Christmas

I suppose I have been subconciously diving into hard, but very worth while stories.

For the last couple days I have been completely engrossed in the Thousand Splendid Sun’s novel (by Khaled Hosseini). It is an incredible insight into Afghani culture through out the many battles, over-takings, and cultural changes they have seen. It is written about two different women, and is incredibly powerful, and at times so hard to read.

Then just after I finished reading the book (400 pages in 3 days… has to be a record for me), I found myself going to a movie I had been LONG waiting to see: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I wanted to weep at the end of that movie.

It is a beautifully told tragic story about a son of a Nazi soldier who meets some Jews from the concentration camp.

Every time I see or read stories like this- that I know are based on such harsh truths about how humanity has treatedone another, I wonder how this can be… how can we be SO cruel to one another? How is it that we have allowed ourselves to become so blineded and that we have given into lies that tell us that just because they are of another race, gender, color- that they are somehow less than human?!?!?!

It is sickening.

The saddest part is that atrocities such as  these, are still far from complete history. Still today we have genocides, racism, women being oppressed, religions being oppressed, people being unjustly tortured, we have terrorism, war, abuse, corrupt governments,…

I guess in the midst of this harsh reality when I stop and think of the season and the story of Jesus in a manger- it becomes so much more amazing to me. Our GOD made himself the most vulnerable thing: a baby, and was born in a stable! He came into the midst of a people that had the same issues as I listed above: corrupt governments, oppression, terrorism, abuse, etc.

His own creation had turned on him and on eachother and he came down to love. To walk with and among us. To SAVE us. that blows my mind. How can you forgive a people like this?

We have an amazing GOD.

A Path?

I am listening to Shane Claiborne’s pod-cast to the CCDA, realizing I have made quite the change in my life -even since this summer. I took a class focused on Urban Ministry but which attached so much more along with it. It has challenged and grown me beyond anything I would have expected. I will even admit I have teared up in that class due to it’s powerful content.

I am no eloquent writer so please forgive me but here this is something I feel needs to be written down even if I cannot express it well through words:

I have begun to feel led to Urban Ministry… shocker? Maybe. It certainly is for me. I don’t know what that will mean or what exactly that will look like, but I can see God taking me down a vague path into the urban jungle.

It all started with the Chicago spring break mission trip, which I was not really meant to be on- I didn’t apply for the trip I was sent an e-mail which asked me to apply for the trip, months after the applications had already been processed. I prayed about it and God provided the money before I even sent my letters… I raised 3 times the necessary amount. Amazing.

Next a class that had never been offered before, and may never be offered again, by an adjunct professor called: Urban Ministry Kingdom of God, was brought to my attention by my roommate. It miraculously fit into my schedule perfectly. That is where I just left off. The combination of the two incidences have forced me to find a way, which I finally have, to double major with Sociology and Studio Art and have an Urban Cities concentration.

The next mark is the class I will be taking next semester: Conversations on Race, also being offered for the first time. After that I have been told to check out a semester abroad in urban LA which would potentially save up to 13000$ in both opportunity cost and real cost! I would live with a family in the city, participate in the family activities, get an internship- in my case most likely working with street graffiti artists.

At first this path REALLY bothered me. I mean, I was walking the path… without any hesitation, BUT the idea that God may be calling me to remain in the United States instead of working with Refugees abroad.

I will be honest…  I have shed tears over this. But God woke me up with this question, which I heard in my heart, but still struggle to put into words:

‘ What makes you think that people over seas are any less worth helping that people in the United States?’

Oof.

So this is the precipice on which I now stand. I don’t know where God is going to lead me… I always find myself a little distraught because I always thought that the older I got the more sure I would be of where I was heading… I am finding that , at least during college, I am less sure of where I am going. But I am also a bit less worried about it every year. God is in control… woohoo!