Tuesday, November 1, 2016

let's just see what comes



I don't know why November is the month for mustaches and writing, but that's what it is. And pumpkin and turkey, as my nieces and nephews are now calling Thanksgiving. I am not growing a mustache and I can't think ahead far enough to know what my plans will be on Thanksgiving. I am taking one day at a time these days. And now, committing to write one day at a time. I've always regretted not doing nablopomo (that's national blog posting month, for those of you not in the know). It feels important this month because I've been losing track of a lot of things, including some of my friends, my email inbox, my sanity and my writing.

I actually hadn't been planning on doing this until just now, so I haven't really thought about what I'm writing in this post, or if I should stick to a theme this month. Let's just see what comes.

Here is what's going on right now: There is music playing from my speakers and pumpkin muffins cooling on a white wire rack in the kitchen. The light outside my window is going faint while a small bright flame flickers in the candle on the table at my side. Just the other day, I dug the thick purple blanket my mom knit out of the basket next to my couch, and now it is on the couch next to me. I hope it will be a staple for the weeks ahead. Soon, women will knock at my door and I'll hear the teapot announce the water is ready for tea and we'll all sit with each other expectantly, the way that women who have shared tears and laughter and confusion and all manner of stories do.

I love these evenings of inviting my women (my small group) into my apartment. Part of it is that I love hosting (the candles, the teapots, the muffins), but it's also that I love what the spiritual transactions bring to a place, and vice versa. I've been thinking about the new name I was given in Kenya this summer - they called me "peacemaker." I have to admit, I was disappointed by it at first. The Maasai version is beautiful, but the meaning was underwhelming to me. And is that really me, anyway? Did they get it right? But I have been remembering how many times friends have told me what a calming presence I am, and I have been realizing what strength there is in nurturing peace. A household of peace welcomes, restores, blesses and sends, and if that's what I can do for people, I would be incredibly honored. The Bible speaks over and over of peace as what God intends for his people, and so it must be a good thing, not just the absence of bad but an incredibly powerful presence of something good. To be called to make peace, and to restore places of peace to peoples' lives and cities, even to memories or hopes or desires - that is quite a call.

So tonight, I am embracing it. Tonight, these women and I -- we will sit with one another as the light outside fades, and hope for more light in our hearts, the warmth of the tea we sip perhaps reminding us of the living water we seek - the way it fills every emptiness in us. The way it brings a deep peace to every battered place in us.

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