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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I can't stand the rain.

Today was just what I needed. Or I should say that tonight is what I needed.
I went to a small group with some people from my church.
It's so important for me to have a strong spiritual community. Working day to day on things, it is easy for me to get wrapped up in the small things and let the problems of the world overwhelm me and my inability to address them. The time I take to reconnect with a power larger than me, a purpose and a plan larger than me, gives me peace. It allows me to recognize that there are many things beyond me, as well as many things within my reach.
Worry would be the word of the week. I have been worrying if the work I will do in this year will have any realy noticeable affect. I began to think that maybe the problems were too deep and too systemic to be solved or even adequately addressed. I began to believe that maybe this is how things will always be and I should just do what I can but stop trying to change things.
Tonight I was reminded that I must never give up the fight.
Our study is on when faith meets culture. We watched a small video of a church which I believe was in Canada. It is a modern church but after doing a little history they found out that the land their church was on had been stolen from Native American tribes when settlers first came to the land. On top of that, children from the tribes were taken from thier families and put into these reform schools run by missionaries. In the schools the children were mentally, physically and emotionally abused and this occured for many generations. Even though the modern church had no immediate involvement in the actions that had taken place, they took it upon themselves to restore the relationship with the Native American people. To give back, in a way, what had been taken back those many years ago.
We then had a discussion about what it means today to reach beyond racial and ethnic lines to restore unity and appreciate differences. This spiraled off into a discussion about gentrification and more specifically Penntrification. Basically, recent Penn grads are deciding to stay in the university city/west philly community. Some, like a couple at my church, intentionally move into a community that is diverse or made up of mixed incomes in an effort to go beyond themselves and form relationships. However, as more Penn grads move into the same neigborhood, prices and taxes start to rise which inevitably forces those with low or fixed income out of the nieghborhoods. The difficulty is how did you build a relationship with someone who sees you as a threat to their well being. It was a really interesting discussion.
It just caused me to put everything into perspective. I once read somewhere that people who worried are self-centered. It does look like a blanket accusation but the message is that there are things beyond us is in greater hands. I keep thinking about how to get the whole city of Philadelphia out of poverty. I can't do that (yet) but I can help one person. I can do something and I must learn to value that something I can do.
I believe that we can all change the world and it begins with one life.
Usually your own.

Really Happy News: My mom sent me the most wonderful card. I love these things called quotable cards. The funny things is my mom doesn't know that but she sent me one. It really made my day. The quote is "life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself." She also put my new insurance cards in there, cause she's such a mom. An amazing one.
Here is a snipit of her card which now sits proudly on my counter:
I'm glad tht you like your job, it sounds exciting! You are such a brave young lady to strike out with your feet on the ground. Oh! The snow is going to be beautiful. I love the snow. Please remember I'm here for you, don't feel like you can't talk to me about anything.
I called her and thanked her and then was granted a lecture on choosing doctors and making sure I undersand my insurance benefits. I do treasure those moments, however annoying they seem to be.

Song: You gotta be by Des'ree

Quote: A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves. Amelia Earhart

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