Monday, June 27, 2011

A Shift

Well, in the past month, much of our life focus has shifted from the daily tasks to the park down the street. It's a long story, many years in the making, actually, but more recently, the change was triggered partly by a book called Irresistible Revolution. It challenged me far beyond what felt comfortable and posed questions like these -- if you ask someone what a Christian believes, most people can dig up an answer, but if you ask someone how a Christina lives, there often is nothing to say; or the problem isn't that we don't help the poor but that we don't know the poor; or, there's a huge difference between "doing charity" and building relationships with people and loving them. (whew).

I finally asked God what to do, what would make sense at this stage of life. And in return I saw a picture of picnicking in the park with the kids and the people who live there.

So we picnicked. And picnicked again and learned names. And again. And again. And met other people who picnic, too, to know these neighbors. And learned more names and more stories. And with some other families began making and sharing dinner regularly. And now the park is one of my favorite places to go.

But most days, I also doubt. Most days I ask God if going there, hanging out with people, trying to show them dignity, and spending time really matters and is possibly enough. Because really, "enough" has lost meaning. A million things are broken. The problems are systemic and run deep. My heart is broken regularly. And lifted up, too.

And so I haven't spent time at the farmers' market or made a good summer pie yet. I haven't snapped many pictures of my favorite bright faces. These things will happen, I am sure, at some point -- a pie will come, some stunning summer salad I will want to eat for days, an afternoon snapping shots as they tumble. But for now, most of what's happening is far inside and very quiet; I am being probed and pushed every day and sit watching this something that is just begun.

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