Tuesday, September 25, 2012

T.S. Tuesday: Shaping the still unshapen

From T.S. Eliot's play, Murder in the Cathedral:
"Destiny waits in the hand of God, shaping the still unshapen:
I have seen these things in a shaft of sunlight."

In a shaft of sunlight I see the dust swirling, spinning, 
spiraling, mostly unseen, unnoticed, unwanted. 
The shaft of sunlight reflects the sparkle of water, glittering, glimmering, 
gleaming atop the surface of our lives. Reveals the specks of a world that reels 
from dust to dust. 
Flashes slivers of dreams still unshapen.  Proof of a potter's hand working,
whirling the unseen together for our good. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Waiting For My Parade

The preparations had been made. Face paint applied. Stilts mounted. Marching band in place. In just moments I would be leading the march for peace across downtown Guatemala City, the nation’s capital.

Only I didn’t know it yet.

This is a true story.

 On Friday morning, I took my place at the very front of a very long line of festively dressed purveyors of peace and began to march, smile, and wave like a reluctant beauty queen down the streets of Guatemala City.

Friday commemorated International Day of Peace worldwide, and my friends at AVP were participating in a rambunctious parade of peace.

I was just along for the ride.

That is, until the grand marshal, who was wearing a clown suit, discovered I was holding the biggest, most informative banner of all of the parade participants and pushed me to the front of the line to serve as the vanguard in the victory against violence march with my friend Luis.

At. The front. Of. The. ENTIRE. Parade.

Was I amused? Most definitely. But was this what I was expecting or wanting? Not at all.

You see, I love the work of AVP. I love the idea of peace building. But it’s not really my thing. Not really my passion.

I was there in the front of the line, heralding the peace, but my heart wasn’t in it. I was just a warm body. A filler.

It wasn’t my parade.

A few rows behind me, there was a young girl dressed as a jester shaking her hips to the hypnotic rhythm of the marching band. Every time I glanced back, she was engaging the crowd, shimmying this way and that, and laughing like crazy. Joy spilled out of her.

This was her parade.

And the parade of thousands of school age kids who met us in the park by forming a human chain, marching, clanging and combating violence with passion and creativity, communication and collaboration, dignity and dancing. (Bonus: check out this awesome video of the marching band and dancers!)

video

Don’t get me wrong; I love peace building and creativity and especially dancing, but that day’s parade, that day’s demonstration, was not my passion.

And that’s okay.

I remember when people used to call me the “recycle girl.” I would get so frustrated when people would boil down my passion to create change, to work for a better, more just world, into the tiny box of a word called a “hobby.”  Like some people like biking, running on the beach, or building model airplanes; I just happened to like social justice.

No, social justice, creation care, and empowering the poor are not my hobbies or Facebook interests. They are part of a calling that hasn’t changed with leaving my job at Plant With Purpose. The location has changed. The exact method has changed, but my heart hasn’t.

I still want to be an agent of love and transformation. I still want to be someone who fosters dignity for the defenseless. Who shines light on our true identities as children of Christ. Who empowers people to use their gifts and talents to create a more just, more joyous world.

Right now, I just don’t know exactly how to do this. Where to spend my time. What projects to join. Right now, it doesn’t feel like I’m doing a good job at my calling.

It feels a lot like I’m carrying someone else’s sign in someone else’s parade. A worthwhile parade; just not mine.

I’m learning to smile. To find joy in their parade. In their marching and stilts and merengue music. In the peace that’s being fostered. In the light that shines.

I’m learning my “hobbies” and interests don’t define me. My job doesn’t define me. Even my values don’t define me. Only LOVE defines me. I am the riches. I am the treasure. I am the pearl of great price.

I remember this as I pray for patience and discernment as I wait for my own parade, my own next step in what God has called me to do. In the meantime, I pray for the humility to help others put on a good parade. For the faith and hope to not give up on my own calling that has brought me to Guatemala.  On a scene that I can’t yet see clearly, that lingers dark and formless before me.

I pray, I wait, and I grab the corner of the banner, smile, wave, and continue on.

Friday, September 21, 2012

In Debt to Doubt


Today's post is the last in a series of stories and reflections from my time spent studying abroad in Central America. These are excerpts from my memoir in progress; stories that have shaped me, shattered my pretenses and preset beliefs, and sculpted the way I live and love and encounter God today. I hope in some small way, you can relate and be challenged to reflect more deeply on the experiences that have influenced you and your faith.

