Showing posts from March, 2011

Lessons Exquisitely Crafted

We're a little more than a year away from graduation, two girls -- women, although it's hard to feel like I fit into that word -- riding in a car on a day when the sky above is startlingly blue, with no cloud anywhere to be seen. And we talk. There are a lot of things, we both say, that we wish someone had told us before we came to college . We're discussing what our plans are for the summer, what we'll do after we graduate. The conversation wanders all over the place as we drive back to campus from church. But we wouldn't have known how to listen to it before college, we say. We're trying to make sense of the world we'll be graduating into, and our options. More school? Finding a job? The weight that we should put on what our parents want? What is with the whole idea of "calling"? Willingness to take jobs that are more humble than what we've trained for? At some point, the choices we make really do have consequences and affect the

Spring Break Report

I rub at my wrist, water washing away the words that have been inked there for the last week. Overcome evil with good. Words from Romans 12:21, from the Newsboys' song Elle G . Good words for a missions trip that is all concrete vision, working to see the kingdom of God come and invade a ghost-steel-town, a drug capital. So we spend days filling wheelbarrows from a heap of rubble and then filling Gabion baskets with that rubble. That way, when the river floods, it won't cut through the homes of the people who live in the trailer park. We get to know some of those people too -- Chuck, Kelly, Tim, Ed, Brenda, Dick. I spent one day there last year, but there were no faces for me then; I hadn't knocked on their doors, played with their dogs, had picnics of sandwiches and cookies, been offered dry shoes. We spend other days and evenings working in the cafe, the small colorful space that offers safety on the main street of a town that people used to fear. And in the evening,

Mark 5

I didn't just fall before him. I flung myself at his feet, landed awkwardly, face uncomfortably close to all the dirt. And we talk about it now, me sitting on a very squishy couch, listening to John's Australian accent, wrapped in the warm smell of coffee. Isn't that how it works -- you don't really choose to fall, you have no option but to throw yourself at His feet and trust Him? I hadn't thought about it that way before. And I say, I wouldn't have done this two years ago; I had to learn to trust you . He nods. I had to learn that this was a safe space, that all the talk of listening is much more than just talk. We acted out the story of Mark 5, of Jairus coming to Jesus about his daughter and of the other daughter who came to Jesus for healing, throwing herself in desperation at His feet. This was my third time to do it, and this was the year that I said, I want to be the woman. I'm learning my need to throw myself at the feet of Jesus. In our debri

Spring Break -- for the third time!

I'm getting ready to go on an adventure again. It's the beginning of spring break. And I'm going back to the same city where I've spent my last two spring breaks, and my heart is gasping with anticipation and excitement, and also feeling very vulnerable. Both other years were astonishingly raw and shattered me into a million pieces, dissolving pieces of facades that I or someone else had built up. So I am a little bit tentative going into this year. Yet mostly I'm excited. Waiting to see what He has planned for this year. And there is, it seems, no limit to all the things I remember and look forward to. It's my third time, and this will be the fourth year of the trip. Which means that after this trip, I'll be tied for seniority with those who have gone the most times, and that's fun for some reason. It's a different trip every year, as we work on different things and the group changes. My first year there were three who had gone before, last

Lesson of the Week

I’m getting the impression that God is reminding me of something. 1) In the Screwtape Letters , read for CS Lewis class this week: Your patient will, of course, have picked up the notion that he must submit with patience to the Enemy’s will. What the Enemy means by this is primarily that he should accept with patience the tribulation which has actually been dealt out to him – the present anxiety and suspense. It is about this that he is to say “Thy will be done,” and for the daily task of bearing this that the daily bread will be provided. It is your business to see that the patient never thinks of the present fear as his appointed cross but only the things he is afraid of. Let him regard them as his crosses: let him forget that, since they are incompatible, they cannot all happen to him, and let him try to practice fortitude and patience to them all in advance. For real resignation, at the same moment, to a dozen different and hypothetical fates, is almost impossible, a