Tag Archive | poetry

The Problem With Stereotypes

About a month ago I took a poetry workshop downtown. I love how my city offers these free opportunities to learn and grow in writing and I find it interesting that I have a gift of writing poetry. I never thought of myself as a poet. I never thought of myself as a writer either…

At the workshop I made note, it was a diverse group. A mixture of blacks and whites, young and old. Then the facilitator came. She was late and entered with her body mostly hidden behind an occupied stroller. She was dressed in jeans and an old Tee and I was surprised she was the teacher. There was a young man in the group who seemed to be “off” and I figured he had a mental illness. There was another woman in the group, older, black and talkative. She told a lot of jokes and seemed (in my opinion) a little “off” as well. I made a conscious decision to be open and receive because I know from experience God can use anyone. We shared our writings and our hearts and the man who I thought was “off” was actually pretty “on”. Turns out he had a syndrome that caused him to seem different but he was intelligent and articulate and his poem revealed the gift that he is to the world. The woman who was talkative brought me to tears with her heartfelt letter to the Lord and I feel myself tearing up right now at the memory.

And our instructor, who appeared to be uneducated (in my opinion) was very knowledgeable and skilled in her craft.

I recognized the Father showing me my own stereotypes in this group and how inaccurate they can be.

I too was being stereotyped. I was dressed in a collared shirt and showed up with my mac computer while everyone else had pen and paper. The instructor made comments about my preferences and social life. I knew that she thought I was “middle class” and did not really know my story. On paper I’m sure it would look the way she assumed…

I recently met a man who challenged more of my thinking. In this climate of racial tension and social injustice I thought those who would be most aware (or “woke”) and sympathetic to these issues would need to share the same color of my own skin. Certainly they would not come from “privileged families”. But then I met him and he did have that background but had a heart to help urban communities heal and transform. We spent 2 hours talking about such things and I realized I had misjudged him.

In my career I have always been favored. I have always been “seen” and valued for who I am eternally. But then I wasn’t. I was met with the stereotype and a picture was painted of me that couldn’t be further from the truth. I learned a valuable lesson that day, when someone doesn’t know you they can easily misjudge you.

The problem with stereotypes is that they keep us from getting to know the true identity of someone. We like to categorize and put people in boxes because it makes us feel more comfortable, but sometimes those boxes limit us in expanding our mindset and views. We miss out on opportunities to learn and evolve as a result of interacting with someone who is different.

It’s easy to fall into using stereotypes. It’s kind of our default. But the Father has intentionally made us all diverse because He is diverse. And I believe the only was to truly see Him is when we all express our diversity.

I look forward to that day of seeing every tribe and every tongue worship together the One Eternal Being who created them. It will surely be a sight to see.

Revelations7:9

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

In other news, congratulations to my best friend who recently got engaged!!! More to come on that front๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜‰. #newseasons…

SHALOM

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A Company of Poets


I remember last year I was invited to an open mic night by a friend.  When I arrived I was asked if I was performing.  I’m sure I looked like a poet, with my retro hair and high waist pants (I love vintage style) but I let the woman down easy. “Nope,” I said with conviction,  “I’m not a poet!”  I made my entrance and met my friends.  After a few acts in the show I realized that much of the content people were sharing was anything but truth and light.  I grieved for my generation, praying for the Father to send someone up there with truth!  That’s when I knew.  It was me.

“What’s in your hand?” He said to my heart and I was reminded of Moses.  Well all I had was my first book on my kindle app.  My phone’s battery had been dying at the time and I didn’t even think the phone would last long enough for me to read from the first chapter.  But my friend gave me a charger and I courageously took the stage.  I read and felt the anointing and knew that though on the surface I was sharing about overcoming heartbreaking, in the Spirit I was releasing light, truth and hope.

I shared that experience with my (very prophetic) fellowship and one woman wrote on a pad, “Nicole, the poet”.  We talked about becoming all things to all men.  I tucked that little nugget in the back of my mind not thinking anything of it.

Fast forward about 6 months and I find myself signed up for a poetry workshop, writing short stories with poets in them and receiving a loud round of applause from experienced poets who heard my first poem.  I was shocked to find that my writing was not just confined to non fiction, but apparently…I was a poet.

I had my first poetry slam this weekend and shared the pieces He had given me.  Poetry has been a great way to express deep pain as well as deep desires.  Writing has been a vehicle to reveal the hidden things in my heart.  Funny thing is all of my short stories have manifested in multiple ways.  I actually keep meeting people in real life who have the same name and descriptions as my characters!  It’s been cool to see the Father confirm His hand in my writing in this way.


I want to encourage you not to limit yourself.  Don’t think because you haven’t done something yet or walked in something it is not meant to be.  Be open to how the Father wants to use you, your gifts, and all that He has put in you.

He is the Maker.  You are the clay.  And your story is still being revealed…

SHALOM

 

Poetry Slam!

Hi guys! I think I’ve mentioned I’ve been branching out in my writing more. One of the ways I’ve been growing as a writer is by taking a poetry workshop. To celebrate the completion of our class we are having a poetry slam this Saturday!  If you’re in the area I’d love for you to come! Details are below๐Ÿ˜Š.


SHALOM