Arise

Friends!

I find myself back in the United States, far north of Chile, and feeling closer to the North Star, my Jesus, my Guide to freedom. Home but not really home (I am a nomad, you see, a life time wanderer).

Below are three poems and 4 passages of Holy Scripture. Please embrace the figurative language of my pieces. I do not make attacks or write with intention of polarizing, I tell my story.

May you find your story in mine.

Lydia Nomad

 

Jesus: Does no one condemn you?

No, Master.

Jesus: Neither do I. Go on your way. From now on, dont sin.

 

My Experience of Being White

 

To be white is to be told you are bad

to believe you are bad

to know you are bad

to protect your badness

to project your badness.

 

To be white is to bleed the same color as the sunset

to die like leaves in autumn

to be crushed and ground into the earth

to provide nourishment for new life.

 

To be white is to live again though you have died.

 

Lord, if you will, make me clean.

Jesus: I will; be clean.

 

Life

My life is short

but I am very good

so its okay.

 

Jesus: Your sins are forgiven you. Rise and walk.

 

Gospel?

Your sins are forgiven” is enough to be Gospel

when its the closest youve come to You are good.

 

Then God looked over all (S)he had made, and (S)he saw that it was very good!

 

 

 

Ode To My People

Ode To My People

 

Rationality is me seeing what I see

and not saying otherwise.

To say is to be brave;

for to say is to admit that you are not happy

in a system where the meter of your happiness provides true indication of belovedness.

 

This is the system of my heritage and it demands Truth or belovedness, but finds their coexistence to be

a confounding impossiblity.

 

If this system is true

then I am unloved and unhappy,

(though I often feel both loved and happy)

because this is what I see and must speak:

 

Dehumanizing declarations made at Thanksgiving and families move yet further away from unity

Original land owners herded like cattle and eighteen year olds commit suicide on the eve of high school graduation

Women with ebony eyes disappear along with elephants and no one says if either one is important

New neighbors forced into corners of lives spent with hands red and bruised from tearing frozen

chicken breasts

 

Little feet and necks swell with flesh and with every click Coca-Cola makes millions

Men have bad dreams of the children they killed beneath a red flag

Ebenezer Scrooge lives in privileged pockets, sewn with the blood of Taiwanese factory workers,

just $7.99 at Old Navy

The final chapter of the Biology textbook goes untaught and lives of girls without options

grind to a halt

Twelve year olds are hustled across state borders like sacks of cocaine

Girls are touched in taxis and under tablecloths

Boys get shot in the street

 

Candy wrappers fly out of open windows and choke sea turtles

Concrete eats the grass

Earth´s belly heats up and casts religious people out of their homelands

Ice melts and Santa Claus will show up soon; a wintery work shop disrobed by our insistence on a 66 degree house year around

Regions suitable for cultivating vineyards move from North to South and still the planet is unchanging;

She is wrong about her own health

 

Irrationality is expecting the blind to see

the way I see.

 

Sight is a gift:

a gift that weighs on souls,

shaking the burden too long left on the shoulders of the beloved Underdog:

firstborn of the Christ.

 

This is the system of my heritage and it demands Truth or belovedness; but I dance

in their coexistence.

Truth is, I find myself beloved.

 

Woe to you!….For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. (Luke 11:46)

Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the prophets. (Luke 6:24-26)

Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways. (Luke 3:5)

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty & Sexuality

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The story of why I cut my hair starts with yesterday (the seed of today):

Yesterday I experienced & incarnated Divine beauty. The invitation went something like this:

touch some sacred places within you and know that you are profoundly gorgeous.

You are woman: wondrously alive and unified with the Earth.

 

That was yesterday.

 

Today I hear afresh the bullhorn of unjust division between men & women, along with a

gospel of mutual objectification. Corruption crawls in one side of my psyche and the

beauty that was the gospel of yesterday becomes a ball and chain–a temple of limitation soaked in the blood

of everyone whose hair isn’t blonde and whose chest isn’t robust.

