Archive for Christians

Unspoken Responses… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , on August 31, 2021 by paulthepoke

Your unspoken responses—your body language, eye contact, and positioning—speak a thousand words to those you are trying to engage with. Hurting individuals are no stranger to stigmas and judgment. While they are used to physical touch being distorted and misused, they are equally used to being held at arm’s length.

One time, I met an individual who was walking around praying for Kansas City’s homeless. I had two black eyes and was sick. I weighed about 90 pounds and hadn’t changed clothes in days. I even had blood on my shirt. She asked if she could pray for me. I said, “Sure.” She asked if there was anything she could pray for me about that I needed at that moment. I said, “Food and a shower and clean clothes.” The entire time she prayed for those things for me, she was staring at the blood that covered my shirt.

The blood was from a beating I had taken from a buyer of sex. He had locked the doors of his car, and each time he’d stop and say, “Get out,” he’d lock the door again. He banged my head against the window, calling me a stupid, filthy ho. He’d drive, then stop, and repeat, until he at last let me out. I had a bloody nose, and I believe that is why he let me out. He cursed and punched me because I got blood on his car door.

The woman praying for me didn’t make eye contact with me. She just stared at the blood on my shirt, never connecting with me as an individual human being. I remember thinking, If she is one of those “Christians,” and I am asking her to pray for food because I’m hungry, how come she doesn’t have a sandwich or offer me some food? Was God, through prayer, going to magically put a sack lunch at my feet? As she spoke to my bloody shirt, she inadvertently confirmed the stigma and judgment I was so used to. She never once looked me in the eye.

A response like this carries a tremendous message to the hurting. It was as if she stood in shock at the sight of the bloody shirt, not truly hearing my words or seeing the person wearing the shirt. As far as I could tell, she was disregarding the pain that was right in front of her. She never asked, “What happened to you?” She just gawked. Her unspoken words and body language spoke thousands of words to me. I didn’t feel compassion from a woman who prayed for me. I felt inferior, isolated, and pushed away.

We can’t have these kinds of responses when engaging with hurting individuals. We have to hold ourselves together. Responses like these make them feel more shame, more hurt, and more brokenness. It is vital, no matter what is shared with us or what the person’s appearance is, that we never react in ways that dismiss their story or demean their humanity. Instead, we must always honor their hurt, their pain, and their journey.

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

Through The Eyes of Grace – Christine C McDonald 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEj5RbFpuzjx_CuksAqgyXA/featured

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Food For Thought… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , , , on May 28, 2021 by paulthepoke

I wanted to share my experiences and help you see a personal side of those who are hurting. I wanted to give you some insight into the moments that help and heal, as well as the moments that hurt and scar.

These appendices are specifically written for those who work in the helping professions or ministries or who desire to help the hurting. I want to give you a few tools to help you do your much–needed work as effectively as possible. What you do can open or close doors in a hurting person’s life. I believe in the work you do and I want nothing more than to see you fling those doors wide open for those who need it. So, this isn’t a story. This is a toolbox.

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

I have been a hurting person. I have been broken, deceived from spiritual disenfranchisement, bought and sold, and trauma bonded. I have suffered at the hands of domestic violence. I have been consumed by the darkness of hopelessness and addiction, stigmatized by the world around me, and blanketed by guilt and shame. I have been harmed by professionals, leaders of faith, and the folks who seemed to be the okay people of the “normal world.” I have been excluded by agencies for services that cherry–picked clients to assist.

Unfortunately, there are many “helping agencies” out there that select to help only those with the highest chance for success. The successful clients are used to pursue grant money that would be impossible to access by those with the greatest challenges or barriers. If someone is deemed “too needy,” then they pose a risk, because if their success can’t be qualified and quantified, then there is no financial compensation for helping them.

This kind of repeated rejection can only happen so many times before individuals seeking help give up. Their view of help becomes so tainted that they believe they can’t be helped. As you saw in my journey, I myself reached this point after trying to seek help many times.

These experiences on their journeys shape their perceptions of “helping people” or “good Christians.” If these experiences have been negative, then your work is cut out for you. Remember: Every action, or inaction, has the potential to heal or to destroy. My goal is to help you increase the chance that your efforts to help will accomplish the former, not the latter. I don’t believe that the people in most helping agencies intend to compound the problems; they simply lack the inside understanding of these individuals’ experiences and true needs. There are some ways to become authentic and relational with these hurting folks that will assist you as well as them.

As you begin to read this, remember that you are engaging with hurting persons. Some of you engage with homeless individuals, trafficked/prostituted persons, rape victims, violent crime survivors, and more. While many of these tools are relevant to women/girls and the types of things they endure, the general approach and considerations can be used with men/boys who are hurting as well.

