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Monthly Archives: October 2014

I am reading the book, Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It is a fictional novel that chronicles an African female’s sojourn in America (specifically, she is from Nigeria).  This statement from this book inspired this blog, “she was struck by how mostly slim white people got off at the [train] stops in Manhattan and, as the train went further into Brooklyn, the people left were mostly black and fat. She had not thought of them as ‘fat,’ though.  She had thought of them as ‘big,’ because one of the first things her friend Ginika told her was that ‘fat’ in America was a bad word, heaving with moral judgment like ‘stupid’ or ‘bastard,’ and a mere description like ‘short’ or ‘tall'” (p. 6). Okay, maybe we should not call people ‘fat’ but why do we avoid discussing the hard topics like being overweight, poor eating habits, working too much, cigarette smoking, etc.? Why are topics such as these taboo or off-limits while such realities cause havoc to people and their loved ones? Is this truly loving someone by skirting around these topics? According to this website – http://bestfatburnersdiary.com/being-overweight-is-not-healthy-for-you/ – being overweight leads to:

  • “high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and heart diseases,”
  • “type II diabetes”
  • “pressure and strain on the lower back and joints which may lead to arthritis”
  • “depression, low self-esteem and irritability”

Just think, if we (especially, the church) talked more frequently, lovingly, gracefully and winsomely, about such things and if we (especially, the church) were willing to walk with those who struggled with these “taboo issues” – is it possible that we can reduce the occurrence of such maladies?

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Real men cry!  I often hear men who cry spontaneously or ‘out of the blue’ say things like this, “Sorry, that’s my feminine side.” Or, “Sorry, I got a little emotional.” Both these statements are apologetic in nature.  I ask, ‘why are men apologizing for something that is quite human’? We have often heard this phrase, “to err is human.” Or, to make an error, is what it means to be human. Similarly, we can write, “to cry is human.” Or, to cry is what it means to be human. Yet, too often men take their cues of masculinity or manhood from their stoic dads or from super-macho men who grace the ‘big screen’ in Hollywood.  Some cues from Hollywood or other ‘media outlets’ (such as magazines, athletics, etc.) are good but this notion that it is wrong to cry as a man is dead wrong.  Men, like women, were made with tear ducts.  And tears are meant to flow in these ducts! Yet sadly, men are discouraged from crying as though crying is a foreign idea.  As a consequence, men fail to use their allotment of tears.  Consider this from Pat Conroy of Beach Music, “American men are allotted just as many tears as American women. But because we are forbidden to shed them, we die long before women do, with our hearts exploding or our blood pressure rising or our livers eaten away by alcohol because that lake of grief inside us has no outlet. We, men, die because our faces were not watered enough.” Men, it is okay to have ‘watered faces.’  I have been privileged to officiate the weddings of two former students and on both occasions the groom cried real tears when he saw his bride for the first time adorned in her beautiful wedding dress. My kids and wife will gladly and proudly say this about me: “Dad cries at church, dad cries during movies that feature tender father/son moments and he does not apologize for crying.”  Luke Brad Bobo’s face has been watered many, many times.  I will the end the same way I began: Real men cry!