 

What this new (to me) culture called my kingdom quickly became an instrument of handicap. The reduction of my being into a body, a butt, blonde hair, chafed at me–rubbing me raw. I

felt myself turning on a spit amidst jeering humans with balls & chains of their owns. Pieces

of my flesh dripped grease into the fire as they pulled me apart–nothing but a morsel on their tongues. Women worldwide are seen (and see ourselves) as consumables; my race cut in two like the skin we all rip to enter this world

The same charade plays in my country, but new perspective brings fresh heart break, and a

hunt for Divine invitation here: (the way, Truth, and life of) how to evolve.

 

….Jesus showed me the face of ardent rebellion: women who have been in this fight longer

than I. My classmate with cropped hair under a boys cap, accustomed to the jeers yet still

fiercely female, playing for years with no checkmate, she called me wordlessly to leave my

own kingdom of beauty behind.

 

My soul heard hers call me out of the enemy’s bed, into the rebellion. I jumped. I blinked and

knew that what I did had been essential: that there are no exceptions, no part of me that can

maintain allegiance to the lies. There is no looking back. There is life and death and I choose LIFE.

Life with the side-lined. Outcasts. Humbled Ones. Marginalized. Homeless. Single Mothers. First Nations. Scapegoats of our societies. Fortresses in my own soul.  Life against the odds.

 

I choose to fight relentlessly against sexist, racist, dehumanizing ideologies while loving

radically those who hold to them.

 

As one being we long for freedom.

We long as one because we came from One & are journeying together.

Redemption is written into every story;

I learned from this jump that my sexuality is more than an act or a crass word. My sexuality is

a fierce desire to survive, to evolve for the sake of abundant life in any context.

 

This haircut is the external symbol of my internal evolution: this is Truth incarnate.

 

The Lord lives and blessed be my rock and exalted be the God of my salvation….yes, you have exalted me above those who rose against me; you rescued me from the man of violence. *Psalm 18:46 & 48b*

 

¿Porqué corté mi pelo?

Hay dos partes en la historia: la belleza y mi sexualidad.

Cuando me mudé a temuco, chile de una pequeña ciudad en el sur de los estados unidos me di cuenta de una división muy profunda entre los géneros. Una división en la cual mis lágrimas nadaban porque de la pena de estar vista sólo como un cuerpo: pelo rubio y nada más. Me sentía como un objeto como resultado de la diferencia entre esta cultura y la mía. No es peor acá, simplemente es diferente y más fuerte y me costó cuando caminaba por las calles y escuchaba las voces de trabajadores y hombres normales.

Me sentía como carne en un circulo de hombres con hambre, con ganas comer lo que soy. Pide a mi Dios(a) una perspectiva nueva, una manera para sobrevivir y evolucionar en este contexto nuevo. No pude creer (ni quería creerlo) que mi sexualidad podía ser nada más que un acto, que dibujos y fotos encontradas en el internet.

Entonces vi una compañera de mi clase y su pelo cortito me inspiró: ella luchaba en esta guerra antes de mi tiempo acá y ella tenía la sabiduría y la fuerza mantener su propio estilo sin tener en cuenta las opiniones tristes y malas. Sabía que seguir su ejemplo valiente era mi senda, el próximo paso en mi evolución personal. Así corté mi pelo.

Unas personas no me han respetado desde lo corté y la mayoría no han entendido. Pero hay un poco…un grupo pequeño que me apoyaba, que entendía, y ellos cambiarán esta cultura, este mundo. Porque sus mentes están abierta, sus corazones están suave y porque siempre eligen la esperanza y la libertad personal y no pierden una oportunidad de ver por los ojos de una otra persona.

Si no seguimos luchando, creyendo, esperando un mundo mejor, viviremos sin la energía divina que es necesario para disfrutar llenamente cada día de nuestras vidas maravillosas.