***

In Debt to Doubt

“Most early ‘God talk’—without self-knowledge and inner journey—is largely a sincere pretense, even to the person who consciously believes the language. The miracle of grace and true prayer is that they invade the unconscious heart and mind (where our real truth lies)—and thus really change us!” ~Adapted from Richard Rohr, Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality

When I came back from study abroad, I didn’t know how to be me anymore. I didn’t know how to be anything real, except real angry.

At first I told everyone I knew about the things I had learned: the poverty and desperation, the culpability of the United States and the ambivalence of the church, the overwhelming consumerist culture and apathy of Americans. Since I hadn’t been eased into these new ideas in my study abroad program, I didn’t know how to lace my discoveries with grace. The time I used to spend confessing and listening to others, turned into a time of full-fledged assaults on anyone who would listen. I discovered that no one wanted to hear about garbage dumps and international trade agreements. They wanted to hear that I had learned a lot Spanish, visited a lot of places, and, most importantly, had a lot of fun. At first I was angry that no one cared. Small talk conversations with people from church and school left my cheeks flushed and burning, and my heart empty.

I eventually stopped talking. Stopped sharing. Stopped trying.

I meticulously planned my insurrection. I would go to chapel and Bible study, so no one would catch on that I didn’t give a shit. I would share just enough to allow my friends to believe that they were getting the whole story. I lied. I lived selfishly. I imploded.

I used to view this time as a rebellion. As a conscious choice to screw the world and do whatever the hell I wanted. Since then, I’ve been heartbroken for the pain I caused and relationships I fractured with my biting words and calculated lies.

But despite the heartache, I still find myself grateful for this time. Recently a friend called my reaction to my study abroad program as not so much a rebellion, but a rational rejection of two faulty ideologies: that either God only cares about me living up to a certain set of rules so that he can bless me or God only cares about the poor and hates me if I don’t sell everything I have and live in poverty, too. Ideologically, I’ve found a middle ground, which has allowed me to keep more friends and lose less sleep. But the real value of my “rebellion,” of this rejection of all I had known and known myself to be, was that in this darkness, in this absence of pretense and preset rules, I experienced God.

The Living, All-Powerful God.

My semester abroad abolished all pretenses for me in relationship with God, in my faith, in my identity and my role in the world. My rejection of the known started me on a journey of self-knowledge and brought me to grace and true prayer. I am grateful for the questions I was encouraged to ask. For the anger that sparked honesty. For the breakdown that allowed Love to build me back up.

I’m still shaky on my exact theology and Bible interpretations. But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Love is something I’ve experienced. I have a hard time celebrating Jesus’ work on the cross. I don’t really get why we glorify something so gruesome, so awful. I don’t really understand the atonement or who’s supposed to be going to heaven or hell.

But I can celebrate Jesus’ work in my own life. I can celebrate the grace I’ve been given. The freedom I’ve found.


And for this experience of Love, I owe a debt to doubt and to the One who taught me He can more than handle my questions. 

***

Have you ever gone through a period of extreme doubt or rebellion in your life? How did you handle it? What did you learn from it? Do you feel comfortable with your doubts now?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Weapons of Mass Deception?


This week I'm sharing a series of stories and reflections from my time spent studying abroad in Central America. These are excerpts from my memoir in progress; stories that have shaped me, shattered my pretenses and preset beliefs, and sculpted the way I live and love and encounter God today. I hope in some small way, you can relate and be challenged to reflect more deeply on the experiences that have influenced you and your faith. Check out Monday's, Tuesday's, and Wednesday's posts to catch up. 

***

Weapons of Mass Deception? 

I scribbled down my Biblical reflection, bracing my journal and pen as we puttered along a narrow highway in Cuba halfway through my semester abroad. Throughout the semester, we were required to complete Biblical Reflection assignments, where we were given a verse or chapter of the Bible to reflect on in light of what we were learning about Jesus’ life and God’s overall concern for the poor. By then, the Bible made me especially uncomfortable—I saw it as a collection of words used to convince, cajole, compel, and condemn. 

I’d already scrawled out half the reflection against the rocking bus seat, and I hadn’t even opened my Bible yet.  I knew what I was going to find and I knew what my program wanted to hear: Jesus condemns the empire-supporting Pharisees and embraces the poor.   We got bonus points if we made the connection between the hypocritical Pharisees and our own friends and families who claimed to follow Jesus but refused to sell everything they owned and live with the poor. 

