Tag Archives: story

Andrea Palpant Dilley: Doubt, Flat Tires and the Goodness of God

I first noticed Andrea Palpant Dilley when she shared her testimony in front of our church. That was  sometime in September, four weeks into my new life in Austin. And, I couldn’t help but notice: She spoke like somebody who loved words. I decided right then, I’m gonna make her be my friend

Thankfully, she started a writing group and I jumped on the email list and once a month I get to sit in a circle while she leads a discussion about literary things (and, sometimes, Jesus). I love this lady. (And I don’t think I’ve had to force her into our friendship so that’s a relief.)

I’m also proud of Andrea, whose first book Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubtcame out last month. Her story is fascinating: She spent her early childhood as the daughter of Quaker medical missionaries in Kenya. When her parents left the mission field, she moved to Washington state, began to question God’s goodness as  teenager, and by her twenties had left the church. The memoir is the story of that journey and her eventual return to faith.

I’ve read memoirs about doubt before that were near reflections of my childhood and story: my brother Jason Boyett’s O Me of Little Faith and Rachel Held Evans’ Evolving in Monkey Town. But rare is a childhood like Andrea’s. Her faith experience was braided right alongside the deep suffering of the people her parents served. Her story is fascinating to me because she isn’t responding in any way to an overbearing evangelical culture (as I would expect). Her story is about the problem of suffering and the search for God’s goodness. 

Here’s a bit of our conversation about her book:

Micha: You talk about the Rift Valley in Kenya as being the origin of all humanity, but also the origin of your childhood. Do you think your childhood in a developing country made you even more predisposed to question God’s goodness in the midst of suffering and poverty?

Andrea: Absolutely. In the book I poke fun at the fact that, while most kids my age were playing Pac Man and eating pop tarts after school, I was visiting patients at my dad’s hospital. I spent time with sick people who died the next day. I attended funerals. I watched women wail in public, which was part of the mourning ritual of life in rural Kenya. Even the hospital morgue sat only fifty feet from the front door of our house. So yes, growing up as a medical missionary kid exposed me to more death and darkness than most kids my age would ever be exposed to, living in a western country. And those experiences very much informed my view of the world and my view of God. As a child, I don’t think I fully understood what was going on or why it was significant. But I carried those stories with me over the years. Eventually, as a young adult, they came to bear on my faith crisis.

M: Music also plays a major theme in your book. Good music brings about in you some sort of deep spiritual longing for something that you can’t find the church or even in your personal encounters with God. Do you feel like your coming back to the church carried with it any kind of experience that mirrored what you experienced in music when you were younger?

A: I recently visited some friends up in Dallas and went to church with them at an Episcopal cathedral called Church of the Incarnation. I might as well have been attending worship at an Anglican church in London. The cathedral itself was stunning. The liturgy and music were holy. As I walked forward to take communion at the front of the sanctuary, I passed by the choir, which flanked both sides of the altar space and surrounded me with singing. I felt deeply moved by the experience of hearing those hymns and taking communion beneath the high stained glass windows.

Now that I’m back at church, that kind of high-church liturgy really draws out my longing in the same way that some pop music did when I was a young adult. Maybe I’m getting old and boring, or maybe I’m moving deeper into the reflective spaces of art. Art will always play a part in my faith life. I’m a very tactile person, so I find myself compelled by the ceremonial aspects of faith in practice—the liturgy, the sacraments, the music, all those embodied experiences that speak to the senses. Some people might call it false religion, focusing on icons instead of ideas. But I believe that God engages us through our bodies and through visceral experiences that draw us closer to goodness and beauty and truth. Art is a mark of the imago Dei, the image of God in and around us.

M: The goodness of God– “Mungu yu mwema”– becomes a major theme in this book as you journey through doubt and your departure from the church. God remaining / continuing to be good despite your rejection of him (and despite his apparent rejection of the orphaned children you spent time with in Kenya while in college). What does it mean to you now that “God is so good”?

A: When people ask me what drove me out the doors of the church and then what brought me back, my answer to both questions is the same. I left the church in part because I was mad at God about human suffering and injustice. And I came back to church because of that same struggle. I realized that I couldn’t even talk about justice without standing inside of a theistic framework. In a naturalistic worldview, a parentless orphan in the slums of Nairobi can only be explained in terms of survival of the fittest. We’re all just animals slumming it in a godless world, fighting for space and resources. The idea of justice doesn’t really mean anything. To talk about justice, you have to talk about objective morality, and to talk about objective morality, you have to talk about God.

