Sunday, March 25, 2012

Meditation from Hildegard of Bingen

The earth is at the same time mother.
She is mother of all that is natural,
Mother of all that is human.

She is mother of all,
For contained in her are the seeds of all.

The earth of humankind contains all moistness,
All verdancy,
All germinating power.
It is in so many ways fruitful.

All creation comes from it,
Yet it forms not only the basic raw material for humankind
But also the substance of the incarnation of God's Son.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Applying to Seminary

I'm currently spending a rainy Saturday morning typing up an application for admission to Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (IN). Here's part of a response that relates to the theme of Forming Roots...

"List some of the formative influences in your life..."

When I was only a few months old, my family moved to Indonesia with Wycliffe Bible Translators. My mom worked with linguistics, and my dad was a bush pilot with JAARS, their missionary aviation division. We lived in Indonesia for 6 years. My earliest memories are of waking up to the sounds of the rainforest, eating sweet potatoes and roasted boar at village pig feasts, and playing games with our neighbor kids. Looking back, I think that these early childhood experiences implanted an interest in me for new places and different cultures.

Though I was only in Indonesia until age 6, I relate to the experiences of many missionary kids or “third culture kids” who have a hard time answering the question, “Where are you from?”. I have moved about 10 times throughout my 24 years, and these displacements have profoundly affected my life. On the one hand, I find it exciting to get to know a new place. I have become adaptable, and am good at making new friends. On the other hand, I have a hard time knowing what “home” feels like, and it's been difficult to integrate all the places and experiences into my present place. The search for home has become something of a spiritual question for me, and is a way that I emotionally understand the meaning of sin (being “lost”/ far from home), and the nature of the kingdom of God (a homecoming).

Monday, March 5, 2012

A funny picture

My sister scanned me this picture last week with the following note:

"I can definitely see your early infatuation with the American fast food industry." Yes, I'm the girl in the middle, hugging Ronald with a toothless grin on my little cheeseburger-loving face.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Homies in the Garden

I'm trying to write a poem every day this year. Here's another one about the Garden:

Homies in the Garden

Albert, with the faded and badly
done tattoo under his left eye,
asked today how to grow a peach tree.
Giovanni, so eager to please,
plants spinach in neat rows,
and positively glows
when talking about Sophia,
who just turned one.
Jose, with muscles grown
on a backyard weight set,
turns the compost pile, tells me
he's building his resume.
He tastes sweet peas for the first time,
and smiles like a little boy.

Death and Dirt

Don't let the clean gallons-
plastic, white and gleaming
behind the glass- fool you:
milk still comes from the warm,
pink teats of a cow, its hoofed legs
likely up to their bony ankles
in manure before milking.

And days before they slipped
into squeaky foam cartons,
eggs turned and dropped
from the canals of chickens,
smells of sticky feathers
and the shuffling flocks
molting off their shells
as they are boxed.

Don't think that because you are
vegetarian or vegan that you can
escape death or dirt.
I once saw a tiller snare and slice
a panicked rabbit, hidden
behind the artichokes.
Its blood fed the living soil,
where microorganism hoards
feed the plants that feed us.
They eat what is dead,
and all our ancestors die again
and rise again from the Earth.