Up until then, I had never doubted the validity or divine inspiration of the Bible, but after examining Biblical passages through so many different lenses, I’d come to the conclusion that anyone could make the Bible say whatever she wanted.  I found that feminists ignore Paul’s call for womanly submission in Timothy.  Poor people cling to Jesus’ revolutionary declaration bringing good news to the poor.   Rich Christians spiritualize hunger and thirst, focusing instead on the souls that need to be won while overlooking the physical and economic needs that need to be met. 

I could make the Bible say whatever I wanted, too, or whatever my program wanted.  The Bible was no longer Absolute Truth, but a tool.  A political tool.  An emotional tool.  A justification tool. 

At best, a tool; at worst, a weapon. 

I share this story to illuminate where I am today, six years later.


Today I still find myself resisting the Bible and anyone who claims their actions are justified because “the Bible says so.” I still find myself asking questions. Analyzing and dissecting my beliefs. I still bristle at “God has blessed America” language and I still thoughtfully reflect on my own role in perpetuating political and economic systems that favor the few, the wealthy, and the powerful.

Instead of a weapon, what if the Bible was used as a starting point? Rachel Held Evans says the Bible should be a conversation starter, not a conversation ender. I like that.

In a devotional I read this morning adapted from Richard Rohr’s, A Teaching on Wondrous Encounters, I discovered an even more satisfactory way to frame the Bible:
“How can we look at the Biblical text in a manner that will convert us or change us? I am going to define the Bible in a new way for some of you. The Bible is an honest conversation with humanity about where power really is. All spiritual texts, including the Bible, are books whose primary focus lies outside of themselves, in the Holy Mystery. The Bible is to illuminate your human experience through struggling with it. It is not a substitute for human experience. It is an invitation into the struggle itself—you are supposed to be bothered by some of the texts. Human beings come to consciousness by struggle, and most especially struggle with God and sacred texts. We largely remain unconscious if we avoid all conflicts, dilemmas, paradoxes, inconsistencies, or contradictions.”
“The Bible is an honest conversation with humanity about where power really is.”

I really like that.

I don’t want to be unconscious. I don’t want to parrot rules and right phrases. I don’t want to substitute words for my own experience. As I said yesterday, I want to be more than words. I want my faith to be more than a hollow shell or a list of moral behaviors.

I want to struggle. I want to live. I want to change. I want to experience the living God. And I’m beginning to see that, maybe, just maybe, the Bible might be a good invitation into the struggle itself.

***

Have you ever felt like the Bible has been used against you as a weapon? What did you do? What do you think of the idea of the Bible as an “honest conversation with humanity about where power really is?” How do you keep from only focusing on the verses that appeal to you while throwing out all the rest?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

More Than Words

This week I'm sharing a series of stories and reflections from my time spent studying abroad in Central America. These are excerpts from my memoir in progress; stories that have shaped me, shattered my pretenses and preset beliefs, and sculpted the way I live and love and encounter God today. I hope in some small way, you can relate and be challenged to reflect more deeply on the experiences that have influenced you and your faith. Check out Monday's and Tuesday's posts to catch up. 

***

More Than Words

I could handle the rants on politics and even the exposure to poverty. I’d never been that interested in political ideologies or campaign propaganda and I’d always known there were poor people in the world. The direct attack on my faith hurt most. 

Most days, our professor, Don Mike, would pace back and forth like a lion waiting to go in for the kill. His sporadic mumblings sounded like growls and soon he would be roaring. My jaw would clench as my heart pounded. He would reduce my beliefs and upbringing to egocentric self-validation. A means of exclusion. Judgment. My faith was offensive, a stench in the nostrils of the Almighty God. A darkened city on a hill. The tasteless salt of the earth. The hypocritical light of the world. The hair on my arms would stand up and it would feel like I’d swallowed a car battery. If anyone, he’d be the one to know when the church was being ineffective; he used to be a Catholic priest.

Don Mike lecturing to us on a field trip in Costa Rica.
He would be panting by now; his gruff voice would crack as he condemned American Christianity and everything it stands for. I felt personally attacked as he recounted the horrors of conquest-driven, smallpox-bearing missionaries and money scamming “Gospel of Wealth” televangelists. The blood of every person killed or exploited in the name of God since the dawn of time would stick in the crevices of my guilty hands.