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

Through The Eyes of Grace – Christine C McDonald 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEj5RbFpuzjx_CuksAqgyXA/featured

https://crypurplemovie.com/

It’s All About Perspective

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldFeaturing Christine “Clarity” McDonald

Awarded by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon for Outstanding Civil Service.

“The self-righteous scream judgments against others to hide the noise of skeletons dancing in their own closets.” ― John Mark Green

 

Just cause you say you are of the church a leader of God a Christian with some folks just don’t mean that much at all…

Have you ever wondered how two people can stand side-by-side witnessing the same event, yet report seeing two totally different things? Our past experiences shape how we interpret nearly everything around us. People from strong loving families often have a more confident view of themselves as well as the world they interact with than those who grew up with less support.

Oftentimes these experiences also define our perceptions of who God is, as well as what our purpose is on this planet. Those who have been raised in the church may not always be aware of how far apart their understanding of Jesus and salvation is from those who have only ever been hurt by the world.

Jesus bridged this gap time and time again throughout Scripture. His anger and “judgement” were never directed toward those who were clearly lost. After all, they already felt like they were as far from God as they can get. They saw their need for him. Instead, we see his anger and cutting words repeatedly hurled against the religious leaders of the day who used the law to oppress people instead of freeing them or leading them back to their Creator. Such leaders had no idea of their own need for saving; hence they had no grace for others.

In John Chapter 8, we see Jesus intervene when a group of men wanted to stone a woman caught in adultery. We don’t know precisely what her story is. Was she a willing participant? Was she someone who had been used by others? What we do know is that while she was “caught”, there was no man being condemned alongside her. Whoever she was caught with wasn’t even part of the story. The man who stood up for her, however, was the only perfect and blameless being to ever walk the earth.

If anyone had the authority and was justified in condemning this woman, it was Jesus. He was, after all, the Son of God. But instead, Jesus addressed her accusers, challenging them, “…but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” (Verse 7, NLT). Jesus alone held that right; yet when all of them had left, one by one, he turned to her and offered her freedom.

When we encounter those who need this Gospel, yet have been cast down by life over and over again, are we offering them freedom? People know who they are. Even without ever picking up a Bible, people know when their actions are morally objectionable. What Christ offers is more than a light to illuminate the darkness. His light offers freedom. This freedom does not require that we be changed before we accept it. In fact, we can’t. The changes we require to be clean and holy in His sight can only be made by Him.

Perhaps our job as believers isn’t so much about raising a mirror to people so they see their sins. Perhaps, deep down, they already see them. Perhaps our responsibility is to show them God’s reflection of love, grace and freedom. Perhaps, through our words and actions, consistently and patiently, we can offer them hope.

If you have not walked in the shoes of someone who has been exploited or marginalized by society, tread carefully when speaking about the hope of Christ. Be mindful of their past experiences and formulated ideas of Christians, people of faith, or believers. Their lived experiences may not have been that of goodness and love and grace. It takes one thousand good things to replace one bad thing, so tread lightly and gently, my Christian friends. You never know what brokenness someone might have experienced – even at the hands of a person who claims Jesus as Lord.

Tread gently, therefore, when speaking about the hope of Christ to those who are leaving the life, or those attempting to restore their lives from brokenness of any sort you don’t know. Many other “Christians” they have interacted with were antithetical representations of the gospel of Jesus. If this is all they know, then the concept of God and hope and goodness is a much more difficult sell!

“Love your neighbor… ALL of ’em!” -Christine “Clarity” McDonald

 

 

Introducing Christine “Clarity” McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , on May 25, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldProstitute. Addict. Homeless. Criminal. Christine “Clarity” McDonald, survivor of human trafficking and author of the memoir Cry Purple, challenges the biases and assumptions we commonly hold about exploited and marginalized populations. Through stories of her own lived experiences, Scripture, thought-provoking commentary, and practical resources, she unveils the humanity of these individuals and helps us to see them through the eyes of Jesus — eyes of grace. In helping us see the humanity of those we often judge or shun, she empowers us to instead reach out with arms of love and a message of hope.

 

Yes, I won’t lie. It makes me feel some kind of way when you are connecting with your Christian circles. You are hurting or in need. And they say, “Everything happens for a reason.” There is a time for that conversation. Sometimes we just need to share empathy… and allow one another to hurt. -Christine “Clarity” McDonald


Christians: When someone has tragedy and your response is “everything happens for a reason,” you make God sound like an asshole. Stop saying that. Not everything that happens is God’s will. He’s not an asshole. -Anny Donewald, CEO & Founder at Eve’s Angels

 

 

 

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