Monday, August 29, 2011

Do I dare to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Not usually.

Sure, I share a few tidbits here on the blog. If we exchange emails, I will reveal a few more details of my life. If we speak by phone, I'm likely to tell you still more. And if we meet face to face, then you'd better have a few hours to kill because I'll be spilling my guts big time. I've got tales of woe, degradation, debauchery, and wantonness that would surely surprise you.

But even then, even then, I'm gonna hold back on the deepest, darkest, dankest stuff. I'm gonna smooth the edges a little, soften the focus, and fudge the truth enough for you to not lose respect for me. Or so I hope.
In truth, I'm afraid of what you would think of me if you knew the real me, the weepy me, the wandering me, the selfish me, the lonely me, the me that questions almost everything and accepts almost nothing. I'm afraid that no one would ask me to teach or lead retreats or take care of their kids if I let them read my journals or listen in on the inner monologue that runs through my addled brain.

I read other people's blogs. I read about dreams that became reality and turned in $100,000 online businesses. I read about households of smiling children and adoring husbands. I read about straight-A students who are also gifted athletes. I read about church retreats and missions trips. I read about vegans and vegetarians, triathletes and marathon runners. I read about graphic arts, art journaling, and journalism itself. I compare myself and contrast myself with them, whoever "they" are.

And then I write comparable stuff. I write about my silent retreats, my trips to Spain, my deep spiritual insights, my children's accomplishments, and post photos that prove how blessed my life is and how awesome I am. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is that my life doesn't always look like my photos or sound like my blog posts.

Most of the time, I want to retire from this noble profession of homemaking, such as it is.
I want to run away from home and never come back.
I want to hit my stove, microwave, vacuum cleaner, washer, dryer, and shower stall with a sledgehammer - twenty times each.
I want to drop out of church life altogether and never darken the doors of another sanctuary.
I want to get a job, save money, and buy a little bungalow close to the center of the city.
Better yet, I want to change my name, renounce my American citizenship, move overseas, and leave the Tea Partying Environment Destroyers to massacre the Tofu Eating Tree Huggers.

But the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is that I haven't done any of those things. At least, not yet. I still wrestle myself out of bed each morning to face the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the homeschooling, parenting, marriage, faith, friendships, and my own image in the mirror. I stare at the mirror, the news feeds, the weather channel, updates on facebook, and the emails that come from World Vision and the orphanage in Nicaragua and the friends that run, walk, and bike for cancer or diabetes or children with disabilities - but only briefly for fear that I will be overwhelmed with sadness at the suffering of so many, including myself. Earthquakes. Hurricanes. Famine. War. Rape. Fire. Flooding. Divorce. Abuse. Neglect. Abandonment. Loneliness. It's all happening everywhere - including in my own mind, far more often than I care to admit. I'd be lying if I said anything different - and the goal tonight is truth.

See? The truth hurts sometimes. Splits me in half. Tears me to pieces. And leaves me in tears. When that happens, when it gets really bad, when the pain reaches my bones, when the tears reach my chin, those are the days, the times when I don't blog. When I don't post photos. When I don't call or email or text. I sit in it. Marinate in it. Hoping again and again that I will be able to wade through those turbulent waters of sadness to the other side.

Blessedly, those are the days when I am most likely to stumble upon the honest and hopeful words of courageous, truth-telling sister-friends, like Andrea ScherJen Lemen, Kristin Noelle, or Jen Gray. Sometimes it's a personal email, a message on facebook, a song by James Taylor or a painting by Caravaggio that calls me back to the path I need to be on. Sometimes it's a poem by Alice Walker or Ruth Forman. It's a long phone call late at night. It's a postcard sent from far, far away.

I remember then, I am reminded again that the truth is that I am loved -
 not in spite of my messiness, but because of it.
I am welcomed home after all my wanderings again and again -
 not in spite of my weaknesses, but because of them.
I am not alone in any of my angst or worries.
I am not alone in my yearnings for more - more love, more passion, more stories, more  conversation, more connection, and more truth.

But in order to find any of that out, I have to take my chances with telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Perhaps I'd be better served by doing it the way Emily Dickinson said to do it: Tell all the truth, but tell it slant.

