Tuesday, March 5, 2013

In Every Angle is A Photograph Not Taken

In every angle, there is a photograph not taken.
I try to live in those angles,
the forgotten moments,
the mundane.

"Be extraordinary," says my yogi friend.
Do ordinary things extraordinarily and watch what happens.

"We don't need to do great things, only small things with great love," said Mother Teresa.

I remember those cold days, when our noses were full of chocolate powder as we prepared ten gallons of steaming hot chocolate for cold men and women who, on the streets, had lost most of the warmth they once had.

I remember sweaty summer days when we felt like we were inches from the sun, when we saw sun scorched bodies and dry, cracked lips desperate for a drink of the cold water we offered.

I remember Charles, the homeless man who gave me a dollar, who yelled at me when I tried to refuse, "This is the money God gave me and I can do what I want with it and I wanna give it to you because you care!"

I remember Cowboy, my beloved sidekick whose dreams included traveling America on horseback with a rifle at his side, and getting churches together to open their doors at night to bed-less men and women.

I remember the smiles, and the stories, and the beautiful blessings.

I remember how exhausted I became, pouring myself out, 
never missing a week in two years, rain or shine, 30 degrees or 120.

I remember never sitting still to be filled with God's Spirit,
to listen to His direction,
to hear Him whisper,
"I love you. That is enough."

I remember the last day of The Bagel Ministry. I remember how Cowboy cried and hugged my shoulders. I remember not caring that this was the end. I was tired. I was burned out on "ministry." I felt I couldn't do it anymore.

It wasn't until recently that I discovered why I burned out.

My roots had not grown deep enough. I had not learned to sit in the Presence of God and just BE with Him instead of always DOING for Him. I had to become the woman He wanted me to BE, not just do the things He wanted me to do. And I had to learn that God was not speaking to everyone else in the same ways He was speaking to me, and He was not using people in the same ways He was using me. I had to learn diversity. I had to let God's Spirit lead. I had to learn to follow, to obey, to be humble. I had to learn to live in the tension between the profane and the sacred. I had to learn to be love in the midst of human relationships.

I had to learn that human relationships are complicated and messy, and sometimes the only offering of peace and solidarity we can muster is a smile.

What a life long journey of lessons I have begun. 

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