Wednesday, May 29, 2013


At the day's end, I watch buildings
shine like pennies in the sun,
glass fire, fading orange hues;
today's now fading memories.

Mountains hide the day's end,
mysteries veiled until tomorrow's dawn.
I have lingered here too long.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Learning to Adapt

Last week the air conditioner in my house, which I share with four other people, died. Arizona summer is already in full force, and the heat seeping through the walls and windows left our house a nice, cozy consistent 92 degrees. It took a week for us to get a company out to assess the situation, then another few days to fill out paperwork for a loan to buy a new unit. In that time, I learned to adapt, to adjust my lifestyle in a way that accommodated my situation. We pulled in some oscillating fans from the garage, we opened up the doors at night to let the cool air in, and we walked around in our underwear for a few weeks. We adapted.

This experience reminded me of being in India, of the things I learned to live without. In India I lived in a place without air conditioning in 100 degrees, 100% humidity, with only a fan above my bed to cool the sweat. I got used to being without air conditioning. I learned to live without a washer and dryer, as I hand washed all my clothes and hung them on the line outside to dry. I got used to riding the bus and walking everywhere I had to go. And not once did I feel like I was missing out on anything.

We can live with so much less than we think. We are creatures made to adapt, but when we live in a land of money and choices, we don’t see the need to simplify, or to go without. And we miss out on so many lessons God is trying to teach us through simplifying, and relying on Him instead of on our comforts.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? …But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” –Matthew 6: 25-26,33

I am extremely grateful that I live with my siblings who were able to purchase the new AC unit. I am not able to help them financially, since I have just enough money left in my bank account to pay next month’s rent, but they are generous (and probably tired of being sweaty) and willing to bear my portion. I have been working as a nanny for my friend’s 4 month old daughter for the last 2 months, but that job will be coming to an end next week. I have two months until I leave for Chicago to participate in Mission Year, building community, learning how to live intentionally for Christ in the inner city, and volunteering my time with local organizations that help meet the needs of the community. I do not know what the next two months hold, but I know who holds them in His hands. And I know He will provide.

I am almost halfway funded for my year in Chicago with Mission Year. I currently have about $5,000 donated toward my fund out of the $12,000 I need to raise by September.

If you would like to help me participate in Mission Year, being Jesus’ hands and feet to the inner city, please visit Mission Year’s website from the link on the right side of the page and choose my name from the dropdown menu.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Beauty From Ashes

I never really thought about zoo animals being caged until I saw them in the wild.

I never knew how captive I was until Christ set me free.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, 
for theirs is the kingdom of God."

When we admit helplessness, we are poor in spirit, ready to be comforted and filled with the Presence of God. 

Sometimes we don't know what it means to be poor in spirit until we are. 

Yesterday, I had three different friends find out a family member has cancer. 
Another friend is in a dark place on his spiritual journey after his dad almost passed away suddenly. 
Another friend who teaches kindergarten believes that one of her students is being sexually abused. 

And I pray. 
But I can never just pray.
I feel their hurt, their depth of despair, their pain. 

And all I can do is weep. Deep, aching sobs that drench the pillow I have been screaming into. 

I ask God, "Why can't I just pray for them? Why do I have to feel their pain? Why do you allow these things? She's just a kid, five years old, and she could be sexually abused. Why do you let this happen? Why do you allow them to suffer?"

"This is my heart," He replies. "I feel the pain of my children. I weep when they weep. My heart breaks again and again and again."

I don't have an answer to the "Why." But I do know that God is a Phoenix, raising beauty from ashes. And I trust in that. I have to trust in that. 

Blessed are the poor in spirit, 
for theirs is the kingdom of God. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Your Pain Has Meaning: Lessons from a Korean Nun in India

Sister Margaret, the small sweet nun whose voice you have to lean into, sat next to me one morning in Kolkata as I sat in the basement of Mother House entering volunteer information into a large log book.

She told me about her life, her family, the convent, going on home visits to devil possessed homes, and about the soul.

"Tarrin, where is your soul?" She asked me in her quiet Korean accent.

"It's not in a specific place," I replied, "It's everywhere in me."

"Soul is your whole being. Jesus lives in us, so He lives in whole being: in eyes, mouth, hands, head. When I knew Jesus was in all of me, my headache from the devil house went away. Jesus take away. Sometimes we need pain to understand Jesus' suffering."

Sometimes we experience pain to understand the heart of the Father and the agony endured by His Son.
Heartache. Distress. Helplessness.

Our pain has meaning. Our hurts have purpose.

God is a redemptive God, a God of resurrection. He recycles the ugly pieces of our lives and uses them to bring forth beautiful things.

Your pain has meaning.