The Next Morning: When I was on the aforementioned silent retreat, I found a book in the bookstore there called The Cup of Our Life: A Guide for Spiritual Growth, written by Joyce Rupp. The book is a six-week course on how our lives are like a cup - open, waiting to be filled, often in need of cleaning, that sort of thing. This week's theme is The Broken Cup. Here are a few highlights from this morning's reading... the morning after last night's truth-telling blog post.

* The broken cup reminds me of those times when hurts, wounds, pains, and adversities of all sorts invade our lives and change us forever. During these times, all we can do is try to survive, slowly recover, and start anew... The pain knocks us over, like a cup on its side. We may feel like all our hope has been drained out of our lives.

* Our brokenness can be an instrument for change. Pain received rightly has the power to transform our lives.

* What would happen if we met our frustrations, pain, and heartaches as we would meet a visitor having something to teach us? What if we lingered a bit with our brokenness and asked it to help us to grow? What might we learn from those pieces of our lives that are still wanting and incomplete?

* Each day of this week, you are invited to ponder some aspect of your brokenness - that part of your life that empties you or fragments you - to discover how it has been - or can be - a teacher for your growth. It is also a week to find comfort as you pray about the strength and shelter of God and to deepen your hope as you reflect on aspects of healing. 

* As you ponder your life experiences of brokenness this week, I encourage you to carry this message of Anne Lamott in your heart: "Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work, and you don't give up."

This week, this day, this morning, this hour, I will wait and watch and work,
I will pray and journal and wait some more - and I will not give up.
That's the truth.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What color would I be? What color am I?

A preacher put this question to a class of children: "If all the good people were white and all the bad people were black, what color would you be?" 

Little Mary Jane replied, "Reverend, I'd be streaky."

So would the preacher.

Attempts to hide your streakiness will sometimes be successful, always dishonest.

Anthony de Mello - The Song of the Bird, page 129.

Me? I'd be striped, like a zebra. Actually, I'd be more like an okapi.

Or perhaps I'd just be dark brown - with no stripes at all.
Wait, I am dark brown.

PS. There isn't enough room on this blog to explain how angry the question made me. The saddest part about it is that I have no doubt that there are many preachers and teachers and other types of idiots who would not hesitate to use such horrible, insensitive, racist imagery.

But the point here is not to allow my blood pressure to rise over bad memories of misguided preachers and incompetent teachers. The point here is that I am spotted, striped, and streaky. Mine is a judgmental, angry, lonely, needy, hopeful, joyful, exasperated, exhausted, peace-seeking, grateful soul. I am a walking, twitching, jangling bundle of contradictions. I'm not afraid to admit it. Publicly. Openly. Shamelessly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My 800th post!!!

Yup, it's true; I've posted thoughts, questions, doubts, fears, stories, travel tales, and silly jokes 799 times. Thank you to all of you who have read and reread and commented and called and texted and encouraged me to keep writing. I had no idea that when I started blogging back in October of 2004, I'd have so much to say and so much to learn through this process of spilling my mind, heart, and soul here. And there is still so far to go, so far to grow.


Today I've been reminded of the importance of living in this moment, right here, right now. The importance of not staying stuck in the mistakes - or even the joys - of the past. Not worrying about the potential triumphs - or even the potential disasters - of the future. My goal is to learn to be here. Breathe deep and stay right here.

It was around 1:45 pm. I had just finished working out. I was on the floor of my bedroom stretching. I heard the door of my daughter's bedroom rattling in its frame. Like she was pushing and pulling on the doorknob trying to open the door... except that she wasn't in her room. I walked down the hallway to the room where my son was watching television. By the time I got to where he was, all the doors on the hallway were rattling - and I knew exactly what we were experiencing - an earthquake.

I told him to get out of the house. I ran back to my bedroom for my cell phone and followed him and our sweet little doggie out onto the driveway. I stared at my son, at our dog, at our home - and immediately gave thanks: "We are safe. The house is still standing. All is well." We looked up and down the street - no one else was outside. We stood, talked for a few minutes, and then went back inside. I called Steve at work and Kristiana at school to make sure they were both fine - they were. We turned on the news - a 5.9 earthquake had shaken the entire east coast. After the story of the earthquake came the warning about incoming Hurricane Irene - barreling towards the east coast, the Carolinas, to be more specific.

