Tag Archives: Edge

Almost adult

Her stride was different, more like her on-court walk.

“Today, Mr./Mrs. Blank said that God gives up on people.”

Her statement wasn’t a question directed to me.

She stared intently, somewhere far past me, shaking her head.

From somewhere unearthly, she spoke to no-one in particular, “He doesn’t give up,” then she turned and walked out.

New era.

New epoch.

New edge.

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flooding back

Sometimes I  perceive that particular God cast of light and recognize moment in the making. Payton, David, Millie, Trent and I were brainstorming, juggling ideas for possible Homecoming week games. We were laughing and expounding on one another’s more and more brilliant offerings. Our laughter threw us open, the joy of the moment and expected moments to come literally opened us to one another. Something happened within and between us, something real.

I doubt any of those young people will even remember our game discussion in days ahead, much less years from now. But I sensed the future being altered as we laughed today.  It seemed that a cosmic switch was activated, employed to shift destination and path, as with a train.

Payton and David are always respectful, kind, even friendly to me. They always wave and call out, “Hello, Mrs. Sullivan,” even when their peers walk on by. But tonight at Epoch, Payton approached me. He looked me dead in the eyes and held his hand high for mine. As I pressed my hand to his, something deep surged in me.

And I remembered all those dreams you gave us, Lord, in the early days of our walk together.  The visions that came upon us awake, came flooding back.

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a tent

We were talking about tents last night at the pre-mission trip meeting. Seems we are to be sleeping in one in the jungle – yes, that is jungle not some Alabama pine thicket. I am trying not to think about what else might be sharing our little corner of the planet. So, I guess tents have been on the mind a bit.

Now, I do like to camp, in decent weather mind you, it’s just that I have never camped in decent weather. It is always cold, cold and often blowing a little rain when I have paid my fare for a turn in the old tent. It will likely be 100+ degrees at night in good Ol’ Costa Rica, and 110 % humidity as well. So yeah, I’ve been day dreaming about the tent.

Well, tonight during worship, which was very incredible, during probably my favorite song lyrically, “With Everything,” I saw this tent. I had been asking God for a framework, a “What is this trip about?” paradigm. I saw a tent on the ground, not yet put together. It was a covering. It covered the earth.

“Okay, God? A tent on the ground. What good is that?”

“They are the tent poles.”

“What?”

“The young people you are taking, they are the tent poles. You are to help them see that on this trip. Tent poles make a covering a dwelling, where I come in and abide. They are not living to get people covered, checked off as under my covering, “okay,” if you will. Where they will stake their lives, I will dwell.”

I sense these works of Life. Works, life works where Life flows, dwells in and amongst. And I see these young people, representatives of the many I am blessed to walk alongside, living lives of good work with Christ.

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Question to all Edgers

Working toward a better Edge for you:

What was your favorite thing that we did all together this year? RSVP in my comments.

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still in the wash…

At my house, “still in the wash” is usually the answer to whatever I or someone else desperately needs to wear that day. But it has come to mean something more to me, especially this week.

Saturday, we did my favorite thing at Edge. We sat “still, in the wash” of the Spirit, and the wash of our tears, and let God work in us. We let the waters overflow our spirits, spread out into our souls, and wash away despair, and doubt, and fear. We let them ferry hope and understanding and help.

It wasn’t a time about repentance or calling us to some standard, the kind of ministry that usually solicits tears from youth.  We just get still; we just get quiet. We play something tender, usually Sperti, and sit and let the Spirit wash over us, show us holy things that we need to know. And most of us, kids and old people alike, just weep (we can’t seem to help it) and let God move and  speak in us.

Why is Edge so the place…where this happens…most easily…for many of us, for me?  Maybe because we let God work, we give Him space and time, and quiet. And we know that He will come and wash over and through. We respect God working in each other…We don’t crowd, we don’t rush to interrupt, to lay on hands and to pray. We do pray for one another aloud, if, when, God shows it clearly; but we do not presume that God is not moving, revealing, speaking, affirming…We don’t get in the way of God.

And I always cry. As a leader, I do my best to put the kids there first, to intercede for them, to let God show me things to clear a way for them…I am wiling to do such; I do my best….But always, I, too, am washed over and I cannot help but cease even my intercession. I am overwhelmed in His showing me things deep in me, things untouched, and by His answer to them … the wash of His presence. My tears always accompany, as if to incarnate that wash.

I am not generally a crier…I am not easily touched in my emotions (especially when people are around) …that’s why the Edge “still” time is so wondrous to me.

A friend and I talked about why that might be so…why we don’t even think to fight tears there (we do pretty much everywhere else) …why they just flow. I know it’s that respect – the fact that, in there, we somehow really grasp that God is at work  in each of us – that each of us want Him to be so. And then there is that,”I want some space, but I want people, people who will/do stand guard for me, near.”

I feel so safe, so very  secure in that place.

I really like to meet God alone…I like to meet Him with them, better.

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Just like Jesse

I’ve been watching this PBS film series with my 7th grade BTS class. It’s tracks the lives of 7 children who are going to school ( some for the first time) in 7 different countries. It shows the constant risks to their education, even survival. A girl from Afghanistan, India, Romania, and Benin and a boy from Japan, Brazil and Kenya are featured.

In the second part of the series we are checking up on the children 3 years later. All are still in school…but some barely so and are facing having to withdraw. Two of the children have lost a parent ( or another parent), the night school in India that our little girl attends is closing, and the school in Afghanistan is under serious threat as Taliban attacks in the area on girls’ schools are increasing.

I can’t help but love all these children, their drives to not continue cycles of poverty and ignorance are astounding.

The Kenyan boy, Joab, looks/talks just like Jesse. When he first appeared on screen everyone screamed, “Jesse!” It was eerie. A few words from Joab and I was in tears. His mother had died from AIDS – compliments of his father who had found a new wife and left the children to ten year old Joab’s care. Joab explains how no one had anything to do with them, wouldn’t even let their children play with them, because they said his mother was a bad woman. (She was godly and gracious and had done a fabulous job with her children.)

So Joab, finds a way to feed and keep his brother and sister somewhat sheltered in the huge dump that so many children call home. And every morning he gets them all up and walks them to school. The school covers their costs; someone, somewhere else sees to it. This young man, now 13, talks about forgiveness and long suffering. His father comes to take some of the meager food stuffs Joab and his brother and sister get from the school sponsor each week. His father, an alcoholic, remarried remember, is not working.

I think everyone in the room was more touched by Joab and the children than they thought that they would be. Most of them just sort of stared beyond the screen – lost in consideration of it all. Some teared, a couple looked at me as if to say, I’m going to throw my life at that. I didn’t tell the kids beforehand what it would be like, or suggest any further lesson plans. We just watched it all for the first time together. When the credits ran, they turned and asked, “What are we going to do, Mrs. Sullivan? What can we do?”

“I don’t know,” I responded. “What do you think we could do?”

“Maybe pay someone’s way through school, or buy their uniform or books or shoes,” came idea after idea.

“Tell you what, I’ll fb my friends overseas and see who has some struggling school age kids that could use your help. Monday, we will make a plan.”

Lea and Mark ( South Africa) just happened to run into just those kind of kids a week or two ago. They fb’d me back with a real need and plan to solve it, if we could just get together a little money. Tomorrow, I’ll have pictures of the kids and their school and teacher and what they need from us to keep on growing and learning.  And then Lea promised she’d have pictures of those very kids walking, playing, going to school in the new shoes we provided them just a week or two later. She and Mark would go and buy the shoes with their pastor/teacher and take them to the children themselves.

My grandfather, who raised his brothers and sisters and put them all through school, even college, only saw Trent once. He was tickled with him. He called him Double Breasted Jesse, after a black man who had worked with him and who had been a friend to him. “He was a wide fellow, always wore a double-breasted suit, for the room,” he told me.  When I first met Jesse Mwakajumba, Trent introduced me to him as his African twin. So I have twin sons: Jesse and Double Breasted Jesse.  I have loved Jesse like my own from the moment that we met. Even in that dream of Trent’s that he had so many times before sharing it with us all, it is Trent and Jesse, together, fishing and catching men at the seaside. I believe that their lives are linked in so many ways that we do not yet understand.

Joab is a Jesse, A God man. It is all over him, too. Pray with me for Joab as you would Jesse or Ole Double Breasted.

To see this film: http://video.pbs.org/video/1239934544/

or go to PBS video |Wide Angle| Time for School 3|

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Edge- the place yourself in the story thing

Well, I have to admit I am guilty of not really listening or understanding the point of this particular  contemplative exercise. I perceived it as a third person retelling, or a screen play inventory. I had done tons of that for some projects of my past and was quite content with my experience of such.I never heard or saw a first person example. But I do now understand how such might be a channel for revelation.

Here’s what I was working toward last night. I am no James Joyce…I fear too many readings of his “bests” have cured me of “the stream.” So, yes, I do not chase words on the page…I am far too prolific in such, too easily wood down tributaries. You would have novellas at every turn, though poor in construct.

Here was my best surrendered effort to the imagine yourself within thing.

“Send him into me.”

“My prefect.”

“Your business with me?”

“The body, of Jesus of Nazareth. May I have it?”

“What do you wish to do with it?”

“Lay him in my sepulcher, sir. It is not far from here.”

Pilate eyes me carefully. “It seems the least…,” I stumble.

Pilate’s eyes do not soften nor harden.

“He deserved my, this I can do, with your permission.”

“Strange, not three days ago, I sought yours to free this very man.”

“ I am aware, sir.”

“How much alike are we? all powerful and yet unable,” he muses.

He holds my eyes, in search companionship I believe, not absolution.

“Make I take him, sir?”

“Please, please take him, good man.”

“Oh, that I had been.”

“And I.”

How much like Pilate and Joseph, whose last words on the subject betray their right reckoning of Christ, am I?

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