Thursday, September 24, 2009

I want to write a better ending


I am hiding in walls,
sleeping in spaces cramped and small
tears too dry to fall,
on cheeks too bruised to hurt
my skin too tender to feel,
still my heart is strong,
beating, beat by beat,
like a clock counting down to the next man to come here,
to the next violent moment,
to the rescue that might never come,
for a child that no one knows is missing...

I want to write a story of rescue.
I want to write of The One that redeems.
I want to end this poem with hope, but I fear that there are two types of wisdom: the wisdom of what should be and the wisdom of what is.
What is, is the reality that most girls in prostitution or slavery are not rescued.
I want to write of the God who took on flesh to feel the pain that all humans feel.
I want to write of Jesus with skin that was broken, ripped apart, bruised and bleeding.
I want to write that this girl knows that God has heard her cry, but until we stand up for her, until we find her, until we pray and cry out for her, I do not know that I can genuinely end a poem of heart break with hope, because we are her rescuers and so few of us are running to her, so few of us are taking on her pain.
This is not an accusation, because I cannot accuse you as I sit in my apartment on my computer, comfortable with food in my stomach.
Still, it is where I am at with this poem.
I cannot end it well, because I fear her story does not end well.

Hear their cries, help me to cry with them, the men, women, and children, break our hearts, move us to mercy and action, guide us, and equip us to be their rescuer.
Give her hope, use me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Goals for 2009 evaluated

So I just turned 27 (a few weeks ago) and the year is almost 3/4 done so I am evaluating my progress on these goals - I am bit scared b/c I don't think I am doing so hot.

My goals for 2009-

write meaningfully - doing it some, should do it more
run- maybe even race - doing some, need to do more
become 'gainfully' employed - completed the task today- it requires 2 jobs but I am on it
take the GRE and rock it - nope
go on a trip for fun- pure pleasure, nothing else (preferably one that involves a national park) - do day trips count?? I went to Big Basin last weekend
get one of the two major tattoos I want - appointment has been made :)
live the vows made with Seven - on it
hang out with my mom in San Francisco - DONE!! JOYFULLY DONE!!
Overcome my irrational fear of 'steep' things (yes I know I live in San Francisco and there are a lot of steep things- I am scared a lot) - working on it and getting better
start saving money to buy property - nope
remember how it feels to be deeply in love with my Creator - often yes
spend a weekend in silence - not yet
wear lipstick - yes
mail letters using the actual postal service - no
take pictures on film and develop them - lost my camera in Houston :(
decorate my room - nope I am homeless and couch surfing so this will have to wait
paint something honest - haha, I don't even want to go there
fight human trafficking - invite another community to do their own version of ABOLITION - I am leading it for a second time
prepare for ordination, get licensed and become a pastor - harder than expected but working on it
meditate on the cross with out forgetting the life of Jesus - I feel like I am growing in this area
meditate on the life of Jesus without neglecting the death and resurrection - I feel like I am getting this one more and more each day
paint my nails on a regular basis - nope they are still tiny bitten little nubs
visit my senators office in San Francisco - nope, but I have called
pray more - oh I have prayed so much more
love more - this year has taught me so much about loving people despite hurt and frustration
listen more - not sure that I can quantify this one, but I would say I am growing
ride my bike - nope, I hate hill the end
walk to work more - easy
be open to the new and adventurous - very open, I am not sure I have a choice!
take daring steps of faith - I feel like that phrase defines my life

Well that was a reality check. It has been an interesting year.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Word

As we walked in he reached up and shut off his small wall mounted television. I am almost sure he had just chosen the show he wanted to watch, but we were more interesting. We introduced ourselves as chaplains* here to chat with him. We just wanted to check in. At first his words were a stream of unconnected phrases that I could not decipher, then he jerked his chair back and using all the agility he could muster, which was not much, he was able to reach for his Bible.

The chaplain with me knelt down, asking if he wanted us to read to him. With perfect clarity he asked for the beginning of the second letter of Peter. He explained to me that he intended for me to read the letter, not the other information printed above the letter in the NIV I was holding. Listening intently for a moment he interrupted me to inform me that he liked to pray the Bible, as I read I saw him bow his head in prayer, sincere prayer. After reading for a bit he took the Bible away and said that the next time I returned he wanted me to have found the passage that speaks of the armor of God. By grace alone I instantly remembered that passage as Ephesians 6. I asked if he would like me to read for him now. He was pleased I knew the passage. We alternated reading, and the power of the words in his life rung truer than I could ever know. The expression on his face revealing that in these words he found his strength.

After a bit of reading, when he appeared tired, we left. He handed me a flower as I left and the other chaplain a coin with a blessing engraved on it. He insisted that we both take our gifts.

I don't know what my meeting with him meant to him today, but I can tell you the Word of God was powerful. It was if in hearing the Word read, this man could feel God there with him. I do not often expound on my love for scripture. In fact I will admit that often mine is a love affair that requires that I have access to commentaries and language studies to fully appreciate it. I realize that the text I have is the best tool available to me to know God, and for that I am grateful. Honesty compels me to confess that despite my love for the text I take it for granted.

Today I saw the power of the Word. This man who is barely present in life, sick and alone in the hospital, was present in the reading of the Word. In it he found peace. He reminded me of how beautiful the words are, and hearing him read them I can tell you they are breathtaking.

*I am a volunteer chaplain at SF General. It is one of my favorite things I do with my time here in SF.

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