspectives: the normative, which has to do with God’s revelation, his standard of truth, his authority to define reality; the situational, which has to do with the facts and circumstances of the world; and the existential, which has to do with human experience. Here’s how they come together, according to Frame: “Every item of true human knowledge is the application of God’s authoritative norm [normative] to a fact of creation [situational], by a person in God’s image [existential]” (Frame, “Primer”).

…My concern is that when it comes to understanding the leading of the Holy Spirit in counseling too much emphasis on the existential, without being “calibrated” by the normative and situational, will lead to error. Emotionalism is not the only error that we want to avoid. There’s also the possibility of being out of step with the Spirit as a result of spiritual myopia, having a nearsighted view of what the Spirit is up to.”

Part Two

“Counselors who want to know how to follow the Spirit’s lead should be continually growing in a knowledge of Bible and Theology. Why again? Because much of the time what the Spirit wants to do is to illuminate the Word for counselees, “enlightening the eyes of their hearts” (Eph. 1:18). This will require not just a knowing of the Word in a cognitive sense, but also in a way that is deeply connected and relevant to one’s life situation (we’ll see that more clearly from the situational perspective), and in a way that resonates personally and experientially (which we’ll see more clearly from the existential perspective).”

Part Three

“In this post, we’ll look at the question from the situational perspective and ask: How does the Spirit relate to human situations involving realities like embodiment (including, for example, the brain), and social embeddedness (including, for example, many social influences past and present)?”

Part Four

In this post, we’ll bring all of these threads together and consider how insights from the normative and situational perspectives add important texture to the basic existential intuition that, in a given counseling moment, The Spirit is probably doing something that “feels right” to the Spirit-formed, maturing Christian counselor.”

 

Look On Up

RELIENT K

I remember when a photograph was worth a thousand words
A thousand words
Now a thousand pictures come my way, every day
And I like them all the same, but they can’t take my breath away
I’m fighting the temptation not to look
But I’m still leafing through the pages like the world’s my open book
Why don’t I got something else to do?
Feeling trapped behind the viewfinder to share it all with you

And that’s not what it’s about
I’m so tired of missing out

I look on up to the sky
I wonder why I put a filter between beauty and my eyes
I look on up into your eyes
It’s time I put down my devices and I start to live my life

I look on up, I look on up
To the sky

Have you ever tried to photograph the moon?
Well I have too, I have too
Find it funny how it never turns out right
It’s like someone poked a pinhole in the canvas of the night

And that’s not what it’s about
I’m so tired of missing out

I look on up to the sky
I wonder why I put a filter between beauty and my eyes
I look on up into your eyes
It’s time I put down my devices and I start to live my life

I look on up, I look on up

‘Cause it’s a Nick Drake Pink Moon seeing the pines
In the Pacific North West for the first time
I cannot believe my eyes
Yeah, I’m singing out loud in the middle of the night
On a balcony in Brisbane looking up into the sky
Into the sky
It’s time I put down my devices and I start to live my life

I look on up to the sky
I wonder why I put a filter between beauty and my eyes
I look on up into your eyes
It’s time I put down my devices and I start to live my life

I look on up to the sky
I wonder why I put a filter between beauty and my eyes
I look on up into your eyes
It’s time I put down my devices and I start to live my life

I look on up, I look on up
To the sky

Have you ever tried to photograph the moon?
Well I have too, I have too

A science teacher could be a different type of worship leader.

Where are all the life science narratives? I’ve been on a hunt, and these things are hard to find. My sentiments exactly:

“When I was a science teacher, I was always on the lookout for narrative stories that revolve around science. Our brains are wired to learn from stories, after all, so I was always astounded by the scarcity of good science-y stories.”

Katie McKissick

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted
at the end. You live several lives while reading [it].”
William Styron

Why True Crime Shows Should Matter

Russell Moore reflecting on “Serial” and “Making a Murderer:”

“I think Steven Avery is a murderer, based upon not only the program, but based upon the evidence I’ve read about since then. But I can also see in watching, for instance, a real injustice in the way the court-ordered defense attorney handled the confession of the Avery nephew. Even though I work on criminal justice system issues all the time, it really caused me to spend a great deal of time thinking about about that person who is falsely accused but doesn’t have the money to have adequate legal representation. That’s something I think we should be thinking more about.”

The Robots Are Winning!

The Robots Are Winning!

My sentiments exactly.