After my shower, my son and I headed to Trader Joe's to stock up on juice boxes, bottled water, crackers, corn chips, cereal, and other supplies that wouldn't require cooking or refrigeration. It's all stuff we would eat and drink anyway, but with a huge storm coming, I want us to have a few extra goodies on hand in case we lose power for a few days.

After unpacking the food, walking the dog, and coming upstairs to my bedroom, it hit me again:
This is it, Gail. You have only today.
There is no tomorrow. There is no yesterday.
Love that boy today. Love that girl today.
Tell the truth today. Clear up confusion today.
Eat good food. Drink sweet tea.
Slather on the lotion. Spritz on that favorite scent.
Slip into that cute skirt and the "Life is good" tee shirt.
Write the letter. Make the phone call.
Do it now. Do it right now.
This is it.

Anthony deMello said it well - 
"Drop every thought of the future,
every thought of the past,
every image and distraction - 
come into the present."

So here I sit. Writing. Thinking. Breathing. 
Giving thanks for this present moment.
After the earthquake.
Before the hurricane.
Betwixt and between - here I sit.
At peace. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Big Day at Our House!

This morning, my daughter, my precious, sweet, and beautiful daughter, got on the bus with her backpack, her purse, her lunch, and went to school. TO COLLEGE! It's the first time she has ever taken the bus to school. From homeschooling to college. She did it. We did it. To God be the glory!!!

There goes the bus with my daughter on board.


And if that weren't enough good news for one proud Mom, then allow me to add this:
Our beloved, handsome, tall, hard-working son, is the North Carolina State Champion in singles and doubles for boys 14 and under!!! He came home from Cary, North Carolina, last night with both plaques after five days of tough tennis.

Who knew that dedication, commitment, strategy, determination, prayer, hard work, more prayer, candle-burning, practice, blood, sweat, tears, and a game plan could get you anywhere in this life???

To God be the glory! 
I offer many prayers of thanksgiving and praise for these two children of mine.
These past few years have certainly not been easy, 
but we have survived, we have thrived, 
and, in some ways, we have grown stronger as a family 
than any of us could have hoped, dreamed, desired, or imagined.
In other ways, there is still a whole lot of work to be done...

I am one happy, proud, excited, exhausted Mom.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I've already forgotten so much...

I have developed the habit of taking photos of my feet, my shoes, my hand, my journal, even my shadow when I travel. In the moments before I take these unconventional self-portraits, I am invariably lost in a daydream, a moment of bliss, in which I am telling myself things like, "I will remember this moment forever. I will never forget how I feel right now... But just in case, let me take a few photos of some appendage as a memory place-holder for later in life."

Invariably, within a couple of weeks of returning home from whatever life-altering, soul-stirring journey I've taken, I forget. I forget what it felt like to step off the plane into a new language, culture, and life. I forget the car rides and conversations. I forget the sacred and simple beauty of the place, the food, the silence, the prayer, the journaling. I forget.

I chide myself, I berate myself, I insult myself for how quickly the memories fade, how depleted my memory banks are, how unreliable my accounts of moments I swore, swore, swore would never be forgotten. I've already forgotten so much. I've already forgotten too much.

So I sit down at my computer and go through the hundreds of photos I took. I ooh and aah. I moan and groan. I flip through my journal and read the entries written on the same day of the week on which I am doing my reminiscing. I nod and smile. I sit back in my chair, close my eyes, and conjure up the details of those captured moments.

I remember the glint of the sun on the stone, the shadows in the archways, the sound of the rain pelting the rooftops. I remember the smell of the books in the library, the smell of the candles in the chapel, the slap-slap-slap of flip flops on stone floors, and the thud-thud-thud of footfalls on staircases. I remember the quiet sobs of others in prayer. I remember the graceful dance of getting our food in silence.

I remember trying so hard to not take notes during the daily liturgy, and finally, joyfully, giving in to my urge to write and listenig to the scratching of my Uniball Vision Elite against the brown paper of my unbleached journal pages. I remember lying in bed and staring out the window at the stained glass windows of the chapel. I remember walking, praying, taking photos, wishing I could tell someone what I was hearing and learning and then rejoicing that I could bask in the joy of a faith rekindled all by myself. I remember falling asleep and waking up to the steady hum of birdsong, cicadas chirping, and the whir of the desk fan. Who knew that not having air conditioning would mean I would hear the sounds of nature in a way I hadn't in years? I've forgotten so much, but what I remember gladdens my heart. 