Lucharé contra ideologías deshumanizadoras sin recreo pero amaré a la gente quien cree en esas ideologías radicalmente; es posible hacer los dos al mismo tiempo, lo sé.

 

Por mas difícil que sea un objetivo, siempre exista una manera de superar los obstáculos….Si permanece esperando el momento ideal, nunca saldrá del lugar; es preciso un poco de locura para dar el próximo paso. El guerrero usa un poco de locura. Porque en la guerra y en el amor, no es posible preverlo todo.
*Paulo Coehlo, Manual del guerrero de la luz*

 

¡El Señor vive! ¡Alabada sea mi roca!
    ¡Exaltado sea Dios mi Salvador!
Tú me libras del furor de mis enemigos,
me exaltas por encima de mis adversarios,
    me salvas de los hombres violentos. *Salmo 18:46 & 48b*

 

 

 

 

I Am & I Hope

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Born to be creative, freed by the Truth to pursue life in the trails I blaze through this globe-jungle.

Who am I? is a question I ask myself every day and then smile at the obstinate refusalof my soul to respond simply. I am not simple. I am big. I am not defined by the color of my skin, by my heritage, by what I know or do not know, experience or do not experience. I am me, I am. I am lost in I AM. I am a wide network of dynamic relationships, ideas, and memories. I will not be stifled. I am gratitude and I am the tears of the ones I love.

I spend my days in expectation of the unspeakable Divinity which is faithful to bestow a timely spark on my dry wood. Then, as ashes, my substance travels the invisible current of our atmosphere to the wildest corners of our world; may I land where hope is needed and may I be loyal to her, Hope, the North Star of my very being.

I bow my head to the women whose voices are strengthening me, whose hard-earned beliefs keep me company, keep me grounded in the soil of my God & teach me that I am never away from my loved ones, nor am I ever unloved.

Enjoy the quotes, friends. Thanks for reading.

Lydia Nomad

 

I once heard that there is enough food in the world to feed all the hungry children. It is not a lack of resources; it is simply a lack of will. When I think about what I have hoarded or held onto because of fear, it causes me great grief. I want to walk, eat, pack, and work with an open and trusting heart. For I have learned that when my heart is open to the world, my vision is transformed, and I am able to see family where I once saw strangers and opportunities to heal where I once saw obstacles to joy. –Becca Stevens

 

We have been treating the earth as if it were a supply house and a sewer. Weve been  grabbing, extracting resources from it for our cars and our hair dryers and our bombs and we have been pouring the waste into it until it is overflowing. But our earth is not a supply house and a sewer. It is our larger body. We breath it, we taste it, we are it, and it is time now that we venerate that incredible flowering of life that takes every aspect of our physicality.–Joanna Macy

 

“No hay paz sin justicia,

no hay justicia sin equidad,

no hay equidad sin desarrollo,

no hay desarrollo sin democracia,

no hay democracia sin respeto a la identidad y

dignidad de las culturas y los pueblos”.–Rigoberta Menchú

 

 

Love Now, For Always

 

Nothing is forsaken since love seeps through

Shallow graves and dead stumps.

We weep for blights and injustices,
But even if we hung up our lyre,
The bluebirds and yellow­bellied sapsuckers
Sing for the weary, “There is love after death.”
–Becca Stevens

Patagonia & Hopeful Humanity

What is this mysery?

Frozen piece of earth,

with lives huddled together on its slender finger turned toward Antarctica.

Who are these mysteries?

Long eyebrows and faces pressed together even in the streets, asking me questions and hesitantly demonstrating the English that was handed to them in high school.

Who am I amidst these mysteries?

…These were questions I asked myself as I drove for hours to reach Coyhaique, a city in Patagonia. I never imagined myself so close to the turning of the globe, to the tip of South America!

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I was there for four full days and experienced the rich culture within the Chilean family of my friend and hosts. The past 3 weeks here in Temuco have been challenging. Trying to figure out communication, how to be me, how to thrive regardless of what goes on around me, all when I don’t know how to take out the trash or what the hell to eat…phew! Culture adjustment is a whirlwind: life with Chile up until my time in Coyhaique had been more of a wrestling match than a love affair.

Then I breathed some mountain air & sat in the fire light of an accepting and warm culture.

My soul exhaled.

When my soul exhales, I tend to write poems 🙂 Enjoy, dear ones.

 

The Taste of Human Hope

 

Life in Chile has a cheesecake flavor,

every bite silk against the tongue, chased by purple wine.

 

Housekeepers and brooms twirl in kitchens,

radios playing the tune of each caramelo swirl.

 

Mamás and Papás, grandmas and their babies tuck themselves into corners

while the whole thing stops for lunch.

 

Children bounce between gentle arms:

the community choreographs an artistic ritual of mild annoyance.

 

Birds with dry rubber bands in their throats ride updrafts to the base

of mountains bigger than I have seen before, as dogs nobody owns sniff my skirt hem.

 

Weak orange street lights draw lines in the evening haze,

dull silver knives massaging cheese and sweet sauces onto fresh buns.

 

Behind curtains cheeks are kissed, tables set with white clothes, tea cups, and small spoons,

weapons against the agitation of winter.

 

It seems that Chileans fight the frigidity I feel with sparks of loving invitations to dinner,

by tenderly cutting their salami and cheese sandwiches in half.

 

Tall trees frame the moon with crusty silhouettes. Under the clouds, in front of the velvet sky,

the star Love gave me winks mischievously.

 

Esperanza, Hope;

I am a child yet she is my winter light daughter.

 

Let us lie in the arms of one another,

first born of each other,

 

as I stand amidst the cold night air

and you pin back the blackness.

 

 

 

Hugs & hope,

Lydia Nomad

Poem Full of Hope

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She carries her cross, terrified and fully aware of surrounding and indwelling dissonance;

she knows she was made for more, a more she knows nothing of, which makes her ache with hope and agony.

 

Terrified, she treads deeper into the forest landscaped with fear and uncertainty.

She carries her cross because she needs more to live for.

 

Children who have yet to see the forest edge, for them she carries her cross.

While they can’t muster hope she, terrified, touches one more toe down.

 

She carries her cross, brown-eyed and unstable.

Terrified, the woman is Jesus, come back to lift the poor from the hopeless heaps we’ve put them in.

 

 

Me For Me

These words are about the healing and growth I am undergoing and what that is bringing about in my life. Next post will be about how exactly the 31 days of Her Voice has intensified this process. Enjoy 🙂

 

Everything is different now that I get to have me, and

see through the eyes I was born with, no one else’s.

 

A world of invitation and delight orbits just outside my domain,

without whisper of exclusion.

 

Having me is eating and tasting food for the first time,

it’s looking in the mirror and knowing that I am that.

 

It’s dancing wildly without a thought for who is around,

it’s being with loved ones and then being completely alone.

 

It’s one boat leaving the dock and another pulling up alongside

It’s a journey I can’t un-take

 

 

Who is she?

This wild woman with Tarzan arms that have climbed trees in Puerto Rico, held children, cooked Indian curries,

shook hands, written essays, braided hair, drafted budgets, wrapped around the body they’re attached to.

The wild woman who holds herself and stands on no feet but her own.

Who creates spaces where others can breath, where long-dormant hearts can beat again.

 

Once you see you can’t unsee.

Once you feel you can’t unfeel.

 

There are magical children around me. Some are adults but most are young, not so long out of the womb that they have forgotten the Spark they sprang from.

When I ride in the car with these kids, climb rocks with them, blow bubbles with them, read books with them, something extraordinary happens.

