Friday, June 25, 2010


I think I spend half of my time striving to see the big picture. Never do I stay in the present moment. I am always striving ahead towards the future or living in the past glories. I want to see the entire picture which leaves me forgetting to see the moment in which I am.





Big Picture

It's in the small things. It's the little things in life that can make or break you. There is much more in life that I need to learn, but one thing is that you should never downplay the little things in life.

Random Tangent that happens to relate: During one of our debriefing times after a full day in Haiti, I was asked, "What is one moment that stands out to you from this day in the tent city?" I wrinkled my forehead. My brain spun. One small thing came to my mind with such clarity and so I said, "The day was made for me when that first little child slipped their hand in my hand." I had been standing on the sideline watching the others interact with the Haitian children and I had no idea what to do with myself. Yet, in that one small moment, that little girl trusted me and gave me the confidence to start doing some funky robot dance. Yes. I did a robot dance. It was awkward but it was inspired by that tiny moment of clarity.

I will never see that child again. I don't even remember her face. Yet, I remember her small hand slipping into my own. I remember the contrast of our skin. I remember the sweat that slimed both of our hands. It resonates deep within my heart.

We are threads of life. She lives in Haiti and still has many years to live and hardships to face. I live in America and our threads of life will likely never cross again. For a second, our threads knotted. All I can see is this small knot of thread and even now I am continuing on my way and my thread continues on from here. Her thread of life continues as well. This is life.

I see just the knot of our threads.

Back up a step and you will see a couple of other lives that have knotted with my own. Back up another step and you'll see the other lives that they have connected with. Leap an eternity forward and you shall see the picture that God has been inter-working our lives to create.

Truly, it's the little things in life.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

16th street wonders

One thing that I have been aware of and am continuing to discover for the past year or so is the undeniable fact that my life is chained in fear. I am uncertain about how well you know me, but let me clue you in. First of all, I have been called a snob occasionally. This is due to shyness. I tend to be quiet. I claim that I don’t talk unless I have something to say (that could be snobby). Basically, I’m the tentative quiet person that you might find curled up in the corner of the library with a book nestled in my lap. Knowing this, you’ll understand the fear that gripped my stomach when before the first afternoon teaching today Adrian Despres says, “We’ll be dropping you off later today and you’ll be evangelizing.”

Everything within me shut down. If you were to have looked into the windows of my soul, you would have been frozen by the icy fear that stared out. Randomly starting a conversation about Jesus scares me so badly that I want to pee my pants. Although I didn’t pee my pants, I’m not exaggerating my fear. As the Adrian taught us about sharing our faith and apologetics, my brain was circling around and around the fact that I was expected to share the gospel. Adrian is one of those super-human evangelism guys. He reads people and he knows what to say. I am so NOT that. Perhaps I can read people, but to know what to say – you’ve got to be kidding me. When I say fear gripped my stomach, I’m not lying. From that moment of knowing what we were to do till the moment that my friend and I sat down in the little Mexican restaurant, I felt sick to my stomach.

Let me just say that as annoying texting can be, I was so thankful for it. As we road in the van towards downtown Denver, I had my cell phone out. I love prayer and how it connects one to God. Therefore, I was texting every person that I could think of asking for prayer. It was a blessing knowing that others were praying for me.

Blessing number two came in the form of our waitress, Claudia. This woman was undoubtedly of Hispanic descent. I, being my shy self, was petrified of asking if she spoke Spanish. My friend, Sarah, nudged me along. Basically, she demanded that I ask. Claudia came to ask us what we wanted to eat and I squeak out, “Hablas Espanol?” The glow of happiness and her immediate affirmative response in Spanish warmed my soul and banished the lion of fear in my stomach. From then on, we had long conversations in Spanish and English. It was wonderful. It surprised me again to realize how much of Spanish I actually knew. It turned out that Claudia went to church with her husband and son occasionally. One thing that stood out to me that she said was that even though she forgets God a lot, He never forgets her. It was beautiful. By the end of the meal, we were great friends and she brought us a dessert as “un regalo” (a gift).

Most of the other people that Sarah and I met claimed to know Jesus. One, a Matthew Saunders, was to be going to Haiti in a couple of weeks with another organization for an extended amount of time. He has an open ticket and is unsure of when he will return to the states. Sarah and I prayed for him. His friendly face is emblazoned in my mind. Another man that Sarah and I chatted with was Romi. He was a sweet old man who was homeless. He initiated the conversation and after talking with him for a bit, we prayed with him as well and he walked away with the leftover half of my dinner.