What I remember still moves me to tears. Still drives me to my knees. Still reminds me that God is everywhere - as much here in Charlotte as in Wernersville, Pennsylvania. As much in the midst of my bad decisions, my relentless yearnings, my increasing discontent with so many things I see happening both around me and within me. I remember inexpressible joy, unsurpassable peace, and unconditional love. What I remember is that I can return to that silence and solitude in the midst of the busyness and noise and distractions and demands of my real life. I can return to the photos, the journal pages, and to my most cherished memories.

What I remember reminds me that all is well, all is well, all manner of thing shall be well.

Another thing I just remembered...

Anyone who knows me well, knows how much I struggle with the contradictions between who I long to be and who I am, between the things I say and  believe and the things I actually do and don't do. What I'm learning along the way is that contradictions are inherent in all of life, in all our lives, all life long. At the same time that I pondered and wrote page after page about my thoughts and beliefs, faith and doubts, convictions and contradictions during my week away, I also marinated in the wisdom of Anthony DeMello's writings. In one of his books, he tells the story of a young man approaching a "master" - a guide towards wisdom - and asking about the challenges inherent in the life-long walk of faith and wisdom-seeking. The master's answer applies to my deep battle with contradictions as well.

Master: Are you prepared to be ridiculed, ignored, and starving until you are 45?
Student: What will happen after I'm 45?
Master: You will have grown accustomed to it.

Right on schedule, I am 45 and am growing increasingly accustomed to my contradictions.
I'm finally learning to welcome and embrace them.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I could get really angry...

In fact, I get very angry every time I click on someone's link or article and find myself reading something fanatical and furious about politics in this country, about the budget crisis, about who's the greediest or most corrupt or least competent person in Washington, who should or shouldn't run our country, when the war should end, why the war shouldn't end, or any number of similarly divisive topics.

I am saddened because we are talking so much about which newscasters we like or don't like, whose immigration policies make our country safer, and so little about the increasing number of homeless, poor, and hungry right here within our borders.

I groan inwardly because there is so little information broadcast anymore about the situation in Japan or Joplin, Missouri, or New Orleans and Mississippi after the tragedies that have befallen those  countries and communities, or the ongoing struggle for food and water in Iraq following the war there, or sex-trafficked girls and boys in our own nation. We talk more about the politicians who live in a world all their own than the people they have been elected to represent and protect who live in a world that is collapsing around them, around us.

It discourages me every time I see that the men and women who vehemently declare that this is a Christian nation that we have to take back for God are the same ones who declare that asking those who have more money than they could possible spend in three lifetimes to give some of their wealth to feed and provide medical care for those who have nothing is a form of socialism that will endanger capitalism and its benefits to the world. The same capitalism, mind you, that encouraged us to buy homes, cars, clothes, and other stuff we couldn't afford and didn't need. The same capitalism that encouraged us to drive cars that get fewer than ten miles to the gallon and thumb our noses at water, electricity, oil, and environmental conservation. The same capitalism that says that teachers' unions are based solely on greed and unmerited summers off but has no problem with paying multi-million dollar bonuses to the same folks who led our nation down the path to economic collapse.

I could get really angry. And sometimes I do.

But when my blood pressure returns to normal, when my heartrate returns to normal, I lift my eyes towards heaven, and pray for wisdom, courage, and the determination to press on for those who are working for freedom, justice, and peace. I pray for those whose conversations, facebook links, and blog posts seem more interested in fomenting bigotry, sarcasm, and insults than in reasoned solutions and forgiveness, compromise, and (gasp) love. I pray for those who are suffering through isolation, depression, ostracism, rejection, unemployment, lack of medical coverage, and bankruptcy as a result of decisions made by politicians, economic advisors, church leaders, and company presidents - people who will probably never be directly affected by the decisions they are making.

Forgive them, Abba Father, for they do not know what they are doing; they have no idea the effect that their words, decisions, and actions have on those who read their words, hear their rants, and feel the pain that results from their behavior.

Forgive us, Amma Mother, for we know that what we are doing is destroying the world we live in, killing innocent people, and destroying the lives of people who, like us, were created in your image, but we are too selfish to change our ways and make better, more loving, more merciful, more responsible decisions.

