Well @hezzerlove asked me what random things I'm into
So here goes!
I love science fiction and british television.
I love anything foreign (meaning not American)
I love random music, of any kind. If you tell me to listen, I will.
I love DANGER! My friend told me recently that he was a fire “breather” and “eater” (aka those weird party tricks where you spit alcohol through a lighter) and I just died wondering how COOL that would be! Ah! The thrill!
I love adrenaline, if that wasn’t already obvious. I love things that make my stomach swell up with hysteria and excitement.
I love dancing in the rain. Probably my favourite thing to do…ever.
It is sooooooo annoying when people don't understand my randomness. Sometimes its nice though. Lets you seem more 'creative' then you really are. but most of the time its nice to have someone atleast sort of understand.
Yeah! I totally understand. Sometimes it makes me feel smarter than them ;)
“The collapse of the world on the quietest day This time it’s the sun standing still”
-I believe this to mean the struggle of someone in the middle of the quietest moment, a single tear dropping from your cheek in the middle of a crowd, yet the sun still shines. Life goes on, God is still here with us.
“But holding on hope for something that’s good”
-Holding on hope…Just keep holding on. To me this means waiting, listening, watching for something beautiful in a horrible day. Seeking God and being broken in his presence.
“I’ve come now as far as I can go today In this vast empty space”
-This is the part of the song where all strength is gone, all patience is gone, all hope is almost lost, I have gone as far as I can go, and everything seems empty. Everything gives me a sense of apathy.
“But don’t give up now don’t give up now, No”
-BUT DON’T GIVE UP! Just wait! There is a light approaching