Thursday, October 30, 2008

Celebration

I am in awe. Angelique Kidjo is my new favorite artist. It was Lebanon and swing dancing and a celebration that delighted us all and astonished and frightened the security guards at Eisenhower Auditorium. It was brilliant. I'm all alight now. I wish I had had a friend with me to share the moment with, to dance with. I danced by myself. She's so... alive. Vibrant. I've never encountered anyone like her in my life.

http://free.napster.com/view/artist/index.html?id=10514967
http://www.kidjo.com/

Listen. You will not be disappointed.


There are things to rejoice over. Why do I not rejoice over them?


A snow fall one day, reading Ecclesiastes in the downpour, aloud in a southern accent. The words came that way.

Sun the next, sitting by the fountain, journaling and catching up with Sharpie.

A beautiful concert.

Good days, non?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Basic Life Skills

There are some basic skills one should have acquired through life and most especially when entering the medical field. But perhaps some of these were missed along the way.

It turns out that while emts are good and keeping people from dying, they are helpless before a girl throwing up. Psh. Their ratings just went way down. They have no idea of how to be a mother.


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(later this evening)

I owe you a greater explanation. My resident had to be taken to the hospital this morning with internal bleeding, passing out, and other such symptoms. Rather scary. But we survived and now I'm exhausted with a lesser view of the EMT profession or at least this one EMT who was a complete jerk. (makes glaring faces at him)

But this weekend was lovely. I was home Friday night and then drove to Philadelphia Biblical University to visit Tim, a WVA staffer, and my cousin Brittany. We had some crazy fun times as well as some excellent fellowship and conversation. Brittany and I chilled in her apartment, drinking earl grey tea and eating pumpkin bread. Tim and Kristina (his sister, my camper!), and I ran around in the rain playing frisbee. We had some excellent memories made and wondrous laughter.

Laughter is a hard beauty to come by.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Seek Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly

There are stories here. More than you can imagine. I watched one for forty minutes this evening, a Dateline Program, on sex trafficking in Cambodia. Five year olds. Sixteen year olds. Faces, lives, names.

Silence. When was the last time you heard about prostitution and slavery from your church pulpit?

Their face is mine. My little sister's. My little brother's. Yours. Ours.

Worldwide, there are nearly two million children in the commercial sex trade.

According to the United Nations Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, an estimated 20 million people were held in bonded slavery as of 1999. Almost ten years ago.

Approximately two-thirds of today’s slaves are in South Asia. Human Rights Watch estimates that in India alone there are as many as 15 million children in bonded slavery.

And these people are used in an exchange of cash. Would you put a price on the life of your mother? Father? Best friend? Niece? Nephew? Brother? Sister?

What would you do if this was you?

This is you. This is your family.


"Then they cried out to the Lord in their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper. the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm and he guided them to their desired haven." Psalm 105:29

I once wrote a story about these statistics, about this conviction I have that these people are somehow apart of my life, that I am called to be a part of their lives, of these stories. I wrote a story about a girl and I was that girl. But there was something I left out of the ending: I left out hope.

Our God is a God who saves.

www.ijm.org to learn, to listen, to hear words spoken in the silence of our deaf world. See. Understand. Let your heart break. Get angry. I got an email from one of my camp girls today. They raised $3000 over the summer in her youth group, from the student's initiative, to give to this cause, to her brothers and sisters. If a bunch of middle and high school students can do this what can we do? What about us, the apathetic, the uncaring wise ones who see limitations rather than the voice of one who calms the storms with a whisper?

Know that God is a God of justice and He is moving. He will not be stopped.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thy Mercy My God: Fall Retreat 08



I'm the little one, second from the left. The entire weekend was one long moment of sitting and pondering and being quietly awed and settled into by the nature of fall. By the nature of God. It was beautiful. It was quiet and still. It was full and brimming. It felt like no such thing at the time.

And it was good.


We found an abandoned gas station on the road trip there. And old trains but those pictures didn't work.


This was the view when I had my quiet time Saturday afternoon.


We were making trees with our shadows.


The mist the final morning.


I totally caught that frisbee.


Me, Sarah (my roommate last year), and Melanie


The trees right as we went to breakfast.

Quiet. Alone. Community.

"... the joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue. Thy free grace alone from the first to the last, hath won my attention and bound my soul fast."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"Just Can't Find the Words"

Since the Art Music Justice concert last Saturday, I have been listening to "Springtime Indiana" by Sandra McCracken again and again and again. She sings like a lullaby but I understand her meaning. It works like The Wailin' Jennys for me. It sings the song of every moment.

These days have been astonishing culminating in a delightful dinner with Maryn and then an even better Bible study over large mugs of tea and the cranberry bread we had made. There is something far more delightful in eating food I've helped prepare myself than in anything else. Food is so separated from me now that I eat daily in a dining commons. I said over our alfredo/pesto creation that it somehow feels dehumanizing to be made to eat off of a tray from a line of pre-prepared food everyday. She laughed at me and said it must be strange to live in my head.

Everything seems tied in these days to the gospel, redemption, being able to do nothing and Him being able to do everything. Knowing I am a sinner and lost and knowing that I stand as Christ, perfect and Holy, in His presence. Humbling. Glory. Wonder. This is such a good place to be standing. I am in Christ. Does the world get more glorious than this?

Leaning patience. Learning to wait. Learning to give up every thought to Christ.

This weekend I go with the Navs to Wellsboro, PA, Camp of a Thousand Hills, and soak in this season. These colors. These smells. These skies. I get to be with my dear friends and I get to be with friends who are not quite friends yet. Yet. I look back at where I was a year ago and I am surprised. It feels like much longer than that weekend. Sara and I were laughing about it at study tonight. I'm not who I was. I am. But I'm not. That's a good thing.

It is late now. Sleep well, friends and family.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sound

Today is a day of quiet, rain, and rest. I'm listening to Fernando Ortega's album, "Storm".

I'm resting and writing.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Tree Inferno

The trees are catching on fire and I wore my scarf and gloves and blue fleece to class today.

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Today I was made irresponsibly happy by the face of a complete stranger. He was riding a skateboard down Pollock Road and just looked kind. Not exactly happy or cheerful. Just kind and good natured. He looked a lot like Ben Winslow.

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Today I entered the English Major officially and definitely. I went to office hours at 8 am this morning and while we were talking about classes and schedules and ideas, I filled out a paper declaring my major. Finally. I'm not sure why that moment felt so solid, good, as opposed to my expressed intention of doing so for the past two years. They treated me as if it was a done deal. I've seen Tracy every semester since the beginning to work things out. And now, I'm in.

There was a satisfaction in my work today. I went to "What is Literature" to discuss Dante with a brain that was sleepy and dysfunctional. I read aloud today in class. I love to read aloud. I should get a job doing that because it makes me so happy. I read loud from Dante's Inferno and was able to comment extensively with some thoughts that ranged from The Princess Bride (the book) to catching what I think is the clincher in making The Inferno an essentially Christian story as opposed to one of complete transgressing as my professor would have us read it. I mentioned it a little and I was told I should write a paper on it. I'm sensing perhaps, a theme to draw from Till We Have Faces as well to bring into the conversation. I love those hours.

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Language: I am no expert, and I claim no overarching importance, but I think that language is a key issue that no one talks about in this election. From watching the presidential debate, I am inclined to feel that the difference between the two candidates rests just as much in their "superficial" handling of situations through language. For example, Senator McCain always refers to his opponent as "Senator Obama" and did not ever directly look at him and address him. Senator Obama consistently refers to him directly as "John". I was fascinated by the variance in this handling. While ignorant of protocol for debates, I feel that McCain sticks closely to rules and understanding of what is and is not acceptable in official interactions. Obama has a since of familiarity and comfortableness, dare I say casual? The last word I say hesitantly because he does not seem a "casual" person but merely in his way of addressing in language situations and people. This could be viewed as flippant by a more traditional crowd, such as those attracted to voting McCain into the presidency. Those attracted to this familiar and laid back tone of Obama, would (dare I say) be more likely to come from my own generation where to appear formal is to appear false, and where a boldness to be forward and audacious is valued above what is expected or acceptable. McCain would therefore appear an old man and fake, without passion, and uncaring to what drives the younger crowd. All of this from a difference in a few words that has very little to do with their capabilities in office but rather to their attractiveness factor.

Fascinating.