From the NY Review of Books:

“Ex Machina”, like “Her” and all their predecessors going back to “2001″, is about machines that develop human qualities: emotions, sneakiness, a higher consciousness, the ability to love, and so forth. But by this point you have to wonder whether that’s a kind of narrative reaction formation—whether the real concern, one that’s been growing in the four decades since the advent of the personal computer, is that we are the ones who have undergone an evolutionary change, that in our lives and, more and more, in our art, we’re in danger of losing our humanity, of becoming indistinguishable from our gadgets.

Amelia Boynton Robinson

Amelia Boynton Robinson

The New York Times Magazine //  “The Lives They Lived”

Remembering some of the artists, innovators and thinkers we lost in the past year (2015).

Defiance Defined Her

“These images of a nameless middle-aged black woman left for dead shook a nation in denial. They exposed the violent hypocrisy of the world’s greatest democracy brutally denying millions of its citizens the right to vote. Five months later, Boynton Robinson stood in the White House as President Johnson signed the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act into law.”

Full Article

Episode III

Episode III

Anakin: Love won’t save you, only my new powers.

*She steps away when she sees that he has changed.

Padme: I don’t know you anymore. Anakin, you’re breaking my heart. You are going down a path I can’t follow.

*Strangles her.

*Obi-wan intervenes.

Star Wars III - REIMAGES

I tear up each time I watch the ending of Episode III. Is that lame? This scene with Padme and the following fight and epilogue is reason enough to watch this movie. I know there is generally more hate on the prequels, but Revenge of the Sith is a must-see. This is profound loss, and you need to feel this if you are engaging with the storyline of Star Wars.

“People don’t actually realize it’s actually a soap opera and it’s all about family problems—it’s not about spaceships.” These were some of the words of George Lucas regarding his separation from the Star Wars franchise. This is just one sentence that could quickly be misused if one is not familiar with all that the series has accomplished for science fiction and “spaceship” movies. But the words lingered with me. Yes, this is a spectacular story surrounding a blood-tied family and a Jedi family, and I love it so much. Hence, tears and feels and such.

If you take a look back at the closing dual between Anakin and Obi-wan, it is definitely a fight between brothers. At this point, we have watched for hours and waited years as Obi-wan poured into Anakin since he was a little boy. We knew the betrayal was coming, but we got attached because we saw good people like Padme and Obi-wan get attached.

Obi-wan: I have failed you, Anakin.

Anakin: [shouts like a demon] I hate you!

Obi Wan: [affectionately] You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you.

Gruesome burning of Anakin’s flesh.

 

What would have happened if Obi-Wan had just killed him then? It’s like he is hoping for some form of reconciliation or resolve even though he knows that this cannot happen. And as if this isn’t enough to sink your ship, the audience immediately views several juxtapositions of life and death.

Padme and Anakin die. Luke, Leia, and Darth Vader are born.

To see her funeral and then his unapologetic-can’t-mistake-it position and stance towards the Death Star…it just feels sad. It feels so wrong to watch her funeral and then see Darth Vader take his position next to the Sith Lord. Anakin is lost forever. Anakin and Padme are separated forever.

I find this unraveling of Anakin absorbing. There is a scene when Anakin is looking up through his hood, now in essence Darth Vader, and he looks beyond disturbed. He looks like a demon child, hatred and evil boiling in him and evident in his red sullen eyes.

I could boil this story down to a hero turned evil. A character we have grown attached to (cautiously since we know what is coming), becomes something that betrays the others we are rooting for. We all know the story of Darth Vader, yet if a movie could simply be “boiled down,” then there’d be no point in making it. What I am saying is that this story of unraveling is one worth watching. Episode III can’t be boiled.

Revenge of the Sith is worth the time to refresh your mind on the tragedy of the dark side. Padme embodies relationship and reminds us that you can’t separate intimate relationships from war. Maybe it is because I think in relational terms, but I always seem to ponder and feel the gravity of collateral damage in war-type movies. Even if the film’s direction skips over showing how a supporting character might feel, I naturally ask that question and feel the possible answers. I identified naturally with the two women in Anakin’s life. How on earth could they bear losing him? How could he betray them? I know the Force plays the driving role in this whole dark transformation, but it doesn’t take away from how the separation is awful. Padme’s life left a lasting mark for me, clear back in 2005.

 

Anakin’s betrayal of her is heartbreak at its deepest. Not only does he choose to destroy their relationship, but he attempts to destroy the larger principles and causes that it stood upon. And this happens in a way that makes everyone else feel sorry for Anakin. Something has pulled him and devoured him. He has been consumed by the dark side. We all feel that he is in bondage but that it is still his fault and choice. Such are the realities of darkness and free will in the world.