By this point, the pulsating vein in the middle of his scrunched forehead looked ready to burst. I would forget that that he coined himself a “recovering Catholic.” I would forget that he did not hold a monopoly on truth. And while I hated him and everything he was saying, I still began to believe that maybe I was the enemy.

I began to question my entire life as a Christian—which was also my entire life as a person. Appearance was everything. Christianity was only rhetoric. I was only rhetoric—empty words that sounded pretty but meant nothing and helped no one. I could justify and preach and condemn, but loving didn’t come so easily. Although I had been plagued with guilt and self-doubt, I had always thought that I did enough when it came to giving and serving the poor. I was nice to my friends; I didn’t do drugs; I gave money to the church. I prayed. I read my Bible. All of my spiritual strivings turned irrelevant in the shadow of Don Mike’s angry eyes. I thought of the starving children I had seen digging through trash in the garbage dump, begging on the streets of San Jose, and knew that no amount of Bible reading and prayer groups could make the world fair.

I wanted to be more than words.

***

How have you been challenged to live out your faith? Have you ever discovered hypocrisy or hollowness in your own faith journey?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

T.S. Tuesday: Bearing Witness

This week I’m sharing a series of stories and reflections from my time spent studying abroad in Central America. These are excerpts from my memoir in progress; stories that have shaped me, shattered my pretenses and preset beliefs, and sculpted the way I live and love and encounter God today. I hope in some small way, you can relate and be challenged to reflect more deeply on the experiences that have influenced you and your faith. To read yesterday's story, click here

***

Bearing Witness
"Some presage of an act
Which our eyes are compelled to witness, has forced our feet
Toward the cathedral. We are forced to bear witness."T.S. Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral

In the spring of 2006, I was forced to bear witness to a new reality, to a different story.


“How long until he brings up the unofficial story?” my classmate snickered to me as we waited for Don Mike, our professor, to tape up his next chart that would surely detail a history of abuse and exploitation. Don Mike loved to compare the “official story” of Latin American history that we had been taught (or purposely not taught) with the “unofficial story” of the indigenous people, the exploited nationals, the Two-thirds World. We were on our way to Nicaragua to witness firsthand the “unofficial story” of the people of Nicaragua.

In Nicaragua my meticulously constructed faith identity crumbled like a house of cards. I’d seen pictures of course. My family had sponsored a little boy from Colombia named Darwin ever since I could remember. His rich, brown eyes would stare solemnly back at me whenever I raided the fridge for a midnight snack of Swiss orange sherbet or updated the ample grocery list posted below his photo, reminding me of the many who do not have the luxury of ice cream, grocery stores, or even refrigerators.

So I’d seen pictures before.

I’d even been to places much like Nicaragua—the dusty slums of Tijuana, Mexico, the rural, buggy mountains of Ecuador—but it had never sunk in. Mission trips had always left me with immense feelings of gratitude, reminding me that I was blessed.

In Nicaragua, I stayed with a 21 year-old, host, Grey who was a teacher at the local school and didn’t speak any English except for hello and No woman no cry, courtesy of Bob Marley. Sitting with Grey, on the battered stone curb outside the small concrete house she shared with a girlfriend, a rebellion against gratefulness burned within my stomach, an acidic, festering burn harsher than the sting of the snow-white pineapple juice that dribbled down my chin and parched my lips.

Poverty wasn’t a picture on my refrigerator anymore. Grey didn’t stare back at me with a solemn dignity, unattached and disconnected. She shared her life with me. I practiced my Spanish as she allowed me to ask her questions about her family, her life as a teacher at the local technological high school, the small, dusty town of Jalapa, and the cultural norms in Nicaragua.

From Grey, I learned that most women either marry or become pregnant by the age of 16. I was on the receiving end of many a horrified gasp when I’d answer yet again that, no, I did not have a novio, or boyfriend. The ring by spring pressure of my small, Christian college was child’s play compared to these cultural norms and expectations. Grey’s mother, one of the most beautiful and tenderhearted women I have ever met in my life, was one of 18 children. Grey was one of five. Grey explained to me that many women never even get married, an alarming trend that condemns the woman to the restrictions of marriage and domestic work, yet allows the husband the freedom to be unfaithful, irresponsible, and absent. 

