Monday, January 29, 2007

something different

In the dimly lit restaurant, our waitress looked at us and said, “Are you guys Christians? I saw you praying.” A million thoughts ran through my head. We looked at her and nodded, “yes, we are.” She told us that she too was a Christian and seemed really excited that she had been blessed to wait on Christians. She asked about our lives and our connections. We asked about hers. As we finished our dessert we talked about the many ways that statement could be taken, “Are you guys Christians? I saw you praying.” We were sort of…taken aback. As we were leaving she said to us, “If I don’t see you again, I will see you again”

There is something refreshing about living here. I am not constantly surrounded by people who believe in God. I enjoy talking to my hairdresser and my dental hygienist about the Lord. Here something is different about me. Here I have something to offer. Here I have a story of good news to tell. I like that.

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”


I don’t remember who coined this term…if it is you, please remind me :) Sometime ago I was describing these random bursts of laughter that occur when I am alone. A few apartments ago, I was concerned that the incredibly thin walls would reveal to my neighbors that I frequently laugh to myself. And, that they would think I was crazy. Often as I would take off my makeup at night or prepare dinner or clean, my mind would be going. Things easily amused me. I would laugh at the thought of the way the girl looked at me after my comment, or the way the guy hastily walked across the street. Life humored me.

A few weeks ago I had a thought-giggle. I was a bit startled, and I realized that it had been a long time since these happened with any sort of frequency. Since then, I have been laughing in my car, giggling as I walk from place to place, and of course snickering at the events of the day as I get ready for bed. I’m so thankful the thought-giggles have returned.

~ by funsize on January 29, 2007.

worth the risk?

I had invested many hours in her. As I talked with her, I treasured her heart more and more. I saw something in her that not everyone saw. A drive. A desire to be authentic. A longing to change the world making it a better place. This world needed her. I needed her to challenge and change me. We discussed the possibility of a mentoring relationship. I was ready to love and accept her. I was ready to walk with her and fight with her. Simply put, in a sense I was ready to take on her brokenness with her. She decided against it, and I felt incredibly rejected. That something that I saw in her was valuable. It didn’t matter what mistakes were in the past; I wanted to see her through. What makes people pull away? What makes people so afraid of being in relationship? What makes people want to hide?

What does it mean to be in relationship with others? I feel like every relationship is dangerous. Every time we offer love, there is a chance that it will be rejected. But, I am fully convinced it is worth the risk.

I was praying about this. The Lord quieted my heart and powerfully reminded me that I do the same thing – only more so. He strongly desires to be in relationship with me. He wants to walk with me, to love me, to forgive me. He has in the truest sense taken on my brokenness. And yet, I pull away. I close off my heart. I hide.

Today I am struck by our rejection of Jesus.

men in a square

The sun was just beginning to hide behind the trees, and the grass beneath us was cool and inviting. It was a beautiful summer evening. About ten of us had gathered up blankets and chairs to sit at a concert in the park. We brought cheese, crackers, fruit and wine and enjoyed the music, but more than that the company. That was the summer following my second year of grad school. It was a rich year full of fun and fellowship, laughing and learning, progress and pleasure. That particular summer was a treasured time. The summers are usually quiet on campus, and a small group of us had begun enjoying much of life together as we shared meals, played, and studied.

The concert had ended. We still sat on our blankets, talking and telling stories when one of my friends full of energy and always thinking science spoke up. He suggested that the guys do this experiment where they each rest their feet on another’s back forming a square and then try to do a pushup. He said it was incredibly difficult and required strength. Four of them did it, and to be honest, it looked easy. They asked if anyone else wanted to try (I think they meant boys). I said I did. There was something in me that believed I could do whatever I set my mind to. And, that day I wanted to be strong. I wanted to prove that I could do this. I believe they warned me that I wouldn’t be strong enough, but none-the-less they humored me. I laid down in the square of guys with my face in the cold green grass and waited. One…Two…Three. Everyone pushed as if doing a pushup. Half of the square went up. I worked my muscles straining to push with my arms. Every bit of strength that I had gained by working out in the weight room that summer was pushing to accomplish the task before me. I couldn’t do it. Without much being said, the boys relaxed their strong arms falling back into the grass.

I wonder what happened to that little girl. Though her physical strength was weak, there was something about her emotional strength that was impressive. There was a fight and a drive that made her want to tackle the world.

am i a creampuff?

So I read tonight about the pastry chef who made his beautiful bride a wedding dress made of 1500 cream puffs that weighed twenty pounds.

Some things are better suited for one purpose over another.

I was talking to a co-worker today. She was talking about how some materials dictate how they are used. She has a hard time with the biblical analogy of the potter and the clay. As an artist she has used different materials to express herself, and sometimes their makeup has an influence on the finished piece. I have been contemplating this. Surely the substance of me has an impact on what I become.

For instance, I’ll never be a bouncer. And, I think a Navy Seal is also out of the question. Perhaps, as a woman, this also impacts what areas of ministry are open to me. However, the difference between a bouncer or a Navy seal and certain areas of ministry, is that I do not desire to do the former things. From the deepest depths of me, I desire to do ministry. The pleasure of God is lived out in me when I am leading worship. Could it be that the substance of me prohibits me from this activity? Perhaps I’m a creampuff attempting to be a dress. (c: