Sunday, September 20, 2009

A realization

Lately I have been loving living in the city. I love my neighbors and I love my neighborhood. I don't wish I was back in Severna Park. I like the feel of the houses and the community. I love Khaleek and how he visits me and we paint on my stoop. But today I am feeling the heaviness of the city.

I was listening to my roommate tell stories about what he had seen that day and days before. Stories of violence and rage. And I felt a heaviness of the city. The cycles which are so hard to break out of but lead to death. And I realized the things we are asking these people to do are really radical. Of course we've always said that but the things Jesus asked us to do are so hard. Like how do you explain forgiveness to someone who has had their brother killed and they still see his murderer everyday and how do tell someone to respond in love when violence is the cycle they live in. Thats hard. I still believe it is the best way, but I realize how radical the Gospel really is.

Also if anyone has ideas of were to find these items cheap could you please let me know:

-A large mirror to hang on the wall of my living room
-a drying rack
- sharp knives
-cool artwork
-a doormat
-light figures

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

So this morning I woke up at the Hoards as I usually do on Tuesday mornings and came down to find the house to myself. I poured myself a nice cup of coffee and realized there was a book on the table called, The Christian WOMAN...Set Free (women freed from second-class citizenship in the Kingdom of God.). The title intrigued me and scared me a bit, so I started to read. I might add that it was written by a man! Yay for wonderful men! So I read 3/4 of the book this morning. It is an easy read, written as though I'm listening to a story on the radio.. quite funny. It gives a broad overview of where the thought of women as second class citizens began and how secured itself early on in the church. That section made me very sad, hearing the terrible things Greek philosophers and popes said and did to women.

But then came the chapters on Jesus and Paul and the early early church and how they were the greatest liberators women had seen. The chapter on Jesus made me cry. It was as if for the first time I saw how Jesus really was so radical to women. And Paul, I think for a long time I was not sure how I felt about Paul and his attitude toward women, but reading this chapter made it able to see how revolutionary Paul was too about women and how wrongly he is quoted. I was able to see Paul and his personality and really like and appreciate him, I was able to see myself as his friend back in the day! haha I know that sounds really odd but it helps me understand and know the Bible as well as people more. To be able to put myself in the situation with them.

This book is not super in depth and intellectual but offers a broad history... it does cite some books however that I would really like to get into. And I realize I have not finished it yet so it could spiral downwards after I post this but I wanted to share how its helping me a girl who feels strongly about women and their roles on earth and loves jesus, but could not reconcile the teachings in the Church (not particularly my church but the broader church) with her gender.

Monday, September 14, 2009


It has been almost a month I’ve been moved into south Baltimore. I decided I wanted to blog my journey of living life in the hood, but as usual life has gotten the best of me with starting a new university and moving and the lack of internet at my house. So one month in and I will start.

The first week was exciting and lonely all at once. My roommates are lovely but extremely busy themselves as one is a youth pastor in the city, the other visits his fiancé, and the other commutes to Virginia for seminary (! This last one blows my mind. I can barely handle the commute to my school which is just outside the city!) I felt though I was just twenty minutes from my old residence in a totally different world. It was exciting, but I mourned the ability to walk into any of my siblings rooms and have an instant companion. It took just one week of figuring out the city and my new routine and fixing up the house and the loneliness and mourning was gone. I love my new house; an abandoned row house in the area of the city in which our church and bethel Presbyterian have been ministering to the women caught in prostitution.Tom bought the house and did some renovation so that we might be a positive presence in the community.

About a week ago I met the neighbor boy Kaleek (I’ll have to make sure that’s how you spell his name when I see him next). The kids in the city just break my heart, I’ve been crying a lot about them. So I was very excited to meet him, and we’ve been tight ever since. Last night he knocked on my door to say hi and introduce me to his friends, so I brought out some paints and spent the evening painting with him. Through him I’ve met his mother and some of his mother’s friends, who I think were quite pleased that I was playing with the kids. Kaleek has been my connection to the neighborhood.

Instead of writing a book I’ve decided to share the highlights of my last three weeks:

  • When it rains the ceiling in my room leaks, I have to put pots down, this weekend the ceiling started falling in!
  • I’ve loved staying with the Hoards in North Baltimore Monday and Tuesday nights when my classes end to late to come home. Good friends are such wonderful gifts!
  • I went to the Book Thing, where they give away free books; you can take as many as you want! Devin took about 100… crazy.
  • I’ve found ALDI the glorious cheap grocery store!
  • I’ve been eating mostly rice, pasta, beans, and vegetable dishes, (finding I can be a pretty good cook and a pretty thrifty, almost vegan lady) when a lovely lady in the church found out she bought me a bag of meat!
  • Daisy so kindly donated kitchen and house utensils to my house.
  • We’ve caught 2 more mice making a total of 12 kills.
  • I’ve been cleaning and fixing up the kitchen and dining room… even put up our first picture… the house is starting to become a home… so much more to do!
  • Dan has been an incredible support and handy man (hooray for handymen!) throughout the process even though he has been moving too.