Stepping up in the blog world

In an attempt to make my blog presence more prominent and intentional, I’ve moved to a different location.  Please come visit me at:

http://www.ambassadoraroma.com

I hope to build a site that organizes the content better and reflects the diversity of stuff I write/think about.

Hope to see you there!!

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Song of the heart

A quote from the book I just finished:
“In all the many definitions that we have read of love, perhaps one of my favorites is the one that holds: to love is to know by heart the song another’s heart sings and to sing it back to them on the days when they forget how it goes” (Eileen Lindner in Thus Far on the Way: toward a theology of child advocacy”.

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A Walk on the Beach

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A series of Sunrises

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Hold on…

This morning Dr. Moss continued his devotional reflections on Romans 5:3 and the progression of struggle to strength to character to hope. His charge today was to hold on and never give up…because hope is coming. And as he wound up his stories of the struggle for civil rights, working alongside Martin Luther King to dethrone the bullies, he recited the words to the Gospel chorus that we sang last night:

Hold on…just a little while longer
Hold on…just a little while longer
Hold on…just a little while longer
Everything’s gonna be alright

Through choking back tears he said, ” I’ve been holding on for 78 years…” Continue reading

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I wish I was still naive

Last week I had a conversation with a kid who is having a hard time with the realization that bad things might happen to people she loves. Something happened to her and now she knows what she thinks she is too young to have to know…that life is not perfect. And now she has this fear that something will happen to her and her mom will be sad…and she doesn’t like to think about her mom being sad. She told me she wishes she was still innocent and believed that nothing bad will happen. We talked about how she is growing up and has the chance to decide how this information will shape her…will it make her more compassionate to people’s pain or will it make her avoid pain because it hurts too much. Continue reading

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Sacraments and Bathroom Duty

Each day at Taize we had “Bible Introduction” with Brother Pedro.  He took us through the story of Peter, and shared thoughts and reflections on Peter’s life and faith, while making really interesting connections to our life and faith.  On Friday, we read the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet in John 13, and then Brother Pedro asked us to stay in silence for several hours until after lunch when we met with our small groups for discussion.  Shortly after Bible Introduction each day, my small group worked to clean the bathrooms–our job for the week.  So on Friday, after reading and thinking about the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet and Peter’s reaction to that, I cleaned the bathroom in (almost) silence with others in my group.  After lunch I sat down with my journal, read the story one more time, and made the following notes/reflections:

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The beauty after the storm

I do not consider myself a brilliant photographer.  But I am envious of brilliant photographers, and every now and then make my own feeble attempt.  So when I woke up on the last morning at Taize, and saw that the campus was covered in an incredible fog that I don’t see in the States, I decided to go on a walk and intentionally try to capture the wonder of a morning after the rain.  Here are the highlights:

2013-06-09 01.39.11 2013-06-09 01.39.46 2013-06-09 01.45.26 2013-06-09 01.46.49 2013-06-09 01.48.42 2013-06-09 01.53.50 2013-06-09 01.54.39

 

So I’m sure there’s some analysis that could be done about the power of the storm, the cleansing of rain, the freshness of the morning after, and all of that.  But let’s leave that for another time.  For now, perhaps it’s enough to appreciate the beauty without trying to make it MEAN all this other stuff.

 

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Reach Out and Touch

A memorable song from when I was a kid had these words in the chorus: “reach out and touch somebody’s hand…make this world a better place if you can.” I have since come to realize I think Diana Ross sang the song, but I heard it from the African Children’s Choir, so in my head the song is always sung with the accent of African kids.

Anyway, this morning’s reading in my book “Awaken Your Senses” was about touching Jesus, using the story of the woman with the issue of blood who touched Jesus’ robe and was healed. It’s amazing to me how this book has tied so specifically to my journey to Geneva and Taize. This morning’s reading took me back to Friday night at Taize.

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Waking up at Taize, part 3

As the bells continue their call to worship, I feel myself take deep breaths and exhale slowly, preparing for the rhythms of repetitious singing and periods of silence that are coming. At the beginning of the week it was hard for me to slow down during this prep time. I was too busy watching people, wondering about the behind-the-scenes logistics of these services, watching out for people who caught my interest for one reason or another, wondering what people were thinking, etc. I’m getting better at centering myself–focusing on the cross, the candles, the reading for the day, and my own response to all of these things. Closing my eyes helps me tune out my surroundings and tune in to my inner senses.

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