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basically BECKY blog

  • Rebecca Branle

We don’t look.

We don’t even think.

We just instinctively turn away.

Because sometimes the truth is inconvenient.

Sometimes her life is a drag.

But she’s there.

Her heart beating out of her chest,

Fear so intense she fevers.

She’s sick with reality.

We’re sick with our make believe.

I used to see through her.

When she peered out from behind silver walls.

Her urgency was too sad for me.

Until I was in a prison of my own.

Until my truth was inconvenient,

My fear a shaking fever.

That’s when I looked.

Our eyes locked.

Two women.

Too young to die.

Both deemed disposable.

When they tell her story they say she was happy.

She romped in fields of green and gold.

She gave her children willingly

So she could give their milk to yours.

She, years from her end, was ready to go.

They spin her tale in children’s books.

The farmer in the dell.

When they tell my story they say I asked for it.

I was too strong willed.

Too smart, too stupid, too weak, too strong.

I exaggerated the blows.

They spin my tale until it feels more comfortable.

Until I’m just an idea that vanishes with easy distraction.

But I’m here.

I’m hurt.

I’m broken but not done.

She’s here.

She’s real.

She’s suffering in plain sight.

As we bless our plates.

Now I see her.

And in her me.

And I rip out the pages

Of fairytales written by the blind.

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  • Rebecca Branle

I think, deep down, we all know what's right. And if we wonder, finding the answer is easy. Regardless of the God we pray to, or if we pray at all, we just have to consult love.

For me, God is love and love is God and Jesus's life is love in action. For you, the God stuff might be different, and I honor that without judgement. The cool thing is that regardless of where you stand with God, love is the same. Love is good. So lately I’ve been wondering what would happen if instead of looking for answers from the politicians or political parties often assigned to us by houses of worship, we consulted love. Because Republican, Democrat, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist...these are all exclusionary labels, but love, love is accessible to all. A Christian can lead with love while standing alongside an atheist doing the same, and love can be the tie that binds. Love can be the litmus test we use to answer our most urgent problems. Like gun violence.

I wonder if 10 people in Boulder, Colorado would still be gone, still stolen from their families, if politicians and people had come together and consulted love after any of the previous mass shootings. What if, after Sandy Hook, after 27 people, mostly children, were massacred, lawmakers and citizens alike used their their love and not their political labels to respond?

What would love do?

Wouldn't love choose life over assault weapons? Wouldn't love be happy to have to pass a test to earn a license, to prove responsibility, in order to own a weapon too often meant to murder? Love would. Because love is patient. Love is kind. And love would know that while their heart was pure, some hearts are damaged and dangerous, and so love would say okay to licensing their gun, to background checks that might take time. Love would be willing to do the work to end this madness.

Can you imagine a scenario where love said, "do nothing?" Can you imagine love holding on to an assault weapon and refusing to let go? Can you imagine love saying the time it takes for a thorough background check is a bother or that gun control won't save 100%, so we might as well save none? Can you imagine Jesus carrying an AR-15?

When you cut out all the noise and just meditate on what's right, guided by love, the answers are so easy.

And if God is love and love is our compass, why do some Christians seem so confused? Because the Bible tells us to welcome the stranger, just as love does. Because the Bible calls on us to feed the poor, just as love does. Because Jesus was an activist for peace, just as love is.

Apply this reasoning to any question of our day. Would love deny healthcare to the sick, to freelance writers or small business owners, or mechanics or the un- and under employed? Would Jesus? Would love look a family fleeing violence in the eyes and spit, "Go home?" Would love say black skin has less right to life than white? Would brown-skinned Jesus? Would love scream "perverts!" at hearts joining hearts, regardless of their gender? Would Jesus? Or would Jesus have shown love to love? When did Jesus ever model exclusion, or hate?

He never did. Not once.

Because love is love is love.

Love is for gun control.

And God is love.

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  • Rebecca Branle

Updated: Dec 24, 2021

She raised me up.

When I bled she bandaged me up.

When I cried she wrapped me up

In arms that were the walls of my safest space.

My favorite face.

My saving grace.

She was all my favorite stories

Spun in a thread of gold,

To have and to hold,

To grow and to mold,

The music that danced beneath the words as they were told.

She was safe.

Until she wasn't.

Until she was human.

Bruised flesh and breakable bone.

Never mine alone.

My stories were mine alone.

Because maybe windows down and voices singing

Weren't so much freedom ringing

As longing stinging.

A real woman with real wants and real needs,

Singing just to feel...


Half-heartedly kissing baby's bruises to heal...

Little pains

Because the bigger hurt was hers.

And I never really knew her.

All of her.

Only the her I created.

Her desires bated.

Our mothers are too often fated

To fade into the stories of their children.

And maybe she needed, finally, to shake me,

To quell her longing to be free,

To just be.



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