Jul 19, 2012

I always have enough

We are sitting in front of the graduate student apartments in the few feet of lawn separating home from sidewalk. Skin drinks in sunlight and vitamin D as we bask in the sunshine that always seems to arrive just in time for finals week.

Two more walk by. Both stop and talk for awhile, sharing stories of what God is doing in their church. Telling us about the faith healings. One leaves, and the other sits, answering the questions my friend is brave enough to ask as I swallow mine.

I'm posting over at Deeper Story today. You can read the rest of the post there.

Jul 17, 2012

welcome home

“Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”

The first time I sit with these people, it is on an old wooden pew in the middle of a sticky, Portland July. It is standing room only for anyone who arrives a few minutes late or has trouble finding parking in the hilly neighborhood that surrounds the white stucco building. Smashed next to friends and strangers, we sing songs I’ve never heard and everyone seems to mean their worship as smiles fill faces glistening with sweat—or maybe it’s the Holy Spirit. The hum of the fans in the aisles blowing warm air over hot bodies are drowned out by voices singing praise to the Lord Most High as multicolored sunlight filters through stained glass.

Today I'm blogging at my church's blog about the new building we, Imago Dei Community, call home. You can read the rest of the post there.

Jul 12, 2012

you're pretty

Sunnies on. Hair in a pomp and pulled back. Sunroof and windows open. I am ready for what awaits me just a few blocks down the road at my crossfit box.

The light turns red, and I slow to a stop. In the waiting I hear the growl of a motorcycle. I glance over my right shoulder and investigate.

"You're pretty," he growls at me from astride his bike.

My heart sinks, but I know how this is supposed to go, so I smile politely and say, "thank you," knowing he doesn't understand; hoping thank you is enough.

"Boyfriend?" he asks.

My heart sinks lower because I choose not to lie, even though it would probably shut him up. "No," I say, polite smile frozen on my face.

"We should go out sometime," he says, inching his bike forward, anticipating my reply.

My heart drops. I fight the anger and the violation, polite smile still stuck on my lips as I shake my head and say, "No thank you."

The light turns green, and I am grateful for a way out.

My workout is a welcome distraction. The sweat pours down my face as muscles strain and push and pull as the growl of his motorcycle and the growl of his voice are pushed from my mind.

But it doesn’t change the freefall of my heart.

It doesn’t change the desire to scrub the encounter off my skin as I rinse sweat away in a post-workout shower.

It doesn’t change the ache of wanting something true, someone true, someone who sees more than blond hair and a pretty face.

The truth is, while some dude on a motorcycle might think he’s making my day, asking me out like that, he isn’t. He is instead affirming the lie that says, “you’re only good for this. You are too much in any other context.” It is a violation of who I am, of how I look, and of what it means to be in relationship with one another, to love one another as we would be loved.

So no, I do not have a boyfriend, and no I do not want to go on a date with you, and yes, I may be pretty, but I am much more than that.

I am made to be loved for more than that.

***Thank you to Emily, who helped me understand all of this in the first place, and to Preston, for raising hell.