Wednesday, April 22, 2009

pineapple and living room prayer

Who knew that fresh cut pineapple was so much better than the stuff out of the can? You know, the stuff they served in the cafeteria when you were in school? Jeff seemed to think that I should have known that this would be true, as all fresh things are better than canned ones, but you just can't imagine how much better until you bite into that juicy goodness called fresh fruit. I'm sitting here right now, eating my pineapple while Jeff eats his chicken strips and Neha is trying to decide whether to eat the vinegar-y bean salad or Jeff's leftover General Tso's chicken from lunch at A-Tan. We're quite an eclectic bunch around here. :)

But just before the pineapple...

There was some praying going on in our living room. In fact, there's been quite a bit of praying going on, and it fills this house with a peace; I like it. Michelle, Neha, and I are meeting together once a week, reading Celebration of Discipline (Richard Foster) together and praying together. It's so good to pray with others... to be in each other's lives, and watch each other live the Light in our daily lives (or try our best) and then come together recognizing the Presence of God together and communing together.

Foster's writing is really beautiful. I'd already read Freedom of Simplicity by him, and it was so wonderful, and I'd always heard that Celebration of Discipline was really good. It is, and he's got me thinking a lot about discipline, or lack thereof, in my own life.

Last night I collapsed in bed frustrated and worn out. I'm busy, so busy that I find myself not having enough time to be a neighbor and spend time in solitude and be outside on the porch and hanging out with the families I've made friends with in the neighborhood. And being involved in a lot can't be bad--I don't want to be idle. But that's never been an issue for me.. instead I'm overwhelmed.

Prayers for the peace of Christ and stillness of his presence are needed.

Grace and peace be yours...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I've been meaning to blog a lot lately, but this week has been crazy. Tomorrow we enter into a weekend-long time of learning what is God's heart for our brothers and sisters who are poor and oppressed, both here in Memphis and around the world. We'll lead others from Christ United Methodist through some decision-making and tough conversations as they will likely be outside of their comfort zone much of the weekend. Won't I even be outside of mine? Do I know what it means to go without food and a shower?

We by no means proclaim that this weekend we will "arrive," that we'll know what it means to live a life of poverty. We are fully aware that we aren't even scratching the surface. But we do know that in our white, affluent church, we must start somewhere. We must walk these friends by the hand, a little closer to the heart of the matter.

My friend and brother Matthew said, "Reconciliation can only happen when we submit to the fact that we are all equally valuable in the eyes of God." And so it is. This is why we are going this weekend; this is why we are stretching ourselves... not to be saviors, not to put ourselves in a place of status above those who are "poor," but to know our brothers and sisters who the world says we cannot be in communion with because we are too different, who we are taught to ignore and cast off. From the same Family we came, and Christ came to save us all. We must see the eyes of Christ in each other!

Pray for us as we come together...

Until Sunday..