Category Archives: Villagers

from a recent letter

OH chica. I know. I know. The thing that heals my heart is that Christianity is bigger than the petty shit we try and turn it into. Jesus Christ is bigger than the hate we try and throw at each other. And by loving Him we are made bigger, we are made able to love more deeply and widely and fiercely, more able to appreciate this amazing creation He has given us, and everything, everyONE in it.
You have been given more than the “golden ticket” to heaven by accepting Christ. You have been given an opportunity, a COMMANDMENT, to love bigger, love more, love without reservation.

Humans have turned Christianity into this tiny box, have made gods of politics and money and power and anger, have given each other a checklist to meet in order to love Jesus, love Him enough, love Him the Right Way.
And you know, that’s some bullshit. That’s not what He’s about. He’s not about creating dichotomies and factions amongst His people, within His people. Jesus, I believe, would be pissed as hell to hear that the Christian church is making gay teenagers hate themselves. “FUCKED. UP.” I believe would be our Lord and Saviours words. Because it is. JesuCristo is into us being one body, He’s into us appreciating all of the myriad types of people He put on this earth with all their myriad types of talents, He’s into us letting go of ourselves and our stupid shit and being about Him. And His incredible capacity for love.

I don’t know why I rant to you, you know these things. This preaching to the choir must be tiresome for you, my marvelous girl who gets it.

I guess I am just trying to say: Loving Christ isn’t about how you do church and all the commonplace bullshit and awesomeness that entails.

Loving Christ is about Loving Christ.

And you do that so well.

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Adrienne Rich, 1929 – 2012

from Cartographies of Silence

“No. Let me have this dust,
these pale clouds dourly lingering, these words

moving with ferocious accuracy
like the blind child’s fingers

or the newborn infant’s mouth
violent with hunger

No one can give me, I have long ago
taken this method

whether of bran pouring from the loose-woven sack
or of the bunsen-flame turned low and blue

If from time to time I envy
the pure annunciation to the eye

the visio beatifica
if from time to time I long to turn

like the Eleusinian hierophant
holding up a single ear of grain

for the return to the concrete and everlasting world
what in fact I keep choosing

are these words, these whispers, conversations
from which time after time the truth breaks moist and green. ”

Rest now, brilliant mind.

Worship

Luke and I are on staff for our church’s college group. It is a tremendous group of kids who are so on fire for Christ in a time in their lives when loving God is not a priority. I am incredibly blessed to share my Thursday nights with these young people, and time and again they have taught me the true essence of worship.

Villagers

Miss Jess and the Bird

if you’re a parent, you’ve heard the phrase (often to the point of inanity) “it takes a village to raise a child”. Coming from a huge family (Mexican-Irish-Catholic, I have a lot of relatives) this concept was not lost on me when I had my son. Family dinners and carpools, shared discipline and food. My parents were never alone in the ups and downs of parenting, and I have many fond memories of late nights listening to them talk with their friends and siblings, playing hearts and drinking wine.

I live fairly far from my extended, often fractious family. My parents divorced shortly before I did and shortly after my last remaining grandparents passed away. My extended family had a lot of heartbreak in very short amount of time and never quite recovered from that hard year. Our gatherings now are fewer but no less lavish in love. I am grateful that I am so close with my multitudinous cousins, close enough with a few that we see each other much more regularly than holidays (my cousin has a son a year younger than my oldest). I am even more grateful that my sister and I weathered the storms of divorce and death and remain incredibly tight. She lives in San Francisco and I miss her terribly but we talk almost every day on the phone and she adores her nephews and brother in law.

Because of this distance, emotional and geographical, we have had to build our own village to help us manage the ups and downs of parenting our children. It is a marvelous village, made up of dear friends from college (and in one case much MUCH earlier!), other young families we met at church and loved instantly, college students we mentor and a few wise women and men who’s babies are long grown with babies of their own. Many of these villagers share our faith, a comfort to me, a new Christian and the only member of my blood family to wear that title, many of them have similar stories to ours, a surprise pregnancy followed by a lovely marriage, but many of them have lives very different from ours, and we are so grateful for the broad variety of wonderful people we have in our children’s lives.

I know, to gushy. To touchy feely. I made myself faintly ill just then.

One of these people was unexpected. That’s her in the picture up there. She’s 20, and loves my kids. Has more patience than I have at almost 30, is curious about everything and incredibly smart. Babysits for free! Wears awesome hippie clothes and has tattoos, loves Jesus and is a vegetarian. She was the first person I met who couldn’t eat gluten. I’ve known her since she was 18 and from the first day we met we have been fast friends despite our almost 10 year age difference. She comes over often just to sit on my couch and fold my laundry with me and chat, or comes over on baking day despite not being able to eat what I’m making…

and she is leaving on Friday for Australia. For 4 months she is going to live across the world from us. I am excited for her and sad to see her go.

Our village is getting a little smaller…but a whole lot better traveled.