Over time a space is created. I imagine wind drawing a circle between us, its gusts creating a vortex of safety, peace, love, and acceptance.

Some kids hear the whisper quicker than others but it is there for all: Everything you are has a place. And by sheer Heaven-wizardry that message brings out hearts and puts smiles on faces. It’s like camels just come to an oasis.

Hearts start to show like turtle heads peeking out from under shells. Words I can’t yet voice, about things I haven’t begun to comprehend,

do their life-giving work in this space. All that I feel I cannot do for the children starts to do its work.

With me, but also without me.

 

In me something is happening.

My interior is a wide expanse with hay that sways in the breeze rather than the barren land it once was.

As restoration roots within me it creates a sacred spin around me; rearranging the souls that I overlap with, gentle licks of ocean against sand.

I sense that it is less an hour glass and more the mysterious layer of cinnamon particles carried by winds that, over time, shape the sand dunes.

 

There is no sense to be made of what goes on in and around me. To put language to it is a fun, sometimes useful, challenge.

To enjoy it in all its delicious mystery is the only mandate. It’s more of an invitation.

 

Do you believe in an endless love?

31 Days of Her Voice

If I could put one word to my 2016 journey so far I would choose sight. Recently I changed my Instagram bio (what else marks transcendent realizations about ones’ path?), now it reads: Born blind. By poetry I see.

I have been shedding old, restricting ways of seeing and gaining new eyes. Maybe it is that my two eyes are becoming one in Faith as I explore contemplation and a more unified soul. I’m not sure exactly, but it has become an unraveling process. As I have begun to see in new ways,  I am seeing much that I have previously neglected to see. The interweaving of liberation ideals and personal experience is churning within me. I feel that the underbelly of things is emerging in my consciousness and my what lovelies are creeping out of the corners.

“All the liberating prophetic visions must be deepened and transformed to include what was not included: women.”~Sexism and God-Talk, page 32

Thanks to some great voices (see this post ) I am coming to see women.

Because I have come to see myself, I cannot stop seeing women.

Because I long to love the girls around me, patriarchy’s lies are losing their grip in me.

“…what does promote the full humanity of women is of the Holy, it does reflect relation to the divine, it is the true nature of things, the authentic message of redemption and the mission of redemptive community.”~ Sexism and God-Talk, Ruether page 19

In my life today, promoting the full humanity of women looks like a 31 day challenge. (Challenges are often catalysts for growth in my life, as this blog has testified for years). For the next 30 days (starting yesterday) my media in-take will be strictly female voices. Books, podcasts, music, blogs. Those are the only types I consume on a regular basis and this is a pretty radical change for me, as I receive e-mails and devotions from men as well as subscribe to podcasts dominated by masculine voices. I love those men and their voices. They have blessed me deeply. To hear something different is my path today.

I’m excited! How much am I not seeing that I will develop eyes for in the days to come? What will I find the collective female voice saying?

Further in, friends! Tales (and no doubt music/book recommendations) from the challenge trail to come.

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Looking for More Than Scars

I escaped into Arkansas wilderness today, despite the rain, because I needed poetry and a deep breath of the holy (whole) God I have come to know. Tramping over a creek I looked down and saw watery patterns.

Where is Jesus in this? I thought, and saw a pattern of stripes.

Bloody ones on the back of a man that prompted me to remember a verse about Jesus being pierced for my “transgressions”. Then I quickly backtracked mentally as that train of thought began to unravel the healing work I been faithfully cultivating.

Phew.

Looking for the scars is not doing much for me.

I’m tired of my faith centering around an act of violence.

If redemption stops at violence then this story isn’t any different from the last and, oh, how I need a new story.

19 For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19 NLT)

Tell me, please, that

There was “good” before there was death

and

There was descent for the sake of ascent* (rather than for the necessity of endless chaos, as my childhood fears–and the childhood fears of many fundamentalist religious leaders, it seems–would propose**)

 

Maybe you need to hear a story of death

Where you may be lowered

Perhaps your ego needs a jolt & a bit of righteous de-centering will help you find your true center

 

Today, that is not my story. (I know that our will is made to be broken.)