Forgive me, Wisdom-Giver, because I have done all of the above and more. I too have been selfish, vindictive, vengeful, sarcastic, demanding, greedy, insulting, and I knew exactly what I was doing but was too self-centered to care enough to make other choices. Please grant me the wisdom to take long, hard, and loving looks at myself and be truthful about what I see within me. Help me to be willing to change my ways so that I can live out your love for and in the world. Help me to see that there is so much more I can do, more I need to do, and more I must do to release my anger, replace it with your love, and live my life so that those to whom love is a stranger will find in me a generous friend.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Into the valley of shadows

Much to my surprise, I spent a tremendous amount of time outdoors during my time away.
I took several long walks on pathways and across fields.

The one prayer I repeated over and over was simple: "Lord, please don't let me run into a snake. I'd rather come across a bear than a snake. Please don't let me see a snake. Please.

"And while I'm asking for protection, I'd like to ask that I not step into a hole and break an ankle. I'd like to avoid contracting lyme disease from tics out here. And, one last thing, I'd prefer not to be stung by a bee or wasp. That's all I need right now, Lord. I'm sure I'll be back asking for something else in just a little while - but this is all I need for now."

I'm not saying that I heard an audible answer from God. That is not my claim at all.

But there was a definite and clear response to my request.

The answer came in the form of a verse I know well:
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil for you are with me."

In other words: "I'm not promising that you won't run into a snake. I'm not promising that you won't step into a hole, break a bone, and have to crawl back to the center. I'm not promising that you won't be stung by a bee or a wasp. While I've got your attention, I will go ahead and add a few things to this list that you didn't ask for - this time. I'm not promising that your child will not get sick again, that your husband will not lose his job, or that you will always be as healthy as you are right now. I'm not promising a balanced economy, easy friendships, or a soul-strengthening easy-fit into a faith community. I'm not promising any of the things you have asked me for so often.

"The only thing I am promising is that I will be with you. 
In the valley of the shadow of death or divorce,
the shadow of loneliness or love lost, 
the shadow of fear or infidelity -
I will never leave you nor forsake you."

So I kept walking... and looking over both my shoulders just in case.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

My Kind of People

Anyone who can operate a library with an impressive, ever-changing inventory in the year 2011 with an old-fashioned card-catalog is my kind of people. My guess is that they are no longer able to order these precious catalog cards because every few days a new list would appear on the adjacent table with titles, authors, and dewey decimal numerals. No new cards. I was thrilled to thumb through those ancient drawers, watch the dust mites rise from each one, and smile with child-like glee whenever I would discover another gem of a volume to peruse. I cannot remember the last time I had to pull the card out of the back of a book, write in my name, the date, and leave it in a box on a table. A library and a bookstore in the same building that run on THE HONOR CODE? What kind of world had I entered? Oh, yea. A world populated by my kind of people.

Anyone who can enter a dining hall, choose one's food, utensils, beverage, dessert, find a seat at a table, pray, eat, dispose of one's used items and food scraps, and retire from that dining hall without speaking a word is my kind of people. There was none of the inane small talk that always happens when we find ourselves encircled by unknown people: what's your name? where are you from? what do you do? how many children do you have? seen any good movies lately? read any good books? isn't it a shame what happened to so-and-so? how about those knuckleheads in Washington? Nope, none of that.

Some people read. Others, like me, journaled. Actually, I don't recall seeing anyone else journaling or taking photos in the dining room... but the fact that no one seemed to think I was strange for doing any of the strange things I like to do while eating, the fact that such deep honor was given to silence meant that I was safely surrounded by my kind of people.

Before and after meals, during and following rainstorms, in the heat of midday, in the cool of the evening hours, we took turns occupying these chairs, sitting in these portico archways, reading, writing, praying, just staring off into the distance. Naps. Snacks. Coffee. Silence.  Some people walked in the rain. Others pulled their chairs back and stayed dry. Some pulled the chairs out under the trees. Others made regular adjustments in order to stay in the sunlight. Rosary beads shifted in gnarled hands. Book pages flapped in the breeze. Pens clicked. As did my camera shutter. These self-contained, seeking, silent people were my kind of people.