In this machismo environment, women without husbands or boyfriends weren’t left with many options. If they could afford to go to school, they would most likely graduate and begin teaching immediately whatever subject was available at the local schools. Grey taught technology to high schoolers and junior highers, though many of the students knew more about the subject than she did. Those with advanced degrees or expertise didn’t stick around. There was little opportunity, and education seemed futile in a town where the majority of community members made a living from the land. The town had been sprinkled with U.S. aid and unfinished projects since the 1980s. Countless development groups, both religious and nonreligious, had been through the town, but little real progress or improvement had occurred.

I was impressed and touched by Grey and my other Nicaraguan friends. Despite their poverty, they seemed happy.

But just because they had found a way to cope and smile in their desperate situation, did not make their poverty okay.


I found it impossible to sentimentalize their smiling faces, supportive community, and “simple life.” They shouldn’t have had to live in poverty. They shouldn’t have had sheets for doors or muddy, amoeba-filled water as their lifeline. Their teachers should have known their subjects. Women should have had more options than marriage and pregnancy. “What shouldn’t be” circled round and round in my head, a waterwheel of indignation. I didn’t find any answers to these deep social and economic problems, but for the first time at least I wasn’t ignoring them. 

***  

How do you react when you encounter poverty? What have been some tough things you have had to “bear witness to” in your life? What have you done to make things better?

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Breakdown


This week I’m going to share a series of stories and reflections from my time spent studying abroad in Central America. These are excerpts from my memoir in progress; stories that have shaped me, shattered my pretenses and preset beliefs, and sculpted the way I live and love and encounter God today.  I hope in some small way, you can relate and be challenged to reflect more deeply on the experiences that have influenced you and your faith.

The Breakdown

“You didn’t think the world was fair did you?” 

Don Antonio, our program director, smirked like the Cheshire cat while pacing the small study abroad classroom in San Jose, Costa Rica.  For the first day of class, he had proctored a little quiz to test our knowledge of global affairs.  

We all failed miserably. 

In this test we confirmed something we already knew—the world is not fair.  But what we did not know, and our professors would continue to illuminate for the duration of the semester, was that all of this poverty and injustice and death and suffering was somehow our fault. 

You actually thought the United States had a positive influence on the world?  You thought the Bush administration actually looks out for anyone other than big business and the multinational corporations?” he asked incredulously, assuming that we were rich, snotty kids who’d never had a hard day of work in their lives—which was a pretty accurate appraisal as we were all, with the exception of one Albanian student, Americans who used 80% of the world’s resources satiating our lust for SUVs and bottled water.  Compared to the people of Costa Rica we weren’t poor college students, we were rich gringos with ample financial and social opportunity.


That first day I learned startling and horrific statistics about global poverty and the horrendously unequal distribution of wealth.  Twenty percent of the world’s population consumes 86% of the world’s resources.  A child dies of hunger every five seconds.  One billion people around the world live on less than a dollar a day.  Statistics I’d heard, but never paid attention to.  Statistics that never meant anything before.  I was more ashamed of my ignorance than the miserable state of affairs in the world.       
        
And that was the beginning of the breakdown.

***

Have you ever had your core beliefs about culture, politics, and your role in the world questioned or attacked? How did you react? How has that experience changed how you think and view the world now? 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Much to Celebrate

Today I offer you a week's recap in rejoicing:

1. I was not swallowed up by volcanic ash.

Photo of Volcan Fuego erupting on Thursday,
courtesy  of my friend, Chris Palmer. 

2. Today is Guatemala's Independence Day! Antigua has been abuzz with beating drums, trumpets, blaring sirens, and showers of fireworks for the past week. In fact, the pre-celebration was so spirited I didn't even notice when a volcano just outside of town erupted in the biggest burst of smoke and ash since 1998 on Thursday afternoon. To everyone who was concerned or scared by my slow response to your inquiries, I sincerely apologize. I didn't even know the volcano had erupted until I returned to my house and saw the eruption of messages on my Facebook, email, and What'sApp messages.



That said, I am excited to join in the festivities and parades and celebration of Guatemalan history. ¡Viva la independencia and darling Guatemala girls twirling batons!


Photo published by Diario de Centroamérica on bandasdemarcha.com


3. And most importantly, I remember and celebrate the beautiful life of my friend and teammate, Savannah Feinberg, who passed away seven (can it really be that long?) years ago today and whose legacy of love and laughter continues on in the hearts of everyone who knew her.

You can read more about Savannah in my post here.

