Monday, July 30, 2007


Tonight I unexpectedly saw my foster brother, of all places, at my church. I've been at my church every Sunday night for the past four years and have never seen him there. But there he was, sitting in the coffee shop with his new girlfriend and a member of yet another music venture. He said he would stick around until the end of the service but he left. I can say with certainty that this was not on my emotional agenda for the day.

He came into my family's life 12 years ago and lived with us for over half that time. It's enough to become very attached, and very disappointed when his life didn't go in many positive directions. It's been quite an intense experience, him being a part of my family's life. I have a lot of good memories, but I finally had to get to a place where I let him go.

And that plan works most of the time, because he never calls or answers my messages. He lives 5 minutes from me but never suggests we meet. The last time I saw him was my sister's wedding--which he almost missed--four months ago.

But every so often, maybe twice a year, he gets lonely or needs something and reaches out. He has a talent for making me feel like it's my fault we never communicate. I'm not sure how much I have to offer or gain from the relationship; I just know that I love him as much as I can. God gives us the capability to love in ways we usually don't understand.

It could be complete coincidence that I saw him tonight, but I really don't feel like it is. What it is, I'm not sure. It pains me to see such little life in his eyes, to read between his words and see his loneliness and unhappiness. But I don't know how to help him, and that almost hurts worse.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sex Trafficking

This summer my small group is discussing social justice themes in the Bible. Each week we take a different, current issue and talk about verses that inspire compassion and action in response to them.

This week I talked about sex trafficking, a heartbreaking "industry" found in all parts of the world. I was heartened, however, when I came across these resources and organizations seeking to bring end to this slavery. The last is a local organization.

Pray for the victims, captors, and abusers, and pray for the systems that allow this atrocity to break down.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Living Organically

I am in the process of converting much of what I use and eat to organic products. It is primarily a health decision (and at the strong encouragement of my doctors), but has become a more (w)holistic way of approaching life for me.

It makes me question everything... Where do my clothes come from, my carpet, my purses, my milk, crackers, sugar? We live in a world that allows us to be so disconnected from all the things we use and ingest. I can tell you for certain, for example, that were I forced to kill my own food, I would be a vegetarian. But I want to really think about what all this is, why I have it, and what needs to change.

Everything seems to be at odds. I buy clothes from the Gap made by maquiladoras and/or children in sweatshops, yet I champion children's and workers' rights and protection. I eat food in excess but click on the Hunger Site everyday. I put on a ridiculous amount of skincare products and makeup but have no idea where it comes from, what's in it, and worse yet I say I don't want to be defined by rigid gendered expectations.

Part of me wants to just start over... buy a plot of land in Amish country, build a simple green house made of cork and recycled bottles, and farm my own food. But I also don't want to be disconnected from the world at large. Globalization has had many harmful effects, but it helps us better connect to our suffering brothers and sisters. Genetically modified food might be inferior for me, but may provide food to someone who has none.

I don't know what the answers are, but taking small steps is pushing me in the right direction (I hope).

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Patriotism ala Switchfoot

Entropy and Aching
Where have we been aiming?
Everything is fading out, fading out
We are the faded, splitted, and sedated
Everything is fading out, fading out

A pledge allegiance to a country without borders, without politicians
Watching for my sky to get torn apart
We are broken, we are bitter
We're the problem, we're the politicians
Watching for our sky to get torn apart
C'mon and break me
C'mon and break me

Switchfoot, "Politicians"

Like a puppet on a monetary string
Maybe we've been caught singing
Red, white, blue, and green
But that ain't my America,
That ain't my American dream

I want out of this machine
It doesn't feel like freedom

This ain't my American dream
I want to live and die for bigger things
I'm tired of fighting for just me
This ain't my American dream

Switchfoot, "American Dream"

Sunday, July 01, 2007


On the imprints
Of my unspoken words-
Daring to reclaim
The underneath parts
As I look to You
For hope and
For action.
Waiting for You
To come save me,
Renew my mortal mess
And move beyond.
And yet You move
In such subtle ways
That I cannot see You,
Wrestling with myself
In all the unseen parts.
Where You're moving,
And I'm not,
And that's the way
You want it...