After that realization, I found myself driven back to the doors of the church. More than that, I realized that I had to think about the problem of good. Why is there any goodness at all in the world? Now that I’m practicing faith again and back at church, I can say with more confidence that “God is so good.” God is the source of justice, goodness, beauty, and art. Evil, injustice, and suffering are just a lack of goodness and a lack of God. That vision doesn’t necessarily answer the question of suffering—I still struggle with it—but it draws me deeper into a positive view of God’s enduring love and goodness. I fight to believe what Julian of Norwich believed, that “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

M: One of the things I appreciate about your story is that it’s not tidy. It’s easy to want a book about doubt to offer a simple answer at the end: This is how to believe! But your story was a journey and even as you come back into the church and find a place for yourself in the Christian story, you’re still journeying and your questions and past are not neatly bound. As you come back to faith in the story, you say that somehow your “doubt was your desire” in a spiritual sense: “To possess the presence of God.” What did that mean for you then? What does that mean now in your faith experience?
 
A: In the book, I tell a story about walking into an Episcopal cathedral in San Francisco one Sunday morning while I was in the middle of my faith crisis. I didn’t know a soul. I sat at the back of the church. When communion started, I went forward, knelt at the altar, took the sacrament, and then watched the priest stretch out his hand to bless me on my head. In that moment, I felt a strong sense of longing for God at the very same time that I felt frustrated with church and ambivalent about faith.

That story really embodies my spiritual journey then, and in some ways, my spiritual journey now. I believe that doubt and faith—rather than standing in opposition to each other all the time—can actually go hand in hand. In Mark 9:24, the father of the demon-possessed child says to Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief.” Flannery O’Connor calls it the foundation prayer of faith. I pray that prayer often. Both then and now, my doubt actually grows out of a longing for God, in this way: I feel disappointed with God when I feel disappointed with the messed up world. I feel disappointed with the world because I hope for something better. And I hope for something better because God has given me this inborn desire for goodness, justice and most importantly, God himself. So in that strange, circular way, my doubt often leads me back to faith and reminds me of my desire to know God and “possess his presence.”

M: Sometimes I feel like I battle a laundry list of intellectual questions toward God, only to have His answer be a presence, an experience, rather than a clear-cut response to my issues. That’s why I so related to the moment toward the end of the book when you experience God’s hand on your head in the middle of the night, and are overcome with the presence of peace. Was that your experience of God’s goodness? Was that some sort of answer for you to the long list of questions in your head?

To be perfectly honest, I still struggle to make sense of that experience of feeling God’s hand on my head. It didn’t answer all of my intellectual questions. But it gave me comfort at a low point in my personal and spiritual life. More than that, it assured me of God’s presence in the midst of my own spiritual uncertainty. When I think about that moment, it brings to mind that scene in the Grand Inquisitor chapter of the Brothers Karamazov where the Inquisitor fires off a series of questions and criticisms at Christ. At the end of the scene, Christ steps forward and kisses the Inquisitor on his “bloodless, aged lips” instead of answering him. He doesn’t say a thing. He doesn’t offer a counterargument. He says in action rather than with words, “I Am.” That’s how I feel about my own experience of God’s presence. I didn’t get the answers. But the great I Am made his presence known to me in a still, small moment.

* If you live in Austin, Andrea will be giving a reading tonight at Book People at 7. The rest of you should take a look at her book here.
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Guest Post: The Creaking, Squeaking Altar that Moves

I’m thrilled to interrupt our regularly scheduled Thankful Tuesday to bring you some words from one of my favorite bloggers, Megan Tietz at SortaCrunchy. I consider Megan a kindred spirit and I have been so moved by her story of those early months of motherhood, which she is sharing (along with her co-writer, Laura Oyer) in their new book Spirit-Led Parenting. We are honored to be a sweet little stop in their Spirit-Led Parenting blog tour.




It’s battered and squeaky and hopelessly un-chic, but still I can’t bear to part with it.

It sits by itself all day, hardly touched and rarely sat upon, keeping a watchful eye over the playroom. That old gliding rocker and I go way, way back, and to most everyone else, it’s just a piece of furniture past its prime, but to me, it is a holy place.