These slight moments where our paths crossed may seem very inconsequential, but they are bright moments in my life. They remind me of God’s goodness and faithfulness. I cannot open my mouth alone. All that occurred tonight was Him because I know without a doubt that I am incapable of sharing about Jesus by myself. My fear is too great. Yet, these people will live in my mind, heart, and prayers for many days to come. Te quiero, Jesus.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

abide, love, passion

Words mean a lot to me. They must if I have devoted so much of my time to this blog. They must if people know that if they want me to gather my thoughts they must give me time to write. Words. Let your 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' be 'no'. When I say something, I want to mean it. I exercise restraint over my words.

Tonight, I uttered a few words that practically tore my heart out. They require that I stand by them. Although these words were only hesitatingly said in the quiet of a classroom and they could be easily forgotten. I cannot forget them. They rang out with sincerity and I knew that God had heard me.

"I love Jesus. And I want to be passionate about Him."

Passion means 'to suffer'.

I don't know about you, but I'm not keen on suffering. Actually, I am far from intrigued. I'm one of those safe Christians who'd sadly prefer to live in quiet anonymity.

There was extreme pressure to say those words and I cringe at peer pressure. Everyone else in the room had uttered those words. I refused. The stubbornness within me screamed 'no' and the vanity inside me said I could just say this to Jesus. I knew to say it outloud would seal those words into a forever-promise with Jesus. Those words escaped my lips begrudgingly. I felt the magnitude of those words. They are a turning point.

Although everything around me shall be the same, I am not. I have shared this experience with you, my faithful readers, because it is the call on my life to abide in Him, to love like Him, and to be passionate for Him.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of high-fahlootin essays about spiritual amazingness. I want to assure you that I'm not of that and this is all God. I don't want to change and I don't want to be called to suffer. I did want to share this moment with you where I was brought to a turning point. Also, by declaring it here, I am placing myself into an accountability with you. I am publicly stating that I am His and I want to live passionately for Him (even if that does require suffering and pain).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

glass eyes

"This moment, this place, these people. I must stick with this, try to make it work, not give up, not succumb to the urge to run away." The Rule of St. Benedict by Esther De Waal

- I've never had so much biblical teaching in my life. I feel like I'm trying to drink all the water spraying from the fire hydrant. I can't even get a sip.
- I have discovered a new sisterhood of women desiring to grow.
- Everyday, we sit for more time than we do ever in school. I am so interested in what we are learning that I refused to go pee because I am afraid to miss five minutes of teaching.
- Denver is most unlike a city that I have ever seen. I have never seen so many open spaces within the center of the city.
- Denver is also super flat. Since it's so near the mountains, I was expecting hills. Nope. Flat and then - BAM - the Rocky Mountains.
- I drink water like I'm in a tropical island here and my skin looks like the skin of snake. Pass the lotion, please.
- On 16th Street downtown, there are painted pianos. Someday I would like to come back and haunt that street.
- As much as the pulse of the city drains me, I cannot help but be completely enthralled.
- I once dreamed of having a hermit house in the middle of a deep forest where no one could find me. I realized that I shall never have that dream. I need fellowship and people as much as I want to believe that I do not. Goodbye, yellow cottage and friendly large dog.
- Fairfield Inn has a pretty excellent breakfast for future reference.

Now, I have a picture that I want to paint for you. It's a picture that has completely captured my imagination and thought. The time is night. The setting is 16th Street in Denver. My KBM family was debriefing after a time spent prayerwalking. We sat in a circle outside of Starbucks. I had the misfortune of sitting facing the windows of Starbucks. I much prefer to sit in a way that faces outside where I can see people. Yet, the way that the street lamps shown on the glass created a perfect reflection. I realized that I could observe the scene behind me clearly. Therefore, I watched. Almost outside of my sight of the glasspane, there was a painted piano. A boy sat at the piano playing a haunting melody. The sounds of the city created a percussion to accompany the song of the lone boy. People dressed in all modes of fashion crisscrossed in front of my pane of glass. Buses drove by. The illusion of the glass was hypnotizing. The people that I saw there were translucent. They were only real if I acknowledged the fact in my head. My mind grasped upon this thought and held to it. This is the way that some people choose to see the world and its occupants. We look right through each other. If we are made uncomfortable by the world around us, we sit in the safety of starbucks with our cardboard cupful of "experience" and refuse to see the people that walk by us on the sidewalk of life. I wanted a camera that could capture that scene before me in the storefront glass of Starbucks, but it's a scene that can be found in any place. I can find that scene in my own heart.