Sunday, November 22, 2009
It is so odd how we see the things we want to see.
You can live in Oxford for months before you notice a homeless person.
You can live for years and never do something to change the brokenness around you.
And I say this as an introspective view... it is so easy for me to do nothing.
Why do you think that we hide from what Jesus called us to? When we are called to the least of these, why is it that we forego our cross and tiptoe away? I used to believe it was due to my own laziness. It is simply easier to care about only myself.
Yet, I discovered something else tonight. The starting point is not my own selfishness. Underneath the self-interest, there is a deep fear of loving someone other than myself. To show that I care, to be vulnerable... it opens to the probability of making mistakes. There is something terrifying about talking to older, homeless men for an hour. The question always runs through my mind, "What do you really want?" Each person wants to be recognized as a human being... not some lower class write-off. At the same time, I want to be recognized as a human being also.
And, perhaps that is the irony of loving people. We all just want to be humanized again. And only Jesus' love poured out from people willing to pick up their crosses can do this.
Maybe that is why I find it so easy to disengage from the pain around me.
The path that Jesus walked was hard.
But also beautiful.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I wrote this last week on a scrap of paper at a local cafe...
Right now I am sitting with two lovely friends in Georgina’s coffee shop, a hidden treasure within Oxford’s Covered Market.
There is nothing quite so wonderful as sipping on a creamy cup (frosted in whipped cream) when you are laughing with such enjoyable friends. The Beatles playing in the background. The tap tap of computer keyboards. Bleak House criticisms spread out over the wooden table. Red and nearly obnoxious pink walls. A decoupaged ceiling. I love it here.
Just thought I'd share that with you.
PS - This is my friend Kate, who is fabulous. She has such a wonderful sense of humor and reminds me of Andrei as a childhood friend. Here we are sharing nachos (which, from what I can tell, are a RARE delicacy in England.) These were good. Not Mexican by any means... but good. Also, notice in the picture above that Kate is attempting to steal my drink. Shameless...
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Just a quick addition to the last post:
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Such a hilarious, wonderful morning.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
This is the amazing trip of midterm break! Will post more photos soon. (Soon is a completely ambiguous word.)
Another post of my grand adventure last Sunday. Sabbaths are wonderful.
Okay. Here is the post I have promised.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sabbath, 20/9/2009 Record
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Right now, I am in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. It is beautiful. Rows and rows of books. I feel like Belle in Beauty and the Beast. This is a piece of paradise for me.
I cannot even dream of where to begin on relating what I love about being here.
Assuredly, I should begin with the people I am privileged to live with. Such a fantastic group of brilliant individuals. My favorite moments of time are the durations spent after dinner with a group of philosophizing intellectuals, discussing God and who He is. I love that these aren't the classic, quote the Bible verse speech that we hear in church. These are hard questions... questions that arouse debate... questions that spark other ideas. We were discussing the idea of perfection last night. Heaven is never said to be perfect... and that leads to what do we know of afterlife anyway? Then one might ask if perfection is a stagnant word. What if perfection was a continuing process? Would that then be tied to time and space? Somehow that led to what infallibility means and language and then God's presence (or absence.) As you can see, it can be hard to tear oneself away from these deep conversations. I thrive off these hours.
I have a friend here - perhaps I will get a picture to post someday - who challenges my thought pattern in every way. Christo, strangely enough, dreams of building a school in an impoverished country. Not necessarily living there, but building it nonetheless. Ironic. My greatest dream also, except that I wish to live there among the people. But, Christo keeps challenging my world view, which I find refreshing.
On to another subject. Food groups!
We have established a new system for eating hot meals four nights a week. (Excellent!) We have named our group of thirteen members the "Hungry, Hungry Hippos," which sounds most becoming, does it not? You can reference my picture with Grant and Bryce previous for my team. They want our mini-team to be named "Mia's Minions." I refuse that name. I believe that "Kamikazees" suits us better. We made (successfully) homeade pizza for all thirteen hippos last night. It was delicious. (And not too hard!)
Saw my first hedgehog ever two nights ago, when I purchased my bicycle. Thought it was a strange sort of weed initially, but then it moved! Gracie would be thrilled.
Went to the farmer's market and covered market today. Next week I will buy duck eggs; they are cheaper than chicken eggs. Got port cheese for 2 pounds.
So, I must away to my "Robin Hood" case study paper. Did you know that Robin, in reality, was most likely a terrible rogue that pillaged and plundered for his own betterment? Sadly so. But I am arguing that the fact does not overshadow the truth. The legend of Robin will live on beautifully!
Got to seize the day!
Monday, September 14, 2009
So, went to London on Saturday as an optional field trip. If I didn't realize in San Francisco how much I dislike the booming city, I needed to experience London. Crowds... everywhere. But, it was so worth it to dash through a smidgeon of The National Gallery. There is nothing quite like standing before Michelangelo's work in awe of its resplendency. Can words truly express the unreality of that moment?
Cannot wait to go back to the British Museum and the Gallery. My friend, Christo, says that he and I will go catch a Shakespearean play, hostel it, and go touring the Museum and Gallery. I am beyond thrilled.
Sunday: went to church at St. Andrews. Two Asian families then thwarted my plans to escape without notice. They asked me my nationality and promptly invited me to dinner within their homes later. Amazing what diversity within a human can do.
Then I backpacked like forty pounds of groceries around Oxford. Good practice for our trip, Mark.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009