Context. Boring Word. Valuable Invitation.
Dear Kaleid Ladies,
Good morning. This email was penned 48 hours ago. The words took shape on Monday of this week. This note is lovingly penned for you, in light of an unknown future reality that is now yours to hold.
No matter what happened in the election last night, and no matter what is happening now, we are here to remind you that there is no time like the present to lean into what is real and true.
Kaleid serves Christian women who want to see themselves, others, and our city through new lenses. We serve women like you who desire greater clarity, compassion, and courage as you ask God what it looks like to intentionally take your story into your places, connecting to the larger story that God is always telling.
We are women who value, even cherish, stories. But stories apart from context can get outsized, diminished, confusing, or just plain misleading.
It’s not news that the story of faith and politics and their overlap have gotten very, very messy lately. Our relationships with friends and family have been upended, or at least they’ve become less open and free. People are leaving the church over this. American evangelicalism is in a new place today, and it’s worth paying attention. Something is going on.
In short, here is your invitation: take the time to humbly learn the context of your most prized faith-politics stories so that you can walk wisely in this season.
Christianity in America has a story. If we listen at our church groups and on our friends’ facebook feeds and through our worship songs and even on news outlets, we can hear some of the stories that we are repeatedly hearing and telling, elevating as true.
Christianity in America also has a context. If we lean into Holy Scripture and American history and Church tradition and the larger, longer movements of our millennias-old faith, we can discern context that might just help us to see our way through the stories of this difficult season, if we will listen.
It might be time, together, to consider something.
Friends, what if we have been listening to our own stories and taking them out of context? What if we have attached ourselves to plotlines without reading the prequels or anticipating the sequels of our times?
What if it is time to become more hungry for rich context than we are for adrenaline inducing storylines?
There is a way through. Over 200 years ago, British pastor Charles Simeon was asked, “What is the Christian faith?” His answer was, “It’s three things: humility, humility, humility.”
Often, the stories we prefer to re-tell, the plotlines we hold that we cherish as safe and “ours,” cause us to be self righteous or even contemptuous. Yet, God invites us in Micah to, “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.” God visits us in Jesus as the one who humbly asks the best questions, mercifully suspends judgment of the other, and preferences love over politics, to the point of death. This God remains with us as the Holy Spirit whose fruit is gentleness and patience and kindness.
In all of the turmoil and noise, there is an invitation before us to humbly explore our context. To become students of what has shaped us. To listen, to perhaps be shaken a bit, and to find our footing on the ground of God’s gracious story even as we take time to weep for the sad parts in our collective story.
Today, you may be angry or frustrated or weary or exultant or just “over it.” No matter where you find yourself, we hope you’ll receive these next four years as a fertile season to listen, to discover, to grow deeper, and to stretch wider. To embrace context because it matters, and then to live your story with more freedom and grace in the world.
This is our work. Knowing our context is a worthy endeavor. We’ll be here to sit, learn, and walk with you.
The Kaleid Team
P.S. - Here’s a thoughtful contextually-helpful article from Christianity Today called “Why Evangelicals Disagree on the President.” And, for more context on the verse from Micah, watch this short video from The Bible Project.