Thursday, September 28, 2006
i dont want to repeat truths to myself like chants, to keep me calm and comfortable in my wrongness...i don't want to find comfort in moral superiority, i want to surpass all that, become small. thats another truth we whisper to ourselves, though. whisper upon whisper will drown out a storm, a banging on a door, an earthquake...but mostly, other whispers...which is how we know our God speaks. we must grow sick of our own voice whispering in our mind...like the bad guys wife who took a power drill to her temple... stop telling yourself you are right. stop telling yourself you are wrong. stop telling yourself anything, start listening for something else. to do that, you have to get really quiet and shoot the voices in your head with imaginary shotguns.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Thursday, September 21, 2006
You guys are into that born again thing, which is great. We need to be born again, since Jesus said that to a guy named Nicodemus. But if you tell me I have to be born again to enter the kingdom of God, I can tell you that you have to sell everything you have and give it to the poor, because Jesus said that to one guy, too. I guess that's why God invented highlighters, so we can highlight the parts we like and ignore the rest. -Rich Mullins, speaking at Wheaton College
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
-cutting up felt thingies (7th day adventist master production, hundreds of pleasant faced, biblical looking holy abrahams, white sheep, mean snakes, bushels and bronze talents and fiery bushes, mysterious manna and pearly gates, all printed on semi-staticly energized material for visual aid, as well as comedic relief, when two dimensional Mother Mary slips of the donkey onto the floor and Teacher has to bend down and pick her up...again) -writing sponsorship letters with high school kids (out of the six that were supposed to show up today, I got two...i don't remember becoming instantly rebellious and lazy when i made the switch from public school to high school...and there is no way i can punish them anymore, they have graduated from my dominion!) -teaching Sex-Ed to 7th graders (yes, aided by my extensive experience and facility with words, i am helping Maria Eugenia and Rolando with this weekly class...last friday, i got to do the Condom lesson, because the adults had never SEEN one. Maria Eugenia! She has been married 15 years, has a daughter, has had a television for her whole life, and has only ever heard of them mentioned, but never known what they look like or how they are used or anything! So to my eternal amusement, I got the floor for that one. Oh, we all learnt alot that day)
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
i don't know if you can read all that...basically, the important bit is the overnight layover in Atlanta. Yellow dots in approximate locations. After arriving in Halifax, I can expect a two and a half hour drive to the University town...for classes ,which commence on the 4th (a day after i get into the counry! fun!)
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Everybody likes to feel that someone believes in them, in their potential to become better people, and their inbuilt goodness. But for those of us who do the believing, at what point does our faith become naïve, deserving of ridicule? How many steps backward does a person have to take for it to be foolish to keep cheering for them to win the race? To even make it to the finish line? It was quite the experience last night: a quinceañera party consists of the parents pushing their a 15 year old chick out of the nest for the sharks to devour (pardon the mixing of the metaphors). Jennifer is a girl I have known since she was a little 5 year old kindergartener in our school. Welcome to the world of adults, Jenny, and what a world it is. The party crashers that come upstairs when the booze does. The many-membered dysfunctional extended family lurking around every corner. The brothers: Jonatan (sells drugs) making some business acress the street, Julían taking the beers across to enjoy with his friends(then his face when he turned to see me watching him). Dad says to me "Is it worth it?". I think of Jesus, how long would he still believe in those boys? All of them, Jonatan, Julian, and Gerald, Gabriel, Roca, Javico, Chamo and Junior that were across the road from us. How long would he believe in the beauty of their futures, in the purity of their souls? To the point of naivety? To the point of deserving ridicule? Rebecca, who I'm sitting with, sees them out on the street and says"Oh, there go those gang-members again"…I protest and and she realizes I'm listening…"Oh, sorry, I forgot they are your little friends"…disdain. But look at her forearms, thin scab lines up and down, evidence of shallow surface cuts with a razor blade, almost beautifully arranged in patterns, displayed as grotesque flags to lure in concerned attention. Or pitiful attention. Or any attention. Anything!! We are all messes. We are all broken, stumbling, looking for missing parts of ourselves, so desperate we will never find anything, so scared nothing more exists. We are all so weak, so easily influenced by false leads, easily manipulated by hints of false affection. Looking forward to the weekend high, the anticipation of that moment of rebellion makes the parents crap easier to bear during the week. The safety of that group that sells their conscience for selfishness: drugs can own a lonely person. Surface cuts in a visible location, suicide jokes and a sleeveless dress tells me "Somebody be with me, my own company is driving me mad, please just talk to me for a bit and fill my mind". We have no damn clue what Jesus would do. Are they ever going to change? Are they ever going to overcome their own selves and become givers to the well-being of humanity, instead of always takers? Are they going to survive? We love them. I want to answer YES to all those questions, but I don't know the future. I want to be there for those guys, no matter how many times they break my heart, no matter how far they descend into their negative habits, their self-destruction. They are not proud of this. They do not love themselves. They are not happy. But they are getting worse. They are not getting better. They are lost in a maze and making all the wrong turns. I feel ridiculous. I feel naïve. But I don't think there is any other path for me, any other burden to bear. I can not give up on them. I have to believe in them, beyond logic, beyond what people in Bastión consider rational. "Gang-members, drug addicts, street dwellers, thiefs, good for nothing" But what about "gossip, prideful, fibber". What about "Glutton, selfish, corrupt"… "Hateful, jealous, short-tempered"… "Flirty, violent, crazed"…What about this: I am flawed, I am lost. I am scared, just as scared as they are that nothing more exists, but I've had more reassurances along the way. I've had more positive voices, telling me yes, there is hope, there is more. I've been so lucky. It's unfair, but that is a dead-end to wonder about. I have to follow this path. I have to believe they are worth believing in, because I have to believe Jesus still believes in me.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Isaiah 1:15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; 16 wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, 17 Learn to do what is right! Promote justice! Give the oppressed reason to celebrate!Take up the cause of the orphan! Defend the rights of the widow i dont think that God appreciates hands full of blood. even if it is our own. i agree with grace that our lives seem to involve too much indulgence, too mush self-pleasing, and that that is not positive, that is not God's will, but i don't FEEL like the burnt offerings of self are getting me any closer. i've been thinking about isaac. i bet his relationship with his dad kinda went downhill after the whole "i am willing to sacrifice you to my god" deal. but i don't know. isaac seems torn up after his mom dies, but there isn'treally any recorded words between him and his father after "so, dad, we have wood and matches, but where is the lamb?"...but this is all old testament. i know people who don't want to sacrifice, their friendships, their habits, their securities, and they stagnate. i know that selfishness rots the inside. but what about those burnt out...who give too much, who are too available to others, they suffer their dwindling resources in the name of something higher...but they burn out. maybe i am asking the wrong quesitons.