Progress - Goal 1

12:27 PM

I took a small step towards goal number 1 this week.
"Find ways to authentically express my faith and love for people (social media being not the place)"

In the summers at Solomon's Porch we do Soapbox sermons where anyone from the community can sign up to do a 10 or 20 minute talk on anything at all that they want to share. I did not sign up this spring due to the public-speaking-for-10-to-20-minutes aspect but on Sunday I found myself sitting back on one of the couches while Doug opened the floor for pop up soapbox sermons for under two minutes. Three realizations came to mind: 

1. I can handle two minutes! 

2. I had my notebook with me.
3. I looked around and saw only friendly and familiar faces.
So in the wise words of my wonderful friend Sunny I thought, "Yeah sure why not?"
So I stood up in the center - the same place Tory and I stood and took our vows surrounded by friends and family - and shared a few thoughts and a part of the Bible that struck me as helpful to my faith journey.

It is not an easy thing for me to share my thoughts on faith and religion - I have made peace within myself that there are basic truths that I am confident in but that the majority of my faith perspective is based on not-knowing, on ever-learning, growing and shifting. Because I know that many Christian persuasions do not share this perspective, or even consider it Christian, I have an internal confidence but I am a pretty insecure person of faith within discussion. This is partly because I am known to be a slow, deep thinker (it takes me days to process ideas), so I generally feel crushed by debate. Leading to a very relevant personal goal #1. This is the larger context of what I shared on Sunday.

"Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his countrymen work for nothing, not paying them for their labor.  He says, 'I will build myself a great palace with spacious upper rooms.' So he makes large windows in it, panels it with cedar and decorates it in red. "Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" declares the LORD. 

Is that not what it means to know me.

I have always felt most faith-filled when I am interacting with people who have less than me. Less resources, less political clout, less inherent privilege.
When I have authentic interactions with people who are traditionally considered poor, I'm reminded how much I have to learn and of the beauty of human connection. 

I'm reminded of beauty when our 3 year old neighbor throws away his candy wrapper in our trash instead of the ground and when my husband says he's proud of the little buddy, he looks up with huge eyes, and says, "you're proud of me?"
I experienced beauty when I was completely unprepared for a two week hiking expedition in the Thai Hilltribes. By the fourth straight day spend hiking in the mountains from village to village, my new host mother welcomed me in smiling, and spent her time rubbing my swollen knee and sore muscles with relaxing salve. She spoke to me through her love because I was hurting and I didn't speak her language.

I hope to use the privileges I've been offered in life to connect with people who haven't been given the same. The verse has two meanings to me:
Is that not what it means to know me - When we are working for the good of others we are experiencing God working through our hands and hearts

Is that not what it means to know me -
Literally, knowing God through the people he has created. Accepting love from others and looking into the eyes of Jesus. 

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