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
ok, after all of that seriousness, here’s a bit of fun. try it!
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.
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.
107201710298439026 December 21, 2003
dreams of india…friday night, i dreamt that i was with greg and mala in india, and was deciding to spend my life there. but the dream got strange when we had to travel to a remote village (which looked oddly like the midwestern u.s.!) and complete some sort of escape-obstacle course to fight an evil political regime. bizarre. but then i went to our christmas worship service last night and unexpectedly in the middle of singing carols, all of the girls i worked with came into my mind and heart, and i couldn’t get away from their faces and names. all i wanted to do was go back and love them, and let them know that they are created and loved and worth so much in the eyes of jesus and myself.
i love community and the pockets of family i’ve been so blessed to witness. but i have often felt that i’m one of those people who is called to live outside of the pocket, returning to the fold for times of renewal, ultimately, i think i’m one of those people who is supposed to be sent out by my communities, as nice as it would be to just buy a house and be the sender and nurturer myself. so, that’s where my heart was last night. i don’t really know that i’m “called” to spend my life in india or some other country. i do know that last night all i wanted was to be there, but i also felt some fear – mostly fear of going alone, and of not being surrounded by such a strong community. i want to spend most of my christmases worshipping in the same st. elizabeth cathedral. anyway, last night i very clearly felt God asking me to let go of that fear, to just trust. i know it’s a simple lesson, but it was so real last night.
i know that marriage isn’t the end-all, be-all. it would just be nice, if i’m going to constantly be “sent out,” to have someone to share that journey with. india-and most of the world, for that matter- is a pretty lonely place.
don’t worry – i’m not becoming a desparate old maid or anything – that’s just where my vulnerabilities have been this weekend.
107189037025087340 December 19, 2003
friday night, and i just returned from the saint elizabeth art and music benefit. sometimes i’m overwhelmed by the amazing people who are in my life. tonight was one of those nights. somehow, i’ve mangaged to find incredible, real community wherever i’ve landed. it’s nice.
it’s also nice to feel suspended in time occasionally. tonight, for instance, i was really only at the gathering for about two hours, but it felt like the entire night, chock full of good conversation and love.
now i’m in my flannel pajamas and have just had a large glass of shiraz. i’m actually rather giggly right now. when i got home, i discovered that r.e.m. was guest-starring on “boston public”…that made me happy. almost as happy as getting to snuggle with nora and sharon tonight…(my non-biological niece and sister, respectively)
i am far too giggly to be writing tonight. but sometimes, typing can be almost hypnotic, don’t you think?
g’night, dear ones!
in case no one has noticed, i’m in a giddy-chatty mood this afternoon. hello, world – i want to talk to you!!
really, i just wanted to point out a couple of new links to the left. be sure to check out christopher and zena. very cool people.
that is all.