Friday, February 27, 2009

teeny tiny itty bitty baby mustard seed

I have this class at DePaul that I have written about before, my documentary class....My teacher adamantly denies the existence of Christ and any God. He seems amused mostly that I am a Christian. He makes comments to me and I take the bait every time and respond with a bible quote or a correction on his false assumptions of Christianity and the bible. Its all in fun, but with an undertone of seriousness.
Please pray for him. His name is Greg Scott.
He mentioned in jest once that perhaps he is just waiting for that one person to convince him of the existence of Christ...I told him that its not up to people to CONVINCE him of Christ's existence, its up to him to see it for himself and for God to be revealed.

Last week another student in the class came at me hard because apparently the teacher and my banter back and forth during the class affected her negatively. THere are only like 6 people in this class and its a lab type class we sit around on computers and work on our documentaries independently mostly. So the teacher challenges me often to leave my emotions and beliefs behind and to try to see the world neutrally and allow myself to be surprised and affected without those two things. Sometimes I dont respond to him, because he has so completely judged me to be what he thinks that anything I say is futile. My emotions and God are so inherently a part of me that how do I separate that out? Even when I ignore God or get mad at Him and dont pray or sin repeatedly I know God is there the whole time. The next person that tells me I am too emotional is going to get dropped though, for real. Do people think I don't know that or that this is a new phenomenon no one has ever thought to comment on? Either way, the teacher made me leave class with a video camera and told me to go find a homeless person and have a ten minute conversation with them without using the words happiness, love, Jesus, God, sad, etc.... before I came back.

Have you ever been to Lincoln Park on a Tuesday night at like 7:30pm? Its not a huge stomping ground for the homeless community. After searching for like twenty minutes, I found no one but endless pretentious DePaul students on their way to the gym or the student center. I decided to talk to them. I interviewed about 15 random students about their views on homelessness, what should be done, what they do about it, and if homelessness was a choice or not.

I found out DePaul students are not exactly in touch with reality concerning the homeless population in Chicago. Compassion was not in abundance, not was a tendency for action to help others. People mentioned things like homelessness was a choice that the individual made, most homeless have "mental diseases", there is nothing really that people can do to help because if the government put houses for the homeless in the neighborhood then that would raise the taxes and no one wants that, homeless in Santa Monica are happy because people there buy them dinner and they get lots of money outside of Starbucks, and that people are more concerned about the poor in villages in Africa than the homeless in Chicago. One girl has started learning to knit to send socks to homeless in Kenya but does nothing for the homeless that walk through campus everyday after they are fed at the Vincent DePaul Church.

I went back to class with the video. As I walked in, the class looked up at me and the teacher handed me a large white piece of paper with the words "Question yourself. Question your beliefs. Evil is Holy" scribbled across it. I think I smiled. I sat down at the table in the middle of the room and picked up a pen from the table and began to write my thoughts. My teacher stared at the pen in my hand and told me not to steal his favorite pen and I assured him I was just borrowing it. He laughed and went on to say that if I did steal it he could cut my hand off per the instructions in the Old Testament right? Without blinking, I reminded him that I was CHRISTIAN which meant that CHrist came and died for my sins ammending the old law to be replaced with abundant grace and forgiveness now. He laughed and this girl in the corner groaned audibly. When it came turn for her to present her progress in the class, she was distracted and irritable. Halfway through her informal presentation she declared she was frustrated and thrown off due to the constant talk of religion. Then she whirled around in her seat and stared and me and said with dismay, "Don't you know that Greg (the teacher) is doing this to get to open your mind and question your beliefs and your life?" She said something about closed mindedness or something. I said "I know. I'm fine with that. I respond so he will question his." She went on to say she is just trying to get her graduate degree and doesnt have time for this. Another girl in the class nodded and glared at me. I know I blushed.

I wasnt in class this week due to an emergency at work but I went to the office of my teacher to talk to him. He said I should have been in class because I missed an important discussion. He said he thanked me in front of the class for exhibiting faith. He went on to say that everyone has faith whether it be in science or religion or whatever and that I was a great example of it. And in typical Sarah fashion, my eyes welled up with tears at the compliment. I definitely excused myself before they spilled onto my face but as I walked-ran to the bathroom, I was astounded that I am an example of faith in any capacity. Seriously, I probably only have the faith of the mustard seed which is the smallest seed I KNOW OF!!! (like the bible says). I have weak faith, so weak so pathetic so not consistent ESPECIALLY lately. I am not good at trusting in God or Jesus or myself or my friends or anything and here I was being held up as a testament to faith. God really did use the least of us here.......................

Monday, February 23, 2009

Love the bees and their secret lives......

I believe fully that every little thing just wants to be loved.

Then why is it that we cant all just get it together and work that out?

How do we have all this mess that we have: Marriages breaking up, fathers not loving their babies,war, hatred, pain, depression, tears....

As a human race we have accomplished such ridiculously amazing things, Why cant we just focus some of that energy on love? Loving each other and caring for each other.

There's too much pain in this world, I see it and feel it and its heavy and hard to carry. It weighs on me. Sometimes I want to put it all down and finally rest.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chris part 1

So I am doing my documentary on a homeless man I met a year or so ago. His name is Laddie but everyone calls him Chris. Sometimes, I think that he thinks he is Jesus.

When I told my teacher he said to me, "Sarah, it sounds like you think he is not Jesus."
I affirmed his assumption was true, I did not in fact think this man was Jesus.
My teacher told me to prove he wasnt Jesus.
I stared at him. "Well..." I stammered.
I have nothing. I dont think this man is Jesus, but how can I prove it? How do you prove something?
My teacher is atheist anyway so what am i going to use, BIBLE VERSES? Those dont matter to him anyway.
"Is it because he is homeless, Sarah?"
"No," I said. "Jesus was homeless the first time he came."
"Is it because no one else knows he is Jesus, Sarah?"
"No," I said. "No one knew it was Jesus the first time. Or what it meant that he was Jesus."
I tried to tell him the bible said when Jesus returned he would come on a cloud of light and all believers would be have been raptured but it just didnt work out for me. When someone doesnt believe in all that, it sounds stupid to start witnessing to them with that part.
Im not ashamed of the Gospel (116) but i didnt know how to go about this conversation. My teacher is very.....intimidating and convicted and outspoken but with charm and intelligence. Like how do you witness to someone about the saving power of Christ who does not believe in a higher power at all? He sees Christians as weak I think. He has said that religion is an opiate for the masses and helps them sleep at night being reassured about their ultimate demise. I like him though.

So back to my documentary...

I am interviewing Chris (whose real name is Laddie) because mostly he intrigues me. He is smart, educated, a self proclaimed Christian, white (so access to whatever inherent white privilege he can muster), friendly and talkative, he can use a computer, he loves to read ( he reads like 2 books a week at least). He has the whole bible almost completely memorized. He can spit scripture complete with the address like no one else I know. But he is homeless. Seemingly, by choice....
He says he is happy.
He says God put him out on the street years ago to teach him a lesson. The lesson was that he was being too greedy and taken with material things. Now Chris says he is dead to this world and just living on the street to help the other guys until God calls him home. He thinks that material things are dead and unimportant. He shares everything he has with everyone else. He lives for others.
AND....he is happy. He is always seemingly happy.
Therein lies my problem, my conflict....
He is happy.
Its frickin cold out. He is outside.
He seems to have alot of resources and relationships that could help him get off the street and enter back into society. But he says he chooses not to.

Why would anyone choose to live on the street?
And most important how can he be so happy?

more to come.......................................

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

valentine Pictures, Images and Photos

Love is hard, but beautiful and worth it.
And rare.
I recently have been made aware of the concept of guarding your heart, which is so smart
but how do I get my brain and my common sense to rise up and overcome what has ruled them for so long?
How do I put my heart in its place?

I found this quote the other day, wrote it down and taped it on a big, bright green post it note to the front of my wallet:
"God can subdue your wild heart..."

I sure hope so.

I want a love that heals. A love that is truth. A love that is not scared or fleeting. Love based in integrity and not unanswered questions.

I want a love that comes like the waves of the ocean,
never failing....

As the waves hit the beach they drag out the mess from the edge of the sand,
with each tumbling, white crested wave
the water washes clean a smooth, slate of sand
so fresh and new with possibilities and inspiration
In time, the water will wash away all iniquites and rough spots on that beach
not by force but by the faithfulness of returning and time.

I decided it's worth the wait.

( I am house sitting, they have a private beach, I love to watch the waves)

Monday, February 9, 2009


To not worry seems to take things for granted, to not care.

How many of these things (worry, nervousness, anger, confusion) were so reinforced by my family...

It truly feels great to have cut those ties.

My grandma is the one person in the family I do still speak to and she often tells me that if my "church" knew that I do not interact with my family that they would tell me I am wrong. She tells me God wants me to be close with them and love them and continue to forgive them. I think that is what she wants and in THIS case it also happens to be what God wants. I am not sure my grandma is exactly tuned into the desires of the Lord, but who knows? Maybe she is. God uses all things and people.

I think He does want me to talk to them too.

At what point though.....
When does it become enough? At what point exactly is it ok for me to cut out abusive, neer do well, detrimental people from my life so I can continue to grow in a positive direction?
I extend forgiveness so readily, so easily, so frequently because I understand how seriously ridiculous I am and all the things I do and how desperately I need grace.
But this time, I can't.
I need to work on it.
I have lost that last bit of trust and faith that this "family" cares about me, loves me and is in ANY way concerned for my benefit. They have broken me for what I want to be the last time.

The dysfunctionality of my family, the craziness, the abusiveness, the mental issues, the deceit, the lying, the sneakiness, the mistrust, the neglect,the pain
affects my whole life and how I go about relationships now.
I was talking with a friend last week, or actually NOT talking when I should have and he said to me, "Sarah, if I am your family like you say I am, then act like it." He meant tell him what I am struggling with, tell him what is tearing me apart and be honest about it. He meant trust him.

I thought, I am treating him like family! I am filtering myself and not trusting you and trying to protect myself and acting mean so you dont think I actually do care what you have to say because if you did know, then you would use that power to mess with me and hurt me.

Later, i realized this and told my friend that I didnt think i knew what family really was.
It turned out that he had already figured that out.

When people pray to God as Father, I get lost. I dont have a positive picture of that.
When people talk about the church as our family, I run. I dont have a positive picture of that.

I need to get a camera and take some new pictures.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dont shrink Jesus.

I read other blogs. One I used to read alot but now just check in on super late at night when I cant sleep is This guy writes it and another blog site called (Jon Acuff)I laugh, but most things I dont get because I have only been a Christian for like 2 and a half years and I go to a house church so all the big church humor and youth group antics can be lost on me. But its funny, he's smart and sarcastic = my favorite combo.

But on the 97 seconds website, he wrote a post a while ago that I somehow linked to tonight/this morning and it was good. It said to stop shrinking Jesus. Dont let other people shrink Jesus for you. He is big enough. Big enough for all of this.
and that.

I remember a conversation I had with my friend Mariko back when I wasnt even really a Christian. She told me that God was big enough for what I telling her. I was afraid to come before God because of what I had done. People knew, they were talking, I looked horrible. But she assured me, Jesus was big enough.

I needed that tonight. And this week. And last week actually too.

So much pain i see. So much pain I feel. I want to turn away. I realized tonight that my attempts lately are to harden my heart and turn away. I think this walk is too hard and I am not cut out for this. As a Christian, I have to accept my sensitivity and not stifle it. In the world, I was so tough. I hid and ran and fought and I did me. But as a Christian, I have to take all those feelings and pain and just love and deal with them. READ THESE WORDS: its too hard.

I just look stupid all the time. I cant hide, I cant stifle my feelings, I cant even pretend and put up a front. All thats left is to love and live through it. When people hurt me, I cant get mad and act on that. I mean, I DO but then I have to deal with making it better. I am instantly convicted.
I should change my name to I'M SORRY - i say it so much. And it sucks. Im gonna say it, IT SUCKS.

Before I was a Christian, I got to get by with drinking it off, smoking cigarettes, buying what I wanted, living with my friends, yelling, fighting, having boyfriends and sex and running my life. Now its all gone and I am left with quiet and no distractions.

I try so hard to distract myself. With boys, or thoughts of going back to living the way I was. But I can't.

I look stupid all the time. I want to be alone so bad right now. I want to hide. It hurts more to go through this then around it. I want to harden my heart and get angry.

But I dont want to shrink Jesus. Im not with all this for me, Im with it for Jesus. FOR JESUS.
Jesus is big enough for this walk.
Jesus is worth more than what you do to me and how you make me feel.
Jesus is more than my stupid actions and how I want to hide from them because saying sorry hurts.

This blog is as much for me, as it is for whoever keeps reading this.
Pray for me. Please.