My altar from long ago.

When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, Dacey, I would sit in that rocker in her room, reading my Bible and praying out loud and covering my ever-growing expanse with words of prayer and hope. It was during her pregnancy that something nearly unbearable happened in my family of origin, and that was the first time I knelt in front of that chair (knees and ankles creaking more loudly than the joints of the glider) and poured my heart out to God.

That was the first of many times that plain old rocking chair with the country blue upholstered fabric transformed into a holy place, a quiet sanctuary where I met with God.

Time passed and she was born and then I began to view that chair with a growing sense of distrust. Less and less often was I pouring over pages of Scripture and more and more often I was studying the pages of parenting books, and consistently they were warning me to stay away from the rocking chair if I ever hoped to have a baby who displayed perfectly independent sleep habits.

No matter how much I studied, I just couldn’t get my baby on the program. I couldn’t get myself on the program because the program required me to leave her alone in her crib, even if she cried. And I just couldn’t. I would gather her up in my arms, collapse down into the waiting arms of the rocking chair, and apologize to God for failing Him and her once again.

And so continued my long sleep walk shuffle through the earliest weeks and months of motherhood. I could keep it together during the day – most days – but at night, I was awful. She would awaken to nurse and I would slam down the crib rail before I lifted her out. I was so furious that she wasn’t sleeping through the night and I was furious at myself for not being strong enough to get her sleep trained.

But one night, He rescued me. He rescued both of us, really. God stepped into my pain and hopelessness and despair and lifted my chin.

If you are up anyway, why not pray?

Isn’t it amazing how we try to make things so complicated? Isn’t it incredible how His Voice is always so clear?

And so that rocking chair became a long-term altar, a standing appointment set by my infant daughter that allowed me to know God in the deepest, darkest hours of the night. I would hold her, nurse her, rock her, and pray. Miles and miles we rocked and words tumbled out and in the still, still quiet, I would listen.

I am Southern Baptist from conception until now, so it never occurred to me that I was dipping my toes into the pool of monasticism. I didn’t consider it a ritual at the time – hardly! It was more of a lifeline, a sliver of redemption for my perceived failures. And it was the time I spent with God in that rocking altar that prepared my heart for the message of Spirit-Led Parenting.

It took me nearly a month to write the chapter on infant sleep, so close to my heart and so scarred in my mind are my thoughts on the matter. The passage of time allows me the clarity to know that if it weren’t for those sacred meetings with God in the night, this book would never have been written. And so I want to share with you a short passage from the book that captures, in some small way, what I learned in that season of life:

For in the practice of nighttime parenting, we allowed ourselves to be molded by God’s ever-present hand. We believe the specific reason God led us to view nighttime with our babies differently is because as our Father, He wanted to attend to our specific needs in that moment in life. In the stillness of the night, as we fed our babies, He nourished us with His presence and His word. By the subtle glow of the night light as we changed diapers, He changed us, allowing us to see that through Him, we could be more than we ever thought we could be. As our feet tread miles of footfalls, muffled by carpet and shhhhhhhh, He sang over us words of comfort, hope and surrender.

Thank you so much for allowing us to share our hearts and message with you today. Please join us as we continue our blog tour in the upcoming weeks:

Spirit-Led Parenting is the first release from authors Megan Tietz and Laura Oyer. Megan writes about faith, family and natural living at SortaCrunchy and lives in western Oklahoma with her husband and two daughters. Laura blogs her reflections on the real and ridiculous things of life at In The Backyard, and makes her home in Indiana with her husband, daughter, and son.

rocking chair image via TranceMist

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Easter Sunday

"Testimony" Copyright © 2012 Jan Richardson Images. All Rights Reserved.



From  Girl Meets God:

The Last Battle, the final volume of Lewis’s Narnia chronicles, pictures the end of time. Aslan—the lion who represents Jesus—has returned, folding all of culture and humanity into his kingdom. In the novel’s lasts pages, he tells Lucy, a child from London, that everyone she knew back in Blighty is dead and raised to new life. And as Aslan spoke, writes Lewis, “the things that began to happen…were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beninning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were begining Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better that the one before.”:>

 

On Easter, we glimpse the beginning of Chapter One.