Just outside the front door of the center where I stayed, there was a path leading down a hill towards the Jesuit cemetery. Just outside the back door of the center was another path that led down towards the same cemetery. I thought: it doesn't matter which path you take from this building or even in life. We are all headed down that hill. We all will end up at the foot of that hill. The question is - which path are we taking? How is the journey going? 

There has been a fair amount of talk in evangelical Christian circles lately about heaven and hell and whether or not anyone will be in hell throughout eternity. Books have been written. Videos have been made. Arguments and counterarguments have heated up, cooled, and reheated again. Is there life after death or not? Where will you be? Where will I be? Who decides? Who knows for sure? How can you know for sure? 

The truth is that none of us knows exactly what awaits us. We read big books and little books and ponder and interpret and decide and try to win other people over to our side of the debate with withering logic, guilt-inducing tirades, and babbling nonsense. We believe what we believe. We try to disprove what other people believe. But in the end, we have to wait until the end to see for ourselves what the end will be. 

As I walked those two paths down towards, into, through, and away from that cemetery several times last week, I spent very little time thinking about whether or not there was life after death. I was far more concerned with how I will choose to live life before my death. Will I spend an inordinate amount of time wondering about a future that I know very little about or spend my time being here, being present, loving the ones I love, forgiving the ones I judge, and forgiving myself for spending so much time judging so many instead of loving them? Will I love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, love my neighbor, and finally learn to love myself? Or will I dedicate my few remaining years to finding ways to hate people I don't like or understand, justify my mean-spirited wishes for the suffering of those whose opinions I disagree with and whose life stories I have no idea of, and top all that off by hoping that they spend eternity in hell? 

People too busy figuring out how to live this life for the greater glory of God and the greater good of those around them to worry about whether or not their theology on hell is right - those are my kind of people.

Saint Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, the one who faithfully prayed, wrote, read the Bible, served his community, shared his vision of God and his understanding of God's Word to a few faithful companions during his lifetime and whose legacy has affected many generations of men and women in the past 500+ years - now that man was my kind of people. I am enormously grateful for his witness to the love, mercy, grace, and creativity of God and for how much he has influenced my life.

Willing, loving, present, available, obedient, transparent Mother Mary. She became more of an inspiration, a role model, and friend to me this past week. A woman whose heart I want to understand better and whose gentleness, courage, and strength I pray to attain.

And her son, the one whose name brings me peace, whose stories give me wise counsel to follow, and whose life, death, and resurrection give me hope, whose never-ending forgiveness and never-changing love - the one with the biggest and most sacred heart of all - Jesus and his sweet mother, Mary, are my kind of people.

Every morning, as I waited my turn to go forward to receive the eucharist, I would watch the men and women before me in line. Some limped. Others pushed walkers. Some wore thick glasses. Some smiled. Some looked somber. Some bowed. Some stood upright and strong. One or two were younger than I am. Most were markedly older. Some were priests, some nuns. Most of them, I had no idea who they were or what their stories were.

One morning in particular, I spent much of the time of the liturgy thinking about the fact that I knew only three people in the room, and two of them I had met only briefly before the retreat began. I knew nothing about most of these people. And in silence, I was not likely to learn much any time soon. As I watched, as I thought, as I prayed, I became convinced that I know precious little about anyone in my life. There are always far more stories than we ever have time to tell, and the majority of the ones we tell are crafted and delivered in ways that make ourselves look pretty good. There will always be secrets held closely, embarrassing moments never told aloud, painful ones never broached, and more stories forgotten than we would ever have the time to tell. And I realized that it doesn't matter. It never really has.

What matters is that whoever you are, wherever you come from,
as I walk, as you limp,
as they sit, as we pray,
as she eats, as he travels,
as we all work, as we all live,
as we love, as we die,
whatever we do, we are all one people.
One kind of people: all wanting to be loved,
remembered, honored,
cherished, chosen.

That day in the moment of receiving the bread and the cup,
the symbols of the one body broken for us,
I realized that we are all one body, broken, wounded, bleeding internally.
Each of us. All of us. Without exception.
I realized that they were all my kind of people.
As are you.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Still struggling for words...

but here are a handful of photos that are tugging at my memory and my soul tonight.
Stories are forming. Some will never be told.
Silence has a way of doing that - telling stories without words.