in your dark moments

I was reading the “Note from the editor” in the Covenant Companion the other day and it really struck a chord in me. She was writing on the story of Mary Magdalene meeting Jesus outside the tomb and not knowing that its Jesus until he says her name. “Mary.” Then she suddenly realized it was him. (John 20). I can’t imagine that moment, when she’s crying because the one who saved her from everything has been killed. Suddenly someone is invading her crying time, she thinks he is a gardener – asking her why she’s crying. She explains and he just says her name and her eyes are opened. It’s a beautiful scene.
In this “From the Editors” section, the writer talks about how we are so desperate for someone to know us, that “someone would see past our bravado or our tears or our quiet pretense and actually see us.” She points out that of course, Jesus is the one to see us in those places. And when we turn toward him, we receive the healing that only comes from God. She goes on to say that once we respond to Jesus’s call, then we can begin to truly see those around us. To see the places where those in our lives are trying to hide their burdens and suffer alone. We can share in those struggles together by listening, noticing and loving.
For a little over a week now it has seemed like a few of my close friends in seminary have been in some serious struggles. And what has been really cool is the chance that we’ve gotten to be there for each other. To truly step into each others lives and be present. To share moments together that we will look back on with fond memories. They were moments of prayers, tears, hugs, inappropriate laughter, movies to help us escape, cookies, slurpies and being Christ in each others lives.
I know this community doesn’t stay this way forever, it’s the nature of being in Seminary. People go on internship, new students come in, we travel for the summers, people graduate and move on in life. But on some level, it makes me realize how much more valuable this community is right now. In life we have the tendency to hold back, not let people care for us until we’ve reached some euphoric level of friendship. And yes, you don’t have to share things right off the bat that are hard and painful with people to get to the place where care can happen.
Instead, you just have to show up. To notice. To listen. and to love. You don’t have to understand what people are going through or even know, you just have to be there in a tangible way. And this week, my community around me did that for each other and it was one of those moments in my life that I took a heart picture and thought, “This is Church.”

If you want to … I am game

The other day I went to a closing Borders to see what I could find for $4.99 or less.  I walked out after having spent $18 with three new CDs and a sweet coffee table book.  It was overall a successful outing.
One of the CDs I bought was Lisa Hannigan’s Sea Saw.  It caught my eye because, well it’s Lisa Hannigan.  The second reason I purchased it was because it was the album that “I Don’t Know” is on, which is a song I was given by Ben during one of my KC visits.  I was obsessed with this song all summer about two years ago.  Now that I have this album, the obsession has been resurrected.
So during my time at the library today I’ve been listening to my new music whilst translating my Revelation passage and “I Don’t Know” came on my itunes.  I decided to look it up and see if I could find any cool videos.  And of course, I did.  So enjoy this one video while I begin to formulate more deep reflections on life…

if only you would keep me in your thoughts

Last night my brother sent me this video my niece Bizzywho is now 7 and 1/2 months old:
There are two things that I love about this video, and one thing that I only think is so-so.  The first I love is that I have no idea what she finds so incredibly funny.  She tries to crawl, instantly falls down and just starts this deep laugh that I wasn’t even sure was possible at such a young age.  And yet there she sits, laughing her little heart out.
Secondly, I love that about half-way through the video she pauses, looking into the camera and at that moment you hear my other niece, Benny (5 and 1/2 years old) yell out, “Bizzie!!” which makes me think she’s doing something silly to cause her sister to laugh.  And Bizzy starts all over again.
The last thing that I only think is so-so (but would admit I think I love it too), is the fact that Bizzy seems to have inherited my laugh.  I’m not sure if that’s really something that is inherited, but if you have ever heard me laugh, you know it’s true.  I have one of those laughs that I kind of hate because it is so loud and I just cannot help it.  Isabella has a laugh like that.  However, on a baby it’s SUPER cute.  Or maybe I just think it is cause she’s my niece.
I love that my brother sends me videos and pictures like the one above of Bizzy eating a french fry (which I’m pretty sure she shouldn’t be eating).  I love that he tries his hardest to keep me in the loop.  But on some level, it’s just not enough.  I miss both of these little girls with my whole heart.  I pray for them every time I think about them, which is often.  Some nights I just wish I could tuck them into bed or read stories with them instead of seeing them on a computer screen or saying good night on the phone.  I miss them so much it hurtsat times.
And yet, I know that I am here for a reason.  I get that confirmation every few days and I’m glad to be here.  I just wish that here and there were just a little bit closer.  At least close enough that I could see them every couple weeks, instead of every few months.  But until that is a reality again, I will keep looking at pictures and videos.  I will keep praying for them and the women they will become.  I will keep calling my house in hopes that Benny will be in the mood to talk to her favorite Tia rather than watch iCarly.  I will continue to love them from 1000 miles away.

brown paper packages tied up with string

The other night I was sitting around with my church small group and we were talking a bit about our favorite foods.  It started as my best friend and her husband talking about their favorite type of candy and how those types of candy are not shared with company.
Then last night the roomsmate and I had a couple of friends over to watch a movie and were were offering them something to drink.  Now, we don’t share a lot of things in our apartment so when we have guests over we have a rule that you can only offer up your own drinks/food to the guests.  So I was offering up drinks but I realized I had nothing in the fridge to offer up, except my coveted juice boxes, so Roomsmate offered up the drinks she had and after everyone was served the conversation came up about sharing things.  I revealed our rule as an explanation as to why the options I gave sounded so awkward.  I think I said something along the lines of, “because I don’t have any drinks so I couldn’t offer anything, except for juice boxes and we all know how I feel about juice boxes.”
To which one friend said, “I don’t know how you feel about them…”  So I had to come clean, “I don’t share my juice boxes,” I replied sheepishly.  Luckily he accepted that and we started the movie.
But this got me thinking about our favorite things.  In our apartment, we are usually open to sharing or letting each other have some of our food with the exception of a few items.  You always have to ask but mostly, we’re pretty open to sharing.  Except for certain things.  In living together we’ve been able to pin point those things in each other and it’s now a funny joke.
Roomsmate has her Kinders, (a bbq sauce from California that is seriously so good) hot dogs and bacon.  Cat has her tea that she drinks all the time.  And mine?  Apple juice boxes and tortillas.  My roommates know that I love these two items more than almost anything else and if they were to finish my tortillas or drink a juice box, it would be bad news.
It’s just funny to me how one way that I judge closeness with people is if they know what those few items you have to have on hand at all times.  Roomsmate knows that my heart is happy when I’m eating a tortilla.  I know that if she’s eating some chicken or sandwich she’s going to have her Kinders there for dipping.
What’s more is that it’s a simple way to show each other love.  To share the things we love with each other is a simple way of loving each other.  We often joke that Roomsmate will know when I’ve met my future husband when I allow him to have a juice box.  Cause she’s not even allowed to have one.
So what are your favorite things?  Do you know your roommates/friends/spouses?  and how do you share (or don’t share) them?