What do you have to celebrate this week? 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

T.S. Tuesday: A Discussion on Whimsy and Dance


"At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,There would be no dance, and there is only the dance." T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton

There is only the dance.

Today I awoke seeking meaning, seeking purpose, seeking the scheduled. I wrote a list a of 23 things I wanted do to feel more "on top of" my life, my job, my tick tick ticking time in Antigua.

I awoke frenzied for the familiar. For a routine. For certainty that I'm spending my time wisely.

And it's only been two days.

Don't get me wrong, I love it here. I think this way when I'm back in the States, too.

That's the problem.

I've been reading through Bob Goff's new book, Love Does, with a dear friend. Love Does takes schedules and predictability and throws them to the wind. Bob writes of a life "drenched with the whimsy of God’s love and the spontaneity of following where he leads when he says “Go!” 

Whimsy. Now there's a word that doesn't sit well with me. Intentionality, yes. Flexibility, yes. Even scheduled spontaneity I can handle. 

I didn't know how much of a problem I have with whimsy until reading this book. Every other line I read I find myself involuntarily exclaiming, "Yeah right"or "That's not possible" or "what about normal people?"

I bristle. I squirm. 

But it's good for me. To be reminded that God's love is bigger than my plans. For Bob Goff, whimsy and disorder and spontaneity aren't ends in themselves, but the means to a life of radical trust, engagement, and freedom. When I let go of my desire to control, to manipulate, and to regulate, I am free to lay my feet, my palms, my plans at the feet of Jesus. 

Bob Goff writes:
"I think God is more of a Half Dome traveler than a Hampton Inn Traveler. Jesus doesn’t invite us on a business trip. Instead, He says let’s go after those things that inspire and challenge you and let’s experience them together. You don’t need a lot of details or luggage or equipment, just a willingness to go into a storm with a Father who’s kicking footholds in the the steep sides of our problems while we kick a couple in ourselves too… 
Somehow in all of this, the terrain we navigate doesn’t seem as scary either, because when we’re on an adventure with God we’re too excited to be afraid and too engaged to be thinking of anything else.”
When we're on an adventure with God we're to excited to be thinking about schedules or task lists. We're too engaged to question how we spend our time.

In Guatemala they don't use the term "spend time" with someone, they say you "share time" with someone. Share time. Share life. Share a meal. Share a story. 

"Compartemos tiempo," my friends here tell me. We share time. 

That morphs the framework. What if instead of asking myself if I'm spending my time wisely, I asked myself if I'm sharing my time wisely, joyfully, fully? 

Why spend my time when I can share it? With friends, with strangers, with family, with God? 

I've thought of my time in Guatemala as being an exercise in spontaneity, uncertainty. An effort. An act of will to unplan my life. Something forced. Something controlled. 

But that's not what I want. I want to be on an adventure. I want purpose and engagement and, gasp, even whimsy. 

I don't quite know how daily life will look here (and believe me enough people asked me last week in San Diego that I think I rightfully find this uncertainty a bit nerve wracking). I don't know how many hours will be devoted to my new job, how many new friends I'll find to go salsa dancing with, or whether or not I'll take more language classes, but I do know Who I want to share my life with, and that is God. The author of purpose and whimsy and adventure. 

The One who leads us to adventures where "we’re too excited to be afraid and too engaged to be thinking of anything else.”


T.S. Eliot writes, "Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is."

His dance isn't characterized by movement--spastic flailings or graceful twirls--but by being. The dance just is. The dance exists in the place where God is. The dance is God. And there, at that still point, is where I want to share my time. 

God has led me this far--to the cobblestone streets and volcano crested-town that called to me from a place deep within my dreams. God has led me this far, and I am sure as shootin' going to find some dancing*. 

How are you sharing your time?




*Both literally--salsa, merengue, bachata--and figuratively.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Saved By Semantics

Today I am crazy excited to share that I have post up at one of my favorite sites, Burnside Writers Collective--on the rotating home page, no less!  

"As much as I’d like to think I was smart enough to market God to myself, the truth is that it happened not by my own intelligence or trickery or marketing skills, but in yet another Fit of Unwarranted Compassion that I can neither explain or claim as my own."
Please check out the full article, Saved by Semantics: A Conversation with Love, and join in my journey to discover the God of Love, the God who IS Love. 

And, if you like what you read, please pass it along the interwebs. I will be back to my regularly scheduled blogging when I return to my new life in Guatemala next week. 

Thanks for joining in the excitement!