But Episode III also allows us the opportunity to consider the events surrounding the birth of Luke and Leia. These are the seeds of hope in the midst of gross tragedy. Nobody can stay too depressed when they see the sandy pure landscape of Tatooine.

//

Star Wars III - REIMAGES

Darth Vader is an iconic villain if there ever was one. And we do well to remember that he was once just a boy who loved his mother dearly, had some cool hobbies, excelled beyond his peers, became the pride of his mentors and the shining hope of an empire, fell hopelessly in love, started a family, and brought devastation to all of it. No one had more promise than him, and it seems like he is able to burn all of that up. It is fitting that the final scenes contain so much lava and fire. The emotional landscape had been torturous. And that is the main point of Episode III.

And as we know, he ultimately fulfills the prophecy of the chosen one. His wife’s final words echoed the beliefs that he would destroy the Sith. “There is still some good in him. I know it.” And he does eventually, but at what cost? His son’s love finally awakens the good in him and enables him to finish what he should have executed in these moments. But this is only many deaths and tragedies later.

It takes a lot of emotional stock to consider the Darth Vader of Episodes IV-VI and then remember his beginnings as a boy with a mother who loved him. It is confusing actually and feels like a dark mystery I’ve experienced before. Something inside of me knows it is the worst kind of tragedy to watch a glimpse of great promise turn and move the opposing direction. Is it easier to see and accept the final evil product and villainize it, rather than watch the grotesque morphing and their ugly descent? Anakin is graphicly possessed by darkness. His fate is to be sealed off and separated as a calculated vessel for the purposes of evil and wrath.

Anakin, you’re breaking my heart.

Time–space compression (also known as space–time compression and time–space distantiation), first articulated in 1989 by geographer David Harvey in The Condition of Postmodernity,[1] refers to any phenomenon that alters the qualities of and relationship between space and time. A similar idea was proposed by Elmar Alvater in an article in Prokla in 1987 translated into English as Ecological and Economic Modalities of Time and Space and published in Capitalism Nature Socialism, 1(3) in 1989.
Time–space compression often occurs as a result of technological innovations that condense or elide spatial and temporal distances, including technologies of communication (telegraph, telephones, fax machines, Internet), travel (rail, cars, trains, jets), and economics (the need to overcome spatial barriers, open up new markets, speed up production cycles, and reduce the turnover time of capital). According to theorists like Paul Virilio, time-space compression is an essential facet of contemporary life: “Today we are entering a space which is speed-space … This new other time is that of electronic transmission, of high-tech machines, and therefore, man is present in this sort of time, not via his physical presence, but via programming” (qtd. in Decron 71[2]). Virilio also uses the term dromology to describe “speed-space.”

The Martian

The Martian

“What The Martian gives us is one vision of the future of space travel, one that does it—as a number of characters put it throughout the film—so that we can be connected to something “bigger than ourselves.

…Its perspective is a pretty balanced one, though: science exists to solve problems, and also to let us observe the beauty of the universe. That dual purpose resonates in a world full of debates over whether the sciences or the humanities are more important. It’s a silly argument, because they need each other.”

Full Review by Alissa Wilkinson, “Watch This Way,” Christianity Today

The Martian - REIMAGES

THE MARTIAN - REIMAGES

The Martian - REIMAGES

If I could tell you the movie, then there’d be no point in making it.

Jafar Panahi

Wall-e

Having just watched 2001: A Space Odyssey, I realize how many shout outs this film receives from other movies. I was watching Wall-E with the little brother and it took on a whole new level of meaning in the wake of 2001.

Wall-E - REIMAGES

2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey

I was delightfully impressed by the visuals in 2001. I loved simply looking at this movie. The content and plot flow was a head scratcher that I enjoyed playfully poking fun at while seriously pondering it’s intent and message. I collected a few movie posters, fan art pieces, and screenshots because it is just that great to look at.

2001 Space Odyssey - REIMAGES

2001space4

2001 Space Odyssey - REIMAGES

2001 Space Odyssey - REIMAGES

2001 Space Odyssey - REIMAGES

2001 Space Odyssey - REIMAGES

2001 Space Odyssey - REIMAGES

2001 Space Odyssey - REIMAGES

2001 Space Odyssey - REIMAGES

2001 Space Odyssey - REIMAGES

2001 Space Odyssey - REIMAGES

2001 Space Odyssey - REIMAGES

2001 Space Odyssey - REIMAGES

2001 Space Odyssey - REIMAGES

Back to top