Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Inclusive Language

In Seminary you have to use inclusive language. I am familiar with these ideas and the terminology and the thought behind it. Basically we never call God he, father or anything masculine. I learned this week though that we aren't supposed to you Lord or King. King I can kind of understand but Lord is jarring. I like to use the term Lord. I know that it alludes to oppression but I do see myself as a servant and not in an oppressive way. So I guess my question is how do you when to stop with all this language stuff?

On a totally different note, I rather enjoyed our Native People's worship time today. Not only did it honor a small part of my heritage it felt more organic and natural to me.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to meet God on my own terms. Also to be in a place where we get to debate things like language.

May you be blessed with the experience of meeting God where you are at.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Grief an Ocean Apart

Today I learned my sweet Mirembe has passed away. Mirembe was a little girl I met while in Kampala a few summers ago. I believe she was about 7 when she passed earlier today. She had been abandoned by her parents because of her Sickle Cell Anemia. My friends who help get kids off the street in Kampala had taken her in, not to one of the homes where the children live with Mentors but into their personal home. I was there the same week Mirembe arrived. Mirembe only understood a tribal language so we couldn't communicate much. You could see in her eyes how scared and confused she was. I spent an entire Sunday with her and that afternoon I made her laugh and for the first time we understood each other. Her "new" mom came running out asking if it was Mirembe who laughed and I said yes. We became fast friends. I sent her crayons and coloring books. She sent me colored in pages back. She suffered many set backs earlier this year and today she suffered her last.

It is hard to know how to grieve so far away. I can't hop a plane to be at tomorrow's funeral. I wouldn't make it in time if I left right now. I am left with prayer and sending a note that will likely not arrive at the home of her grieving parents and siblings for weeks.

I saw God in Mirembe. She changed me, my life and how I will live my life.

Today a little girl just outside of Kampala Uganda passed away and a big girl in Louisville is crying. That is the world we live in. It would be very hard to tell me today that I should love my "own" people first.

The truth is I loved Mirembe and I will continue to love her. Her picture will remain in our house until I myself meet my end. I don't understand how it is that God lets the littlest people get so sick and pass before their time has come.

I gave up some time ago trying to solve that problem.

I will say that with heart ache and all I still believe God is real.

Today I am so very grateful to have been blessed by having met Mirembe and that I can still hear her laughter echoing in my ears and her smile burned in my eyes.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tough Day

Today has been a tough day. I was swamped with meetings and homework and didn't get five minutes of time at home until Paul was leaving for work. So I wanted to be intentional about sitting down for a few minutes and finding gratitude. I am grateful for this experience as noisy and busy as it can be. 

I am learning to let go of things that normally would drive me bonkers. I left the house a bit of a mess this morning when I left for the library.  Friday was Paul's birthday and I did very little to celebrate it. On Saturday we had the dinner of his choice and the cake of his choice. I didn't have time to get a card or make one. I didn't decorate the house at all. Normally I will blow up a few balloons or make a little banner. Nothing this year, I couldn't get to the balloons and I ran out of time. The world went on. Paul enjoyed his cake. I am new at that and while I won't say it felt good, it was ok.

Today I am grateful for this challenges and opportunities.
May you be blessed with gratitude for challenges.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Heartbreakingly Beautiful

Yesterday I had a long day of orientation. I was dreading the last 3 hours labeled on our schedule as Sexual Misconduct Training. It ended up actually being way more interesting, it had to do with setting appropriate boundaries for clergy and counselors. Since I was sitting in a room full of future clergy, counselors and professors it made sense.

Our conversation side tracked to how the call to ministry effects many already existing relationships in our lives. Someone raised their hand and asked about family relationships and not accepting the journey that we are on and the hurt that comes from it. She started crying and apologizing. My heart broke for her. Then the most beautiful thing I have seen humans do in a while happened. A few girls brought her tissues. Then at the same time two more walked over and just stood with her as she let it out. Our dean answered the question so compassionately. He made sure to take care of her in that moment. I saw the most compassionate eyes looking at her. I guess that shouldn't have been surprising as we are all preparing to enter "helping" professions. I noticed that a few other students started crying quietly in their seats. I just had to blank stare as to not loose it myself. Then someone piped up can we pray, can we just pray right now. So our leader led us in the most beautiful prayer for all those upset and all of us on this journey. Well I think nearly everyone lost it. Even yours truly who acts like a dude when it comes to crying shed a few tears.

Then we took a little break and I heard so many people saying things that I was feeling. I am so glad that someone was brave enough to put it out there. I didn't even realize how much I was feeling it until I heard someone else say it. We talked a bit about family relationships strained. Friendships lost. It was both beautiful and draining.

You know I learned so much from that moment. In my ever going struggle with being ok with crying in front of people I saw someone who was very brave. I learned that my classmates are full of compassion. I learned that I am not alone. I learned that this place is a place where we can say what we feel and have it respected.

We talked a lot about how being ordained "sets you apart". Then it was out there, it is often a very lonely place. I was somewhat sad because I realized... it is going to continue to be a lonely place.

Today I am grateful for what I experienced yesterday on so many levels.
May you be blessed in finding a place where it is safe to bring with you all the things that make you whole. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

When the Words Come Later

A few weeks ago in class we had done a reading on Christian community then we broke up into little groups to discuss the reading. I mentioned a movement and then referenced someone who was considered a leader in that movement. I was met with so much animosity for said person and my perceived liking of said person that the conversation kind of just got shut down. Now if the things said about this person were true, then I would have to agree that they are an ass. However my experience of this person has not been the case.

My point being I replayed the conversation in my head a few times and all those things I should have said pop up. I realized later we may not have even been talking about the same person based on comments about age. I thought it was funny though because not only did the conversation derail about the movement and get stuck on one leader, the leader was said to be too radical. All I can think is wasn't Jesus a little radical?

I wish I had spoken up and resisted more instead of just shutting up. I have three years here, I think I will get the hang of it.

Today I am grateful that we can all have our own opinions.
May you be blessed in graciously voicing your own.