“No More Squinting”

My friend Kacy Latham wrote an interesting article the other day, entitled “No More Squinting.” She’s a good writer, and more often than not, I find myself agreeing with her. This time, I felt like she REALLY hit it out of the park. So with her kind permission, I wanted to share it with all of you. It’s worth thinking about.

No more squinting…

There were years that I drank a little to much of the “Hyper-Christian punch…”

You know the kind… Jesus is always coming back on this certain day…only to see it come and go without a rapture…

I lost my keys because “Satan was messing with me.”

Every bad thing from thunderstorms to temper tantrums were caused by “demons.”

The biggest thing was a buzzword that was misused… A lot.


I believe that normal discernment is very important.

Discernment can be a code-word for sanctioned fear or rejection of all things unfamiliar. This is just a cover for fear. It makes good-hearted Christians act like snotty mean brats. It also draws a big line in the sand, marking our right to shun and judge others.

This fear of being “polluted by the world,” caused me to view everything through a very narrow lens.

Movies were scoured for secular humanistic messages. Pop songs were judged for glorifying lust and sin and other people (even other kinds of Christians) were always “suspect.”

Well, there comes a time when you get tired of “squinting.” You get tired of fretting. You get tired of your darn closed mind…

This isn’t the “freedom” we sang about.

So I stopped “squinting.” And it has been the best move of my life. In the same way I can marvel at the beauty in a perfect spiderweb, I can also enjoy the painting made by my friend who is Muslim. I can make an extra effort to smile and genuinely engage with the transgender woman behind the counter at Walgreens, without fear, without condemnation or the need to invite her to church!

My vision not so restrictive and cynical now…

I am not God; it’s not my job to reject people. It’s okay to be fellow human.

Quoting those “heathen” musicians, The Beatles, I’ve decided to “Let it be.”

Quoting Freddy Mercury, that homosexual, “open your eyes, look up to the sky… And SEE.”

I honestly don’t think your faith will be damaged by reading Harry Potter, listening to Kendrick Lamar, having a Halloween party, or watching a movie like “Life of Pi” which alludes to Universalism…

Faith should be robust and mystical…

Not rigid and easily shattered

We really can relax.

Opening our eyes makes us wiser… It makes us kinder and more loving… It’s okay to relax and appreciate strange new things.

I’m done with “squinting.” It’s a fear based prison… And the opposite of what real faith and love ought to be. ❤

First World Problem

This is one of those stories that, even as I tell it, I know some of you are not going to believe me. Or you’re going to say that this was somehow my fault. I know this, because I’m having a hard time believing it myself, and I am living through it.

It all started innocently enough. Back in March, I had to get a new phone. My old Android phone, which was supposed to last for two years, had lasted three, but it was fading fast. So, I finally broke down and bought an iPhone – a 5S, to be precise.

Now, I should tell you that my particular discount phone carrier requires me to buy my own phone, full price, right up front. This is a trade-off I accept, because it means that I get a great price on my monthly phone bill. So, I bought the new iPhone, and called their technical support service to activate this new marvel and get my service ported over to it.

I didn’t know it at the time, but evidently, that’s when the trouble started.

I rocked along for a full month, and everything was great. The new phone performed flawlessly until last Friday when, with no warning, it stopped working. Well, to be precise, the phone part stopped working – as long as I was connected to a Wi-Fi network, all the other functions worked just fine. Music all day long, but no calls. And up in the corner, where the signal strength indicator is, were the ominous words, “No Service.”

At first, I wasn’t too worried. I checked my credit card, and sure enough, there was no charge on the bill for the service. Some kind of a glitch, I thought. I thought it had been on automatic pay every month, but I figured, somehow, that got accidentally turned off. I’ll pay the bill, make sure to set the bill pay for “automatic,” and I’ll have my service back.


I tried to use the automatic pay function. It wouldn’t let me in. I tried to go online, and use the “Chat” function to fix the problem. Forget about it. I called technical support. Thirty minutes later, I was still on hold. I was beginning to get annoyed.

I finally got through to a real person, and she told me that my service had been cancelled, and my number voided out, because I had asked to switch over to a different carrier. I tried to explain that that was NOT what I had done at all, that I had simply purchased a new phone, but that I wasn’t looking to change phone companies.

It was about here that the wheels came off.

For four hours, from one supervisor to another, we went round and round. I was getting more and more frustrated. They kept telling me that this was my fault, because I had asked to switch carriers. I kept assuring them that I had not. I finally managed to convince a supervisor that this was THEIR fault, to which she agreed. So I asked if we could please turn my phone back on. The answer was a polite, but very firm, NO. Evidently, my old number has gone into permanent retirement. Maybe it’s in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, with Andy Dufresne, I don’t know, but my number is now out of use, and I can’t have it back.

The best she could do for me was to arrange for me to receive a new SIM card for the phone, and give me a direct number to call her on. When that happens, I’ll get a new number, and my snazzy Apple device will once again be a phone, and not just an expensive portable radio.

I’m trying to learn from this experience. I’m thankful that, in the long run, this is only an inconvenience, and not a serious problem. I’m very grateful to have neighbors, friends & family that I want to keep in touch with, and a job that I enjoy and is fulfilling, and good technology to help me do that. I know that there are a lot of people around the world who would wish that the biggest problem they had was a cell phone that didn’t work. So I’m trying not to whine.

Meanwhile, does anyone know where I can borrow a tin can and some string?