All That You Touch You Change, Right?

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By Olivia LaFlamme (ELM Program Director)

Time, as we know it, is a construction. It is not naturally occurring. It is a tool, an instrument, that we use to measure our days and lives.
“I am 40 years old”
“I’m finally going on that trip to Copenhagen this year.”
“I was in labor for 22 hrs!”
Time is a factor in all of those statements. Their meaning is made known by the relationship to a measurement of time-gone-by but I notice something else in there. Change!
Time is also a way to mark a change, a movement from one thing to the next. As the great speculative fiction writer Octavia Butler said, “the only lasting truth is change”.  What if we calculated our lives in change? What if the equation included discovery, expansion, pruning, and stillness? That’s an exciting prospect for me and when I’m bogged down by a scarcity mentality, I remember that I have a choice. I can frame my life differently by posing a simple intervention, “but what has changed?”
Much has changed since February of 2019 for ELM. There are just three that I would like to bring forward.
1)    Proclaim membership continues to stretch out across the continent; growing up and out!
2)    The Gathering: The church (un)bound boasted the largest attendance ever.
3)    The Queer Leadership Development Series made a grand entrance as the new kid to the program scene.
*accepts round of applause*
Time changes us; that’s a fact. So does heartbreak, accepting a new job, moving into a new home, _________ (you fill in the blank). What changed you in 2019?
I want finish out the Octavia Butler quote because it’s just so good. Consider it my offering to you in the year of 2020.
“All that you touch
You Change.
All that you Change
Changes you.
The only lasting truth
Is Change.
Is Change.”

-Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower (1993)

Olivia LaFlamme (they/them/theirs) is a Black gender non-conforming queer feminist residing in Durham, NC. They are the Program Director at Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries. These days home, family, and doing puzzles are at the center for them. A goal for 2020 is learning how to sew! 

One Reply to “All That You Touch You Change, Right?”

  1. Wondrous celebratory passages and visionary memories, thanks be to Godcm for sharing thèse insights ans expériences. Former ELCA pastor. Grew up not knowing what gay was, is, or could be. Agonized for over four décades before being removed from the roster, for reasons known only to one bishop unrelated to sexual identité. Comiserated and counseled dozens of young persons struggling with their sexual nature. Married twice to two women who accepted me as I am – the grâce of a loving God at work in my life.

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