If 2020 taught me anything, it was to listen. First, to press in with Jesus, ask questions and to listen for his answers. Second, to begin exploring and hearing the voices that are different than mine.
After participating in a reading group for the book Oneness Embraced by Tony Evans, one of the women encouraged me to read Becoming by Michelle Obama.
During the Obama administration, I didn’t pay too much attention his presidency (I’ve never had an activist heart or been too concerned with politics) but I must confess, the voices I did listen to told me how evil they were, or how unqualified they were, or how they were going to take away our christian freedoms, or how they were going to destroy America. That’s the way of it, isn’t it? Us and them?
But 2020 prepared me to question what I’d been told and start taking a look for myself. To be intentional in my search. It’s a lot of work and even as I write this, I’m overwhelmed by the amount and availability of information to digest. Intentionality becomes even more critical.
All this to say. I read Michelle Obama’s book and have been blown away. Like me, she grew up in the north (she on the shores of Lake Michigan, I on the shores of Lake Erie). Like me, she grew up in a blue collar family, working dad and a mom who mostly stayed at home to raise two children. I realized how much more like my story is her story when compared to the many voices I had been listening to. Unlike me, she grew up in the city; I grew up in the country. And off course we also have different skin color.
I’m still processing all the book has given me. But I definitely want to included it as one of my Featured Books and encourage you to read Becoming.
As you do, you’ll find yourself drawn into her story. A story she shares with honesty and transparency, a story filled with both her awkwardness and grace, a story capturing her journey from the neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago to the White House. She invites us along as she fights her way through college then law school, launches her professional career, falls in love with Barrack, is swept up in his passion and vision to make the world around him a better place, experience her feeling overwhelmed by the political stage she is thrust into, and then feel her awe and humility as she takes on the role of First Lady.
Regardless of your political affiliation, I think you’ll find her story inspiring and promising. Along with the other books I’m reading, and being encouraged by the same friend, I’m now picking up Kamala Harris’ book, The Truths We Hold.