Updated: May 18, 2020
This week, I wanted to share a few books and podcasts that have been inspiring and challenging me. For the past year and a half, I have felt a strong call to be a peacemaker, and I’m learning what that looks like. Therefore, much of what I spend my free time reading and listening to these days has to do with peacemaking in some form.
What I’m Reading…
I’ve been reading Mending the Divides as part of a book club, and I pretty much want to underline the whole book. This book talks about peacemaking as a central part of our calling as Christ followers. It’s easy to look around the world and see the conflict and brokenness and feel helpless and hopeless. This book helps us to see the importance of stepping into the brokenness and provides some tangible steps for how to do that. The authors of the book (Jon Huckins & Jer Swigart) are the founding directors of an organization called Global Immersion, and they have a lot of experience with peacemaking on the international level as well as in their own neighborhoods and personal lives. Their organization and this book represent what I want my life to be about. Make sure to check them out.
If you read my last post, you’ll know that one aspect of new life that I’m seeking is to be true to who God created me to be and what He is calling me to do without fear of what others might think. That’s exactly the reason I’m reading Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown. This is a book about the importance of understanding the truth of who you are and learning how to experience belonging without compromising that truth. It recognizes the reality that we were created for community but that there are times when we need the courage and integrity to stand alone. It’s such an important message for the polarized society we live in today.
Part of being a peacemaker is learning about the injustices that are present in our world, even when they seem so foreign to our previous experiences. Because of this, I’ve been intentionally seeking out new resources to learn about the racial divides in our country. I’ve heard so many good things about The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, and I finally started diving into it. It talks about the history of white supremacy in our country and how it has evolved through the systems of slavery, Jim Crow laws, and now mass incarceration. It’s a very eye-opening look at how our criminal justice system works and how certain laws have been used to target minorities. It is a dense book but well worth the read. Also, if you want a little precursor to the book, check out the documentary 13th on Netflix.
What I’m Listening to…
This podcast episode shares a beautiful story about forgiveness and what it looks like to love our enemies. It features a Muslim community and their response to a hate crime enacted against them. The story had me in tears. In addition to being a beautiful and challenging account, I think it’s so important to hear stories like this about the Muslim community when our media is often filled with stories of a small minority of extremists.
Latasha Morrison is the founder and director of an organization called Be the Bridge. Their work is dedicated to inspiring and equipping the church to play an active role in racial reconciliation. In this episode, Latasha shares her heart behind being a bridge builder and what led her to start the organization.
In this episode, Sarah Quezada talks about her recently published book called Love Undocumented. She shares her personal account of navigating the U.S. immigration system with her husband who was previously undocumented. She presents the complexities of immigration law and the challenges that immigrants face through her personal story as well as extensive research.
What books and podcasts have been inspiring and challenging your recently? I’d love to hear your recommendations.