Monday, January 25, 2010

Another one of those things that just don't have an answer...

Perhaps death is never an easy thing for those of us still walking around, but some forms of death seem far more difficult to take in than others.

Wesley; a man who could talk. If you were his friend, he would kill to keep you safe. On the contrary, you'd better watch out if you were on his bad side. I had seen him laugh; I had seen him cry. Glimpses of love were undeniable in some of his most sincere and sober moments.

But his greatest love of all was alcohol.

Upon returning to Nashville, I soon discovered that Wesley had frozen to death on the streets this winter. Recurring tears came as I realized the depth of the underlying truth. Anyone could find a place to stay in Nashville if they needed one. With Room in the Inn and various shelters, there's always somewhere. And then it struck me; he must have been drinking and thought he was warm.

My papa away from home; that's what I called him. And in his most sober moments, I really respected him as one. I sincerely hope he's "resting in peace."

I am Because We are.

I keep waiting for a day when there is an abundance of free time to sit and write; it's funny how those days never really sneak their way into our lives unless we force them to. And when we do intentionally lay them aside, sitting down and writing a blog is not the first thing that comes to mind.

So today I sit, finally making it a priority to communicate with those of you who keep up on my life, faithfully praying in the midst of your lives. And though this is a disconnected and electronic sort of "general" communication, I feel oddly connected to you all; particularly those from Antioch, the church I grew up in. I am continually recognizing so many of the subtle ways your investment in my life has impacted me, especially my interaction with generations both older and younger than myself. You all demonstrated a sort of love and hope in the lives of us young folk that I cannot ignore. Because you believed (and continue to, even when it's difficult) that God could do anything through us, I now believe it's true. Likewise, I now believe it about the little ones I see running around.

And today, that is the best encouragement. Because if I were the only one that believed God is still at work in the world, it would be terribly difficult to have any sort of faith at all. Especially in times when the country with the highest poverty rate in the world gets shaken by an earthquake not once, but twice. So it is that we lean on each other when weakness overtakes us, allowing Christ to make Himself all the more known as that weakness is transformed.

It's funny how such simple concepts take on so much meaning when they are lived out.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I've been back a month now and everything seems clear to me.

Just kidding.

Perhaps the reason I sat staring at the computer screen for 30 minutes before typing is because the opposite is true.

I am still sorting through the texts we read over the course of the semester, still gaining new insight as I read portions again, still agreeing with some parts while discovering I disagree with things I thought I agreed with. Still, on some days, refusing to open any books at all.

I was attempting to pack for second semester when I decided I ought to sit down and attempt to write about this portion of my life before going back to Nashville. More than just coming back from Africa to be at Trevecca again lays ahead. It will be strange to be back in Nashville and not living in the basement of a church, working for CSM and seeing all of the familiar faces throughout the city.

I mean, who ever ENJOYS packing for college, right? haha. But it somehow seems heightened.
Hearing Mama's voice over the phone or receiving text messages from my African friends seems strange. Though these things would have happened very similarly while there, I now gently touch a screen in order to text as opposed to using my screen-cracked punch-button phone from the same town. The relationships, though still between the same people, seem somehow different.

I had a pretty decent case of parasites, for those of you who desire to know. Going the natural route of colon cleansing and herbal remedies, I used the age-old remedy that's been around for centuries now: Wormwood, Black Walnut Hull and Cloves. But I'll be honest, the process of getting healthy again was longer and slightly less enjoyable than it would have been to simply pop the antibiotics.