Wednesday, November 17, 2010


There is a lens that I look through to see the world.
What tints or blurs it?
How often do I switch lenses to take another look; a moral check up test just like the eye doctor?

"Here's option one"

click. click.

"And option two"

Last weekend I was looking through pictures I have taken over the past year. I spent extra time on the photos from the Dominican Republic, Camp Selah, and Italy. Memories. Much like the snapshots I have frozen in my brain.

--------------------------------- Faces
------------------------- Moments
--------------------------------- People

They flip like paper in my mind. The world goes on around me. oblivious. loud. But in my head plays a circus of images.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ A child begging for food ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ . . . . . . . . . . . . . [I'm helpless to change his future. Subtle tears gather in my eyes.]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~Broad shouldered Haitians crossing the trash strewn river to reach jobs ~ ~ ~ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .[I will never complain about working again. The tiredness is thick in the air.]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ A chapel full of worshiping students~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ . . . . . .[Chills come over my body. God is here.]

~ ~A two year old Italian smile beaming up at me~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ . . . . [I could stay here forever. I love this girl.]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ My 3 year old Dominican student running barefoot down the dirt path, ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ her mother screaming curses at her from behind. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .[I would take her back with me if I could. God, save her.]

~ ~ ~ ~ The entire Adriatic Sea at sundown before my eyes. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ . . . . . . . . . [How does such beauty exist? I can only smile and breath the sea air]

They do not plague me like a stubborn sickness. They fall like torn pieces of paper, occasionally swept up by a slight breeze. A word. A conversation. A similar image.

They shape me and how I see the world. They help me understand things, and make me question things. My views shift.

"Here's option one"

click. click.

"And option two"

Saturday, November 13, 2010


One of my jobs is to clean the house of a family in South Bend. They are Orthodox Jewish and it's a normalcy for me to be picking up little yamakas and paper with Hebrew scribbled on it. I come to know this family fairly well throughout the last year and a half I've known them. The mom and dad, Devorah and Fareh, have four children under the age of 4. Yoel Aryeh, Shoobey (it's a nick name), Riva, and Yehudah keep me and their mom very busy, and they are joys to be around. I often see and hear things that make me thank God that I get to work for them. A few days ago was one of those times. As I was sweeping the playroom last Thursday I heard a conversation that has stayed with me throughout the week.

The kids had gone to bed, but Yoel Aryeh, the oldest at 4, needed to use the restroom, so after he was done his father was helping him back to his room. He spoke to his son as he led him back to the door:

"Yoel Aryeh I love you so so so so much. How much does Tati love you?"

His little boy responded with sweet childlike confidence:

"You love me so so so so much."

"That's right. I love you so much"

"Mhm. But Tati, HaShem loves me the most."

The beauty of what this small child had just said made me stop and look up. The father was looking at his boy with pride in his eyes and a smile on his face. His son was completely confident that he had his earthly father's love, but he knew that there is One that loves him the most.

the Name

He loves us the most.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Glass Wall

I sit in my room, cross legged on my bed. My heart is heavy. I look at the patterns on my quilt, yet don't see any of their beauty. My mind is everywhere. I'm tired. And I'm alone.

"I should talk to God about all of this..."

I glance up briefly but my eyes quickly go to the floor when I realize I don't have the words right now. My God that was so close to my heart yesterday seems miles away right now. Or is it just me believing that? I can't feel Him today. And today, of all days, is when I just want Him to hold me or at least feel His hope invading my heart.

"Maybe I should just try."

I hold back my words. What if He doesn't show up? I could be left high and dry. Isn't that what happens when you trust or expect something? I don't even attempt to look up now. I decide to risk one word. What harm could that do? I open my mouth as soon as I decide.


It's more of a question than anything. Are you there? Do you hear me? Can you see me? Do you still love me? Why aren't you here right now?


As soon as it leaves my lips I feel the glass wall I put up between me and Him shatter. The glass wall I didn't even realize was there. The glass wall that was broken down with a small hesitant call of His name. It is like the tense sad air I have breathed in all day is pervaded with a rush of relief that is let in by the shattered glass. I don't need the things crashing around me to go away. I just need to know someone is here.

He is here.