Today, that isn’t the Gospel I need. (I know that blood is necessary for cleansing–what woman doesn’t?)

My soul won’t come out to play for anything less than a story that offers me the chance to have a “center”, to regain the hiding parts of me.

So tell me the story, instead, of the Essence that got so excited to know & be known that

it belched a ballad with me right in the middle.

 

Tell me the story of a girl who wasn’t born to suffer;

whose oceanic depth is mysterious on purpose.

Voices are starting to welcome me into this story–words of women who write and speak with a confidence I don’t yet have (Jen Hatmaker, Rachel Held Evans, Opal Tometi, Sarah Bessey, Rosemary Ruether, Maya Angelou, Sojourner Truth);

women who aren’t stopped by the patriarchal language of a tradition they have found Truth in (though very bothered by the problem of patriarchy).

Their vulnerability makes Truth more accessible to me:

 

I have my own quiet sorrows, of course, but they are mostly common sorrows; and joy, especially the everyday quiet joy of loving and being deeply loved, has been mine in abundance.” ~Sarah Bessey, Jesus Feminist (140)

 

Why didn’t anyone tell me that before?
My shocking stories of abuse,

hands of cruelty that still reach from the dream world and shake me awake:

those hands aren’t as strong as they seem.

Snippets of Sarah Bessey’s experiences, honestly conveyed in her book, Jesus Feminist, are one way my heart is hearing a message she never before believed could be true.

Let me see through your eyes, sis.

Her story shuts me up:

Oh, how good it is to be silent,

to hear instead of chaos the deep truths of joy, love, daily grace.

How good it is when women who know their belovedness aren’t silent.

(These are the words of God, and they find success in the lives of the women who have forgotten the belovedness that birthed them. They find success in my life.)

How good it is to entertain the idea that there is an ever-clean shore, and

thousands of arms upholding the daughters who, day after day, watch-wait-hope to see healing break the horizon line.

For me, this is news worth searching the creekbed for. This is Gospel.

Check the drama at the door: I’ve had enough and I will shake the expectation of its return.

This is the other story and it isn’t tumultuous or violent;

it tells me of an unjeopardized, completely accessible wholeness.

The Gospel of Jesus’ fullness: today’s liberation and bread of Life.

And there’s more as her bold words uncover hidden hopes:

“.…women who have been abused rising up in strength to lead us all….” ~Sarah Bessey, Jesus Feminist (149)

Mother Teresa. St. Clare of Assisi. Rigoberta Menchú. Christine Caine. Opal Tometi. Becca Stevens. Deb. Rosario. Jan. Countless others leading in their own ways, big and small. If they matter I do too. My footsteps fall amidst theirs and if they can climb the mountain to wholeness, so can I. Together we can win bigger. For me that victory starts today, it starts at the feet of these women as they stroke my hair and bid me to take heart. I am humbled by their Grace and mothered by their legacies. My gratitude is all I have to give for this life–for this tiny, sacred role I get to play in the story–and I will give it as a thank-you-mark at the sentence-end of each exhausting day.

 

“For I believed then, as I know now, that we are meant for love.”~Sarah Bessey, Jesus Feminist (142–I’m putting page numbers because I SO want you to read this book–at least look up the quotes. Please?)

 

This is the Truth, the message of Jesus’ beautiful, coming Kingdom. (I’m retraining my ears to hear its’ soft footstep).

Though the thumbprints of patriarchy still leave smudges on the language Jesus’ people use for a better world,

I give myself to Kingdom.  

Because it is so good for us all, and we need it desperately.

An existence of Love, for Love.

 

The feminist scholars whose teachings I am deliberately choosing to sit under are bringing to memory the candles lit by women in my life. Sparks, small and persistent, that have brought me out of the shadows. Just some examples….

