this week has been close to perfect.
i have discovered new music that lifts the spirit, mind & feet. i've spent time with every member of my family ... cuddled with babies, laughed with the sis, drank tea with the mama, and spent time with mi padre & my little brother. i've spent hours in my new perfect car (which i will post pictures of soon) listening to john mayer sing about sayin' goodbye & being perfectly lonely, while deep red leaves fell from above & freezing cold breezes pushed their way through the cracked window and down my neck, reminding me that it's fall ... the most cozy & romantic season of all. i've met, and been invited into the worlds of some amazing women who have unknowingly uplifted my downcast spirit and encouraged and shaped the vision for my future. i have become part of a community in my school that is fun and different and purposeful about loving and taking care of people. i've spent evenings home alone, thinking for hours about who i am, who i desire to become, how i might get there, and the kinds of people i hope come into my life to assist in my journey.
today i spent my afternoon at a women's shelter that i am doing some observation work at. as i stood over a copy machine, scanning paper after paper, i chatted with some of the residents. while rocking babies in their laps and between cigarette drags and sips of sprite, they told their stories to each other ... stories of strength and brokenness. i heard words that expressed the emptiness of neglect, the ugliness of hatred and the distortion of mankind in ways that i never have before. my soul was heavy, my chest burning with grief for them, i wanted to sob with and for them ... but i was glad to hear about their lives. grateful that they didn't treat me like the outcast that i was ... the different one ... the one who's had an easy & simple life ... the one with the dress and the tights and the boots ... the one who doesn't get it. to me, their stories were gut-wrenching and deserving of praise and admiration. to them, it's just life ... just the way it is. they were funny and silly and contemplative and underestimated and possessing the kind of beauty that i have not seen in a very long time. that kind of beauty - the kind that's developed through trials and deep pain and suffering and a hard, hard life that's not masked by fear or pride - it's not easy to come by.
my favorite part of the day:
i held a breathtakingly beautiful baby boy.
29 days old. perfect caramel skin. big pouty, pink lips. hazel eyes that shimmered in the afternoon sun. tiny adorable frizzy curls atop his mini head. we stood out on the porch together for what seemed to be a lifetime. he & i just looking at each other, examining the differences in one another, taking each other in. i think my blue eyes were a new site for him, he stared and stared and stared. i tucked his tiny little toes deep into his blanket and sang him a soft song while we swayed back and forth, back and forth.
what a precious thing a child is. perfect and innocent and kind and unaware and new and fresh and forgiving. when given a quiet moment alone with one, a baby can almost always bring me to tears. children are a beautiful thing. they deserve to be protected and cherished and loved and desired more than anything else on this earth. they are the outpouring of a good and gracious God ... the way He chose to bless His people ... the ultimate gift and personification of love and intimacy. what a beautiful mind God has ...
if only we could imitate Him more closely.
this kind of raw reality is refreshing to me. it's days like these that make me feel the most ALIVE.
to see the Father's goodness around every corner is a tough task ... but when His grace allows me to do so, what a beautiful day it becomes. what a beautiful world i can see, that is groaning to be set free from pain and suffering, deceit and perversion ... to have its eyes unveiled. what beautiful people i notice, who are demeaned and rejected and hated. what a good and simple life i have, that has been sneered and poked fun at because it hadn't seemed to hold enough adventure or glamour or romance. what a wild and crazy vision i have, that has been clouded too long by foolishness, loneliness, and ignorant self-pity.
such good change has been waiting for me ...
what a good revelation.
as you come to Him, the living Stone
- rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him -
you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual
house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual
sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
- 1 peter 2: 4&5-
now ... listen (on youtube) & LOVE