leslie is seventy today
leslie nixon is one of the coolest women i know. she has the body of someone waaaay younger. it must be those aerobics classes that she leads three nights a week.
leslie has added so much to our house church. she’s the official “lover” of us all, and is vibrant proof that you don’t have to lose your idealism with age.
so, if you see her, give her a huge hug, please!
107281670351016284 December 30, 2003
leslie is seventy today
blah, blah, blog
sometimes i really wonder what, if any, specific purpose this blog should serve. i’m tempted to stick to thoughts on theology, the world, justice, etc. but that’s only a small part of my thoughts and emotions. i wonder if people really want to know the everyday perceptions, but i read a great post today in which the writer said that she misses it when people don’t write about the daily events, thoughts and feelings – because these things, however non-lofty they might seem to us – really are an essential part of our humanity.
so. all of that is to say that i’m not going to feel guilty if i don’t have anything terribly wise to say. i want this to be a medium for realness and vulnerability. of course, then the whole issue of false intimacy comes up – am i really being vulnerable when i don’t have to look you in the eye as i speak?
that said, last night someone said to me that his perpetual prayer is for “unparalled wisdom”…that’s been floating around in my head all day, because i realized that it’s been awhile since this girl has had a perpetual prayer. so. i’m trying to figure out what that should be…i like the idea of asking for wisdom. for myself, i think the gift i would really like to have and give is the kind of relational wisdom and insight into people and love that creates a safe place for them to heal. is there a single word for that?
it is very much so a good morning. i’m sleepy and content, catching up on some paperwork and listening to the flaming lips sing about yoshimi battling the robots. that song makes me giddy.
in fact, i haven’t felt as giddy as i do today in a long, long while…
i like it!
tonight is house church. we’ll most likely be delving into acts chapter 5, if we don’t just spend some time loving on each other instead. it’s the story of annanias and sapphira being struck dead for holding back some of their money instead of giving it all to the body of believers, then lying about it. i think it’s more about their lie than anything else, but i keep thinking of the idea of holding on tightly to something that we want to think is ours, when in reality God wants to liberate us so beautifully, if we just let him.
see, i’ve been learning about trust lately. i know it’s a simple thing, but it seems it’s taken me awhile to really grasp it and live it consistently. the thing is, i believe in a God that truly wants the best for us, and i know that the best is usually something incredible, that i usually can’t even imagine until it happens. i know this is true, because it’s happened to me often. so why do i still find myself trying to figure it out all by my little self, insisting that even though i know what i’m holding onto definitely isn’t the best, it is good enough for me, thank you very much! besides, letting things go can sometimes feel like cutting off a limb, even when the limb is infected. i also so often find myself making the assumption that after i do let go of my idols, he’s going to make me wait a long, long while before replacing them with something true and good and beautiful, so that i can appropriately learn my lesson.
that’s just not true, dear ones. i’m sure of it.
let me introduce you to a new, surprising friend. meet daniel fox at the left. this man is definitely worth getting to know.
107266807590971730 December 28, 2003
hello again, dear ones!
there have been a lot of thoughts floating around and asking to be written down this week, but it’s been hard to articulate them. i’m home again, though, and it’s good to be in my own futon…
i think my brain is a bit too fried to really say anything coherent, but here are a few topics i hope to touch on in the next few days:
…the recurring call i’m hearing to bring the issues of injustice and poverty to the forefront of the church…
…the irony of giving up things that we cling to so stubbornly and, in the process of letting go, suddenly discovering freedom…
…the role i want accountability from y’all to play in my life as the new year begins…
…the surprising way that this whole blogging adventure introduces and re-introduces people to each other’s paths…
…the novel “cold moutain,” which i think just might become my book of the year…
on that note, i’m going to rest my body now. but i wanted to let you know that i haven’t fully disappeared…
love and peace,
107227820883949212 December 24, 2003
this is important. there’s been some talk lately of whether or not the “emerging church” has forgotten the poor and oppressed. these issues are very dear to my heart. with that in mind, please check out the DATA link to the left. this is the organization co-founded by bono to address the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. there are some excellent, concrete ways to address this crisis, including an entire “faith in action” section that includes bible study outlines, etc.
at least 75% of my girls in bombay came to us with HIV or AIDS. I know for certain that chitra is dead now, and probably poonam. there is hardly any medicine available to them, and many have gone without being diagnosed. chitra’s face is one that has been so vivid in my mind the past few days. i’ve been so teary everytime she flashes into my consciousness. she was so beautiful, and had this child-like aura that most of our girls had lost a long time ago.
AIDS is something that i’m passionate about. my student practicum was in HIV case management, and was one of the best jobs i ever had. that was back when people were learning to actually live with AIDS, instead of just accepting it as a death sentence. for many in the u.s., it is possible now to live a long, healthy time. but for most of africa and asia, the death sentence still exists. and even here, death is very much a reality, especially for those who don’t think they’re at risk…
in september, i got to go to the u.s. conference on HIV/AIDS in new orleans. i expected to learn a lot, and have a lot of fun with the gay party-boy activists. instead, i spent most of the time feeling like i was in church. the american AIDS community is talking a lot about spiritual healing right now. i think that’s probably directly related to the growing response of the african-american church in the u.s. movement. all i know is that the Spirit was there.