Guest Post: No Room at the Inn, No Place at the Table, Nowhere to call home

 

By Melissa Malcolm King

I am left with many mixed emotions following so many recents events that have taken place in the media, within the church walls and in my personal life. I had an awakening of sorts and realized that I have been cast aside many times throughout my life. Like the story of the Christ, I was born with no room at the Inn…cast out, misunderstood and persecuted for being who I am. Like the Savior, I am still determined to fulfill my mission and stand with those who also have no voice. I find myself unwelcome in so many circles that I yearn to call home.

As a Religious, Queer, Disabled, Person of Color there is no table for me. There is no place I can call home. There is no refuge from the storm. There are safe places, good friends and affirming allies. Yet I find that my seat at the table is invisible. I have no voice. No platform. No place where all of me can be heard, seen, and valued. I constantly have to choose to hide part of myself in order to blend in, be approachable and get a sliver of tolerance. The many intersections of my life most often leave me in tangled web of anger, pain, distrust and remorse for the life I wish I could have. For many years, I yearned to be loved for me …all of me … .

I spent a great deal of time trying to bask in the sunlight while missing out on the glorious opportunity of life’s sunsets . For the longest time, I could only focus on waiting for the Sun to rise, dismissing the rest of my life.

I now know that is during the sunsets of our life that we can take a moment for reflection, sacred connection, and like the sun, we can rise again. In the sunsets of my life, I have had the privilege of walking alongside the defeated, lifting up the downtrodden and paving the way for others .
While this is a journey I did not want to take,a path I wish I could avoid and a bitter cup I do not wish to drink, I am honored for the privilege to do so. I came across this clip from the Green Book which describes my journey in a way I couldn’t express before :

After watching this, these thoughts came to mind :

You tell me I am not Black Enough
You tell me I am not Gay Enough
You tell me I am not Disabled Enough
You tell I am I am not Religious Enough
You tell me that I am only meager portion of my many intersections.
You tell me that if I can just cut one piece here and another there, I will earn a place at the table.
Why can’t I be all I am ?
I am not a percent of this or that. I am not broken. I am not photo that needs to be retouched. I am not broken. I am not jigsaw with a few pieces missing. I am not broken.

I am whole. I am here. I am Afro Latinx . I am here. I am Disabled. I am here. I am Religious . I am here. I am Queer. I am here.
I will never be just enough. I am more than your expectation. I am more than your stigma. I am more than your hate. I am more than enough. Simply because I am me. I am not broken. I am HERE.

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7 Responses

  1. Abby Hansen says:

    Hooray that you are here! We need more of you. We’re aren’t complete without you. We need to recognize the gift of color and difference and variety you bring to a monotone world and embrace you for it so that you never leave us. Beautiful post!

  2. Jessica says:

    Getting rid of the “I am broken” soundtrack in my head had been one of the most powerful things I have ever done. It is a great journey to feeling whole and enough. I celebrate you on that journey, and mourn with you the pain along the way.

  3. Michelle says:

    100% I feel this too in my own ways. Your words are so painful and spot on. Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for teaching me. I look forward to learning more from you.

  4. Violadiva says:

    Melissa, your words that speak from the intersections of so many identities are poignant and powerful. Thank you for sharing your story with us, and for inviting us to see you for who you are.

  5. EmilyCC says:

    Oh my goodness! This is *such* a powerful piece. Thank you for teaching us what you have learned. The truth that we are enough just as we are is one of the most profound aspects of the Gospel; I don’t know if I can thank you enough for sharing your journey and your knowledge of this truth. ❤️

  6. Risa says:

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s incredible powerful.

  7. Ziff says:

    This is excellent, Melissa. I’m sorry that you’ve been so often pushed to the margins for not fitting into neat categories. I especially love your description that “I am not photo that needs to be retouched.” I love that you’ve reached this conclusion.

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