Since shelter in place began in Wisconsin, I’ve been balancing pastoring a church through a virtual Lent and now Holy Week, executive directing a non-profit that supports peace-building through interfaith schools in Palestine and Israel, working on my dissertation, and keeping two very small children alive and happy. My husband’s a full time grad student in nursing, so our days are full. Work takes place in the margins around our new reality, and maybe that’s closer to where work should have always been in terms of priorities. I’m surprised by how the preciousness of time has been illuminated in this crisis. When writing can only happen between the start of nap time and lunch, you learn to write very efficiently.
My dissertation work emphasizes the role of the Christian church (particularly U.S. manifestations thereof) in co-creating rape culture and is seeking ways for the church to be a part of disrupting rape culture instead. My new work in progress for the Shiloh Project series with Routledge Focus is exploring the role of the prophetic in both the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements. Getting to interview and collaborate with scholars in these fields has been an absolute privilege and I’m grateful for the access to technology that allows me to keep moving forward on both projects even in a time of lock-down!
I am running the full gamut of feelings in this season and allowing myself space for all of those emotions is what’s keeping me going. I am profoundly thankful – that my family are healthy, that my kids are too young to be scared by what’s happening, that my partner is also my best friend, that my work can be reasonably accomplished remotely, etc. I am profoundly sad – at the loss of life, the co-morbidity of the weight of poverty and racism in my country, the suffering that was preventable, and more. I am angry – at the pathetic excuse for leadership in my government, at our collective fear responses. I am proud – of the community spirit that rises above, the difficult but necessary questions and conversations that are rising to the surface. And I am baking right up to the edge of an unhealthy amount of cookies.