Thursday, May 29, 2008


Why do days like today keep happening? Or are they everyday, and I just don't notice?

My co-worker just found out that a friend from her small Christian school back home died after a fall while hiking. Her shock at first made me think that it wasn't a big deal to her. She kept talking about this "on top of everything else," which led to her telling me about all the problems "up there" (meaning, home).

A friend came home from college to find his house on fire and his father inside. A friend of her sister gave birth to a child she was keeping secret, and then threw the child away.

And Mary's mother has cancer.

We prayed for that cancer, and it was gone. God heard that prayer. God acted. So what is this? Now my prayers are desperate pleading and shameful bargaining. I try to talk him into saving these people that mean so much to so many. Try to convince him that this is his chance to prove himself.

But how he's already proved himself, over and over.

What is the worth of these words I bring to him? Certainly nothing compared to the worth of these people that are hurting.

So SAVE, God.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Good and Simple Day

Today has been a good day for the most part, and a good representative of what Youth Ministry is to me. Tara (my co-worker) and I have been busy putting the finishing touches on our busy, busy June calendar. The end of May has been sort-of-but-not-really laid-back so far, still getting in the swing of Summer. But this will change.

Our boss Doug came up to the office and we had a pow-wow for our plans this week, when our pulpit minister John ran in, either out of breath because of the stairs or for excitement from his request. A young lady asked to start having Bible studies with him, and John asked Tara to come with him. We prayed, and they left.

I resumed working on some lesson plans, when Kolton (one of our teens) stopped by on his way to applying for a job. I asked if I could take him to lunch, forgetting that I didn't bring money with me today. He said he'd cover it this time, so we talked and he gave some really good suggestions for the ministry. He is a good man and I am proud of who he is.

I returned to the office and worked on lessons until Levi (one of our former youth group members, and now simply a brother) stopped by to look for his tape measurer. We talked and got ice cream around the corner. He left, and I am glad in my heart for the love that is in this church. I am glad to be a part of a church that I want to bring people to. That I want to serve. That I want to be a part of.

God is better to me than I deserve.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

To be subsumed and not consumed.

Thank you for your comments. I didn't know everyone knew so much more about me than I do. Haha.

Today I climbed Mt. Garfield for the first time. Two of the youths took me. It was a lovely, powerful experience pregnant with significance.

We began with the sun hard on our right side. With a slow pace and frequent breaks, we had time to make idle conversation. Kyle talked of dirt bikes and Mary of food, but we shared several noteworthy sights with a lazy fingerpoint and brief grunts of appreciation.

The sky clouded over and we stopped sweating, but took no fewer breaks. We admired flowering cacti and denigrated ugly bushes, and we trudged on.

We reached a field where grass and thistles waved with frantic applause for our small group. There we took turns climbing rocks and posing as supermen.

Passing on from there the wind blew with incredible force. Words were swallowed up and lost their usefulness. We remained silent, and our path became a conversation of clumsy grips and shared slips. We smiled at each other and I was glad in my heart.

Soon the wind blew dust in our eyes and between our teeth. At times the wind helped us up hills; other times it cooled us from beneath our baggy shorts. On a ledge, sediment was blown onto our bodies at painful speeds. We turned around, shut our eyes and pursed lips and stood, stolid as statues, facing the way from which we came.

Facing east.

At the top we were elated and fatigue melted while we took silly pictures. We shared the terror of looking over the edge, and then we left. We drew on shallow cave walls with charcoal and with dreams of confused anthropologists finding our marks. We took pictures of horse dung. My feet bled and we were glad in our hearts.

Oh, how wonderful to be caught up, to be surrounded, to be enveloped, to be subsumed by beauty and by God!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Revelations Along the Way

I am sorry for not writing in here lately. I doubt anyone noticed.

I have arrived in Colorado. It was a long and uneventful drive, besides killing a bird. Well, my windshield killed a bird. And I thought. A lot.

Before leaving Louisville, my sister introduced me to her friend Jen and her dog Zygote. Jen briefly and non-seriously mentioned as I prepared to drive off that I should call her to let her know what I learned while I traveled. But I'll just let her read this.

I learned that I make things into too big of a deal.

That is to say, it is hard for me to let things - anything - go. Out of the slightest of actions or decisions I make great determinants of personal merit, of value, of worth. Of identity.

So when I make a mistake, I fail.

When I fail, I am a failure.

This is not altogether correct, I feel.