Brianna who dared to love the angry, confused, proud, and fearful child I once was. Who risked forgiveness as seeds of a fresh start.

Jan, gentle & kind, never using her words to jab me or make a point, soft to her core. Present and available without insistence. Carefully respectful of every person she makes contact with. Her tears are her testimony over a dinner of flaky fish and a rainbow of veggies, and the index cards on her fridge make me a little less afraid of the Bible.

Rosario who cries in front of the class semester after semester as Powerpoint slides tell tales of systemic oppression against her own people: female and native, ongoing since humans learned to speak. Who doesn’t harden or bristle when arrogant students expose bigotry during class but faithfully leads her flock through the stories and argues with stagnant faculty members in both English & Spanish.

Heather who wrestles faith as heartily as she struggles with every day challenges of the business world. Who invites and beckons and keeps firm boundaries up while slipping hundreds of dollars into the hands of her hopeful daughters who dare ask for help.

Meghan and Emily, friends who tell me that my healing journey isn’t easy for any of us

but who beg me not to walk any other path;

who I know will be waiting anyway, always–no matter what.

 

There’s an army here that I haven’t dared to see, but now, as the fog of fear lifts, I can’t help but acknowledge. They’re women. They’re mothers of the Queendom of God. I stand on their shoulders and I’m going to touch Heaven.

 

Let my life be see-through.

Let my love be genuine.

Let me, at the very least, give it my best.

 

To honor the women who have gone before

To honor those I have forgiven

To honor the me inside of me (who I repent of mistreating)

To honor the earth beneath our feet we often forget to respect

To offer higher shoulders to the younger sisters

 

Let grace settle on the forest floor of my heart, with roots pushing deeper and deeper into dirt. A wood of love & hope–never-dying trees–is growing in me as I evolve,

as poetry tunes my ear to hear the new story, the real story of an upside-down reality:

that I was not made to suffer, but for Love.

 

The dancing moments when my ankles and knees fly past one another

The ecstatic yelps

The deep breathes of cinnamon-y scents in the kitchen on Christmas

The curly locks slipping through the teeth of my lucky hair pick

The intimate jokes robed in laughter

The essays that take days to write

The ideas that still elude language

6 mile hikes in the rain, shoes squelching through muddy ruts

Peaceful conversations on slow mornings

Adventures filled with discovery;

Community and closeness with others I have only yet heard whispers of….

 

This is the Gospel I need.

This is what persists.

The stone rolled away for this, for me, for us–as a family. 

 

Women still locked within the lies, know this, my sisters, my loves: those lies will lose their hold. God is coming. Her people are rising up. It won’t be long. In the meantime, Immanuel is with you.

 

There is an alternate story and hope for the next life is not where it stops–that is where it begins. The story isn’t about a man dead on a cross. It’s about life after the stone rolled away. It’s the wonder and awe, not the wounds, that we march towards. Watch as the next life comes closer and becomes more real, more new, more now than you dared to imagine.

Let my hopeful voice join the ensemble of women whose struggles are the struggles of our cosmos,

whose bold examples are North Stars pointing me towards the Jesus no hurt can chase away, whose stories hush my hopelessness.

 

Mine is the story of a girl born blind,

whose God gave her poetry,

whose poetry gave her eyes.

 

Just a little bit more free (from those haunting, misused verses about violence that echo childhood voices still stuck to our brains),

just a tad more alive,

just a couple steps deeper in.

The drip of everyday Love and faithfulness are

eroding granite,

shaping a new path for humanity, a path each of us is invited to walk.

 

 

 

*http://www.chabad.org/theJewishWoman/article_cdo/aid/335943/jewish/Chavah-Mother-of-All-Life.htm/mobile/false

**http://robbell.podbean.com/e/episode-86-richard-rohr-and-the-alternative-orthodoxy/