-Lauren F. Winner, Girl Meets God (193-194)


Descending Theology: The Resurrection

by Mary Karr

From the far star points of his pinned extremities,
cold inched in–black ice and blood ink–
till the hung flesh was empty. Lonely in that void
even for pain, he missed his splintered feet,
the human stare buried in his face.
He ached for two hands made of meat
he could reach to the end of.
In the corpse’s core, the stone fist of his heart

began to bang on the stiff chest’s door,
and breath spilled back into that battered shape. Now
it’s your limbs he longs to flow into–
from the sunflower center in your chest
outward–as warm water
shatters at birth, rivering every way.

“Descending Theology: The Resurrection” by Mary Karr, Sinners WelcomeHarperCollins, 2006.


Joy is radically different from happiness, for it does not depennd up on the “ups” and “downs” of our existence. It is the constant moving away from the static places of death toward the house of God, where the abundant life can be recognized and celebrated.

Lifesigns, Henri Nouwen (102)

For more from Jan Richardson, find her website here and be sure to visit the Lenten series on her blog.

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Welcomed into the Story

When I stood on the second row at Jamie’s church last Sunday and watched her baby girl’s baptism, I was a little teary, mostly because Jamie is one of the dearest friends of all my life. She was my maid of honor and I never imagined I would live close enough to her to watch her baby grow, to be part of her kids’ lives, for our little boys to love each other as much as they do. Being able to be present for Eliza’s baptism was grace to my heart.

And then we blessed that sweet baby with these words.

Eliza, we give thanks that God has claimed you
with an everlasting love that will never, ever let you go;
and we will never let you forget that!
We rejoice to welcome you as our sister
in the family of Christ.
Our story is now your story:
you have ridden in the ark with Noah;
you have passed through the sea with Moses;
Christ’s death and resurrection for you is at work in you,
transforming you into the image of God.
Grow with us in grace,
confess Christ crucified,
proclaim his resurrection,
and share with us in his royal priesthood.

There is something so deep and rich and moving about all of us being part of the story of Christ. And there is an honor so mysterious and breathtaking that we would ever have the right, the privilege, to welcome another dear soul into that fabric in which our lives are already woven and patched and restored.

Really, the greatest joys of my life have been in telling the story and welcoming others into the story. That’s why I loved ministry to high school kids. I loved telling them that there was room for them here in the story of Christ, there was forgiveness and acceptance and grace for them just as they were.

And now, how often to do I forget when I’m snapping at my boy for waking up his brother, when I’m frustrated about whatever super important thing I forgot back at the house, or when the ecosystem of my home feels entirely out of whack, that I have been privileged to tell the story and invite my children into it? It feels so easy to forget that this is their one childhood, that what happens today is shaping who they become, how they relate to the world, how they understand love.

My story, our story is now theirs. I’m asked to offer it to them as we live our lives together, as we walk along the road, as we lie down and as we rise. God has already claimed them with an everlasting love. My job is to make sure those two boys never forget.

My job is to invite them to grow with me in grace. And, boy, do they see my need for grace sometimes. So, my prayer is that in my home I would live as the welcomer, the one who always, in love and deep grace, offers my boys a place at Christ’s table. And in doing so, may I never forget that Christ offers me a place as well…

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So she makes some resolutions…

from Curbly via Pinterest

…and they are:

  • The pursuit of more silence. Seriously, how unspecific can I be here? I started an entire blog almost two years ago in order to pursue more silence in my life and I still haven’t figured out how to do it yet. But, the journey I’ve been on has been teaching me that my idea of intentional 6 am silence is not always possible. What is possible is the holding up of my heart while I fold laundry and listen to the news and wash the dishes and read to my kids. So this is one of those resolutions that’s hard to measure but most important. My goal is an attitude of silence in the gritty daily stuff. I think that starts with heart preparation. So, maybe I should say my resolution is that I would pray with the Benedictines every morning when I open my eyes, “Lord, open my lips and my mouth shall proclaim your praise,” and mean it.
  • Running a 10K. Okay, again, more specifics. I mentioned around here that I’ve been running…very slowly…for up to 25 minutes at a time. Now, I’m stepping it up a notch because I think I might actually like it. Shocker! I know. I have two goals: I’m going to run a 5K in March (the 25th, to be exact) and a 10K sometime this summer. Trust me, I’m no marathon girl. And even the idea of a 5K is super intimidating to me and my pitiful asthmatic lungs. But, let’s do it, team.
  • Pursuing a simpler, kinder closet. My goal? Owning less clothes and loving them more (while striving to avoid their being made in sweat shops) and giving clothes away with a glad heart. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I have a lot of clothes that I don’t love passionately, that were made cheaply and possibly in ways that are oppressive (child labor? unfair wages and hours?). I want to know my stuff in terms of what it means if my clothes were made in Cambodia. And I want to practice simplicity in my closet. So, this month I’m going to go through my clothes and get rid of anything that doesn’t either make my heart pitter patter or add an important element to my wardrobe. And then I want to practice deliberate shopping and wearing.
  • Reading more fiction. I love novels. And I’m a big talker when it comes to the importance of narrative in our understanding of the gospel and scripture. I believe God loves story and I’ve always felt that I hear God’s voice more clearly in a story than I do in a “spiritual” book or bible study. So why haven’t I been reading novels lately?! It’s too easy to give myself a lot of nonfiction books and convince myself that they’re more important in the moment. But this year? They will not win out! I have goals. I’m going to read one fiction book every 2 months (so…6 in a year). And I’m going to read even if it means missing my favorite TV shows. Starting with:
    • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant– I’ve already told you I wanted to read this before but I’ve never gotten to it. But I’m already into the 4th chapter. Woohoo.
    • Kristin Lavransdatter  by Sigrid Undset — My dear friend Christina loved this trilogy so much that she actually bought the three books and mailed them to me a year ago. I believe her when she promises that they’re wonderful but I’ve just been too undisciplined to read them. Christina, watch out, because it’s gonna happen
    • To Kill a Mockingbird — Can you believe I’ve never read Harper Lee’s book? Who do I think I am? Who graduates with an undergrad and graduate degree in Lit and doesn’t read To Kill a Mockingbird? Who claims to love novels and doesn’t read To Kill a Mockingbird by the time she’s 32? For shame, Micha! Do not fear, friends. I’m putting this to rights.
    • One more. What should be my 6th book of fiction for the year? I want your opinions.
  • Reading a poem a day. I mean sitting with it and working through it. Nothing crazy. But want poetry in my life in a more meaningful way. Maybe this is a simple way to do it.

What about you? What are your resolutions for these coming 12 months?

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Love in This: An Advent Reflection

It was “Ring of Fire” in my head that day as I moved through our house, 3-year-old at my heels. I was singing…

Love is a burning thing
And it makes a fiery ring.
Bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire.

Maybe I could’ve gotten away with such lyrics leaking from my mouth on a random Wednesday morning while I folded laundry, but the words were too good for August to ignore. This same boy who introduces himself to strangers as, “Hi, I’m August. I like yucky things, like germs and volcanos and fire,” is the boy who says, “Mama, I really like that song you’re singing!”

That day I pulled up the YouTube video of Johnny singing in black and white and we spent the rest of the day stuck on, “Down down down down down!” as we went about our tasks, August on his knees in his room, Playmobile knights in hand, a song he didn’t even know he was still singing in his mouth.

So last Friday night, after dinner, when we blew out the three lit Advent candles on the table, the boy snuck back to the slowly hardening wax and stuck his finger in to feel its warmth on fingertip. He walked to my husband.

“Daddy, there’s love in this” he said, holding his waxy finger toward Chris’ face. “You know why? Because that song says ‘love is a burning thing.'”

The other day I read in Isaiah 9, “Those who lived in the land of deep darkness– / on them a light has shined.”

Every light is a burning thing, right? Our most necessary light, the life-giving sun, is a consumer, the most dangerous fire of all. We cover our skin from it. We shield our eyes from it. And then we beg it to come toward us, to warm us, to bring life again to this dark winter-ridden land.

This is Advent. We don’t just passively wait for the light; we actively engage with it. We cup it in our hands, we light the candles. We pray for enlightenment, that we may understand this God who sends his son, that we may see the miracle that we usually miss.

We beg for light because our souls know there’s love in it.

Our souls know when the star shines over Bethlehem, when the angels awaken sleepy shepherds with Glory, when a baby cries in the filth-filled barn, there’s love in it. The darkness is consumed, the path is revealed, the star hovers above the secret place where the baby is born.

And we stand beside our children on Christmas Eve and watch the wicks on every handheld candle whoosh into flame across the dark sanctuary. We hover around the little hands holding fire, imagining the one spark that might set the place ablaze. Then we remember to sing, to hold up notes with the voices beside us. And in that moment when we look up from the children, when we release the momentary fear, when we sing of the “Virgin, mother and child.” We sing of the “holy infant…” and we see that yellow glow in the room that was blind before. We remember the light. And we blow out the candles. The overhead lamps click on.

But we drag our fingers through the warm wax, the reminder that for a moment we held something holy, something dangerous and life-giving, something that marks us by its heat. And on that fingertip, that pointer finger warmed by quickly hardening wax, we know the secret. We know love is a burning thing.

And there’s love in this.

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World AIDS Day: Turn it Red

Ten years ago, as a 22 year-old, I returned home from one month in Kenya and South Africa. That month I studied African cultures and religions, Liberation Theology, and generally got my mind blown by a Baptist theologian in Nairobi who looked like Yoda.

Dr Waruta spoke things to me that I’m still processing. He planted the seeds in my heart that have led to almost every theological shift I’ve embraced in the past ten years. The depth of his wisdom allowed me to realize that even though I felt alone in my doubts, there were real Christians in every part of the world working through the same questions I was asking.

I returned home from witnessing the depth of suffering in the slums of Nairobi, the broken destruction of the tens of thousands of street children in that same city, high on glue to keep their hunger at bay, begging me for bread, then ripping it from each other’s hands after I’d offered it. They were the victims of AIDS: the children left alone after the wicked disease had taken every adult in their lives. I had seen the terrible damage done by colonialism, become aware, for the first time, of my white privilege. And I witnessed in South Africa the darkness of racism, how Apartheid broke the future of an entire race of people, how God was using the brave to redeem all that brokenness.

So, when I returned to my apartment in Abilene, Texas and sat with my roommate/dearest friend at our kitchen table, unwrapping my burrito from Taco Bueno, Molly looked into my eyes and said: “You seem sadder, older.”

It was true and I knew there was no going back. In Nairobi at a stoplight a woman my age had tapped on the window. When I met her gaze, her eyes fixed on mine. She had a baby, maybe nine or ten months old strapped to her back. She held her hand out to me. Her baby held his out as well. Ten months old. He didn’t speak but he knew how to beg.

And isn’t that the brokenness of this world? If a mother is hungry, so is her child. If a mother is dying of AIDS, her child is losing his life as well: whether that’s the literal contraction of the same disease or the loss of parents, the loss of a home, of food, of caretakers, of order, of safety.

Maybe that’s what changed me the most deeply 10 years ago, something I now only understand as a mother. There was nothing safe for those children who tore the bread from my hand. No cozy blankets to hold when afraid. No place to lay their heads. No protection from the weather. No protection from the dangers of the world. Parents protect. Mama kangaroos stick their babies in their pouches. When a disease rips the adults from the children, their vulnerability is too difficult to watch.

So you cry and you pray and you say, “Lord, let me never forget.” And then you return to your home country and meet a boy and marry him and live in a house and have babies and every once in a while something in your 8 month old’s face reminds you of that baby holding out his hand, begging you for something you both can barely understand. And that baby would be ten years old now. You wonder, is his mother alive? Is he? Is he alone or in a pack of hungry boys, sniffing glue in old water bottles?

And you stare at your baby and he smiles. And you remember that it’s Advent and you’re waiting for Jesus. That same Jesus whose mother strapped him at 10 months onto her back and traveled, hungry and fearful, with her husband to Egypt. Travelers and beggars. Jesus with his palm open.

Today is World AIDS Day.

AIDS is a heartless thief. And children are its victims. And nowhere is there more suffering than in Sub-Saharan Africa, where two-thirds of the 33 million people in the world infected with HIV reside*. We can all read this and sigh and say, “Isn’t it a shame?” Or we can do something. Today.

Will you join me and “Turn it Red”? Wear red today in support of the people, the mothers, the children of the Nairobi streets where I walked? Will you join Blood:Water Mission in the work they are doing to educate, treat, and support those who suffer from the disease? Will you click on the links to read Kabale’s, Peter’s, and Leah’s stories? And will you pray and give during this season when we eagerly await the coming of our Savior, the one who came to rescue the world, the helpless baby strapped to his mama’s back…

*Information taken from blood:water mission’s website.

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