24 September 2007

There's a new movie coming out about human trafficking called Trade. I watched the trailer for it this morning and have been sort of undone since. Be prepared if you watch this....it's a bit intense.

Here's the New York Times article that inspired it. Warning, this, too, is disturbing, heart-breaking and graphic.

At the L'Abri conference I attended this past February, they talked about the connection between the story of John Newton's conversion and legacy fighting to abolish slavery in Britian and the need for people to stand up against human trafficking and the sex slave trade. I pray daily for my friends working in Bolivia and Kolkata and for the women that they know who have been rescued from and are still trapped in prostitution. But this morning is a reminder that today....in our "one nation under God," in our neighborhoods, these atrocities are happening.

So. I'm trying to keep perspective, but feel kinda overwhelmed. God, transform us into a people who call on your Spirit to give us holiness, power and obedience.

Amazing grace...with some lesser known verses and my emphasis.

Amazing grace-- how sweet the sound!
That saved a wretch
That saved a wretch
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind but now I see.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already
Have already
have already come.
Tis grace that brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope
His word my hope
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life
And mortal life
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

15 September 2007

Two weeks ago my friends welcomed me home from the first day of school as I walked up the back sidewalk. They'd been on the porch drinking wine. By the time I was up the steps and had dumped my bags and books, collapsing in a heap on the fire escape step, there was a glass of red in my hand. They listened and asked good questions, and I talked excitedly about things that had happened that day. I thought that night: This is something. They tell me I am someone.


Tonight the smell of wood fires is all through the city. I drove on a two lane road with windows open to the cold, the crescent moon a crooked smile low in the western sky. I am tired but loving school. This is going to be a whole different kind of adventure. I am trying to be responsible and directed, but there are a few distractions:

Friends and family are wonderful, blessed, much needed distractions--sharing lunches, asking about classes, being stabilizing influences.

Gorgeous days, hot air balloon races.

The children's book section, where tonight I found myself wanting to read every Sandra Boynton book. Aloud. To myself.

And this weird issue called Narrator is a distraction as well.

I am blessed, discontent in good ways, and attempting to sit at His feet and worship when I find myself overwhelmed. I am missing friends that are (and will soon be) scattered across the globe. I remember each of their parts (the ones near, the ones far) as ministers of shalom and it reminds me to walk by faith.



I feel the need to mute you. I am having second thoughts about this whole seminary endeavor because at times you shout at me, and as we all know SHOUTING IS NOT ALLOWED IN THE LIBRARY!! Your banishment will just be for a time, so that I can be disciplined, complete required reading, appear mostly sane to the people around me. I'll put you in a shoe box and you can hang out under my bed eating dust bunnies for the next two years.

But here's the thing. Yesterday you told me that the sunlight that was coming through the window was just so. And because you put words to it, my eyes saw it, my heart took it in, and I got one more taste. You tell me now of my summer calloused feet on this warm wood floor, of the crickets serenading. There are things in here that feel like puzzles waiting to be solved just as soon as whatever mundane or epiphanal event that needs to happen happens.

You tell me: "I write your story."

I acquiesce and decide to keep you around; let you tell me bedtime stories about the cat that has been visiting our back porch lately: About her pink tongue lapping up the milk in the dish I set out, about her insistent meowing, her attempts to be a stow-away in our "no pets allowed" apartment. You have named her Casablanca, which I find endearing.

I throw a wink in your direction as a wry sort of apology. I'm sorry I told you to shut up. I see that you articulate my spirit's song. I hear you weave the words of grace and mercy that have been whispered by Someone Else into the events of my day when my heart's longings are insistent and impatient as baby birds.

You say to me reassuringly, and with hints of anticipation in your voice: Let's see what comes next.
And I reply: Yes, let's.