D.L. Mayfield

living in the upside-down kingdom

Filtering by Tag: dlm


My new post at McSweeney's is up here. I can't believe I only have 3 more to go! This makes me want to cry, just a little. Also, I just read a blog post from a woman who lived in Haiti for a year or two. It is on the whole short-term missions debacle, which I have tried to stay out of for some time now. However, I think she makes a few good points. One, is that we defend our trips overseas because they meant something to us, and we ignore the fact that we are disempowering people all the time (not to mention ignoring missionaries who plead that we just send support/supplies). The other idea is that we don't expect people to care about the poor unless we drop them in the midst of the poor. Is this true or not? I know that I was only awakened from my entitled American stupor as a result of direct friendships with people of a lower socio-economic status. I want to believe that people can care without having to smell the death and desperation of true poverty, but maybe this isn't true.

In any case, just because there are no easy answers on this one doesn't mean it isn't worth wrestling. I greatly identified with the post because every single bloody day of my life I am wondering what I am doing: am I creating more barriers or breaking them down? And honestly, I don't know what the tally is right now. I just know I am supposed to keep going, one step at a time.

New Column: Women's Work

New Column: Women's Work

Hey. My new column at Mcsweeneys is up. 

I want to be clear that I am not upset or against men or any of that nonsense. I just have had to struggle with some issues in my life. I just hate to see people barred from using the gifts they have been given by God by the people of God. I just recently realized that not a single theological book I read (either as a part of a course or on my own studies) at my Bible college was written by a women. At the time, it didn't even register. Now, it just breaks my heart.

There is no one reason for this, of course. It is a complicated issue. I would like to believe it is because all the cool girls are out there bringing the kingdom. We just need more of them to write their stories down. 

Read More

baking cakes for teenage weddings

My new column at Mcsweeneys is up. It was a hard one to write, because it was a hard thing to experience.

What I didn't add in the piece is the fact that this was the last time I have seen her; Hali (not her real name, obviously) moved to the East Coast the next day. She was supposed to come visit here in June, but she is 8 months pregnant and won't be able to come out.

I don't write very much anymore about living where we live (low-income housing, refugees for neighbors) because it doesn't seem safe. But I will say that there are many, many sad things going on all the time. Some times I can shove it down, and other times I can't. I have been grateful for this column-writing-experience because it has forced me to look at the situation square in the eye. And, no surprise here, I have been found wanting.

The girls in the refugee community get it the worst. They come here, are educated up to their eyeballs both by the schools and the media that they should "follow their hearts" and "believe in themselves". They catch ahold of these ephemeral promises and hold on tight, until suddenly they can't. Their culture catches up when they turn a marrying age and demands they go back and live life the way it always was. Except this time, the girls know that there are different paths out there. Just not for them.

In many ways, it seems like the worst of both worlds. And there isn't anything I can do about it, really. Just stay a friend. Keep the channels of communication open. Try and be nice to the men in the community for once, and influence them for good.

And, of course: pray. Pray. Pray, without ceasing.

Powered by Squarespace. Background image by Kmayfield