Monday, December 29, 2008


I stood at the airport last week, waiting for my sister, her husband, and their children to fly in. Medford has a very tiny airport. Just one gate. One terminal. People mill around in twos and threes, interspersed with TSA officials. It is quiet, for an airport. Just the crackle of the intercom, assuring us that we should not leave our bags unattended. A few hushed conversations. Lots of people on their cell phones, waiting for their cab, or their relative.I held the hand of my five year old niece as she hopped on one foot, anxious to see her cousins. She clutched her cabbage patch doll by the hand, half dragging her miniature knit afghan behind her, singing softly to herself. We settled down into one of those black leather benches, and she boosted the doll up onto her lap, looking momentarily up at me to ensure I was fully involved in her and her dolly’s imaginary scenario. The plane is late, so we wait some more. We stand next to a couple waiting for their son to return from Haiti. Others around us wait for relatives to return from around the nation, around the world. Everyone restless. All waiting for that moment. The moment of return.
I couldn’t help but think about the reunion that God has in store for us. Reunion with Him, unhindered by the weight of the world. Also, restoration. Of a world that is flooded with sin. With brokenness. In a world where we too, are restless for reunion with our Savior.

That He might restore a nation where over one million babies are murdered before they even get to breathe.

And 5700 people die from HIV daily.

In a world where Human Trafficking is the third most lucrative business in the world, second only to drugs and firearms.

In a world where two million women and little girls suffer from untreated fistula and are social outcasts.


26.000 children will die tonight of starvation.

I want reunion. And restoration.

My four year old towheaded nephew rushed out of those revolving doors and into my arms. And I thought of the best reunion of all…when God restores all things to Himself.
Until then, I will be restless.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

a manifesto.

"theres a pattern here, a pattern we find in the bible that gives it insight into the deepest truths of how the universe works. egypt. sinai. jerusalem. babylon. salvation is what happens when we cry out in egpyt. we all have egypts, dont we? addiction, suicide, anger, rage.. we all have darkness, and slavery in our hearts. we could make our lists, and they would be long. the bible uses the word sin for this condition of slavery. the technical definition is to miss the mark. we've all missed the mark. God has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. rescue redemption grace. this grace takes us to sinai. egypt. then sinai. where we find purpose and identity.
God doesnt want to just save us. God is also looking for a body to incarnate the divine.
we're invited at sinai to join the God of the oppressed in doing something about our broken world. that always involves hearing the cry of the opressed and acting on their behalf.
if we forget them, we lose track of our own story.
our story takes us from sinai to jerusalem. and that raises the question:
what will we do with our blessing? will we remember egypt?
or will we lose sight of the plot?

in a world where there arae 27 million slaves.
in a world where 840 million people will go to bed hungry.
Jesus wants to save our church from the exile of irrelevance.
God says to Cain "listen!"
because everything starts with a cry.
it hard to hear the cry when youre isolated from it. in proverbs, it says the rich man's wealth "was his fortified city." walls isolate.
so can gates
grocery stores
health clubs
shopping malls
office buildings.
but when we hear the cry everything changes.
because when we hear the cry, we are with God.
listen, God tells Moses. listen and go.
this will take movement. action. life. it will involve risk.
it will not be boring. it will cost something.
the Eucharist always does.
it isnt about just saving the world, its about saving us too.
from the kingdom of comfort
from the priority of preservation
from the exile of indifference. you have to be captivated by a cause so massive and compelling that you would sell everything to be a part of it.
what happens when your religion isnt big enough for God?

what do you do when your system falls apart because the new thing that God is Doing is Better, beyond superior, more compelling?"-rob bell

Saturday, December 13, 2008

there were tears

There were tears

And they swept into the evening

Like a rain sweeps into cracks

Filling them up


And there was laughter

And it moved into the room

Like a touch can move

To the deepest part of us


There was fear

And it tried to hold us back

Gripping tight

Like a rescue effort


There was possibility

And it whispered softly

Remembering its own presence

Gently nudging


There was relief

When it was over

And it rolled over us like a tide

And we soaked it in.


Over all these things

There was but one more

In the tears of a girl

And the nudging of a boy

There was Life.


Friday, December 5, 2008

this day's been crazy but everything's happened on schedule...

this week has been a learning experience.
i think maybe God is trying to teach me patience.
or at least a measure of trust.
and yet...its all been okay.
i have become aware, this week, that i will not be returning to nursing school (unless a large miracle occurs) in the Spring as i had initially imagined. was i devastated? yes.
my last five years have been devoted to nursing school. as the epitome of what i defined as success, it seemed the end-all to worth, and self esteem. when asked "what are you up to these days?", nursing school always emerged first. as if i had to make sure that i got that out there, and it set the standard that "im doing something productive, see?" and then i could mention all the other, inconsequential things that i am doing. then i could breathe easy, as long as the other person (perhaps a classmate from high school, or a family friend) knew that i had my life together and was, in fact, accomplishing a superb career.
and then it was gone.
and i realized that i had to swallow hard and say..okay Lord. I get it. I get it.
its not about what i do. its about who I am. better yet, its about Who You Are, and who that, in turn makes me. when your definition of success is taken from you, you have to grasp onto a new definition of success.
maybe it will be the fact that i feel God is caling me to work with sexually trafficked little girls in Ethiopia. success in the world's eyes? probably not really. it's a low paying job, with eternal repercussions. there are little girls the age of my precious niece who are being violated in ways no one should imagine.
and no one is there to hold them. there's even more that defines who i am. i want to get to the point, when people ask me what i am up to, that i say "im loving people. im loving my family. im feeding the homeless. im advocating for children who dont have a voice. im living my life slowly. im savoring the moments before my nephew gets too big to hold in my arms. im smiling more. im running every day, because i love the freedom i have when i run. im listening more and talking less. im praying without ceasing. im spending time people who are drug addicts and alcoholics and inviting them for dinner so i love them like Jesus."
isnt that success?
nursing school...yea. it was important. i made decisions that catalyzed it disappearing. im aware of that. but im eager to step into the Story that God is not yet done with. maybe He wants to move me to another country and let me work for free to save the very least of these. maybe He wants me to get a grip on the events in my nation and my world so i can better see like Him. maybe He just wants me to be Still.
and listen.
i dont know.
i dont have a major.
i dont have a class schedule.
but i have a God who Loves Me Beyond Measure. He died for me. and He will never leave me nor forsake me.
He is still writing. it's not done.
His plans are perfect.
His schedule always runs on time.

Monday, December 1, 2008

ten thousand children.

10,000 children and all I can do is just talk.
While my house is full of possessions that negligence bought.
Everyone tells me that I'm not to blame,
Why do I still feel the same?
Only love can save us all.
Only love can save us all, save us all.
10,000 children are my invitation to change.
To continue in excess now suddenly feels oh so strange.
Prayers and money should not be confused,
But I pray that both still are used.

Only love can save us all.
Only love can save us all
What will become of me?Inside of history
10,000 children and all I can do is just talk.
-dave barnes

today is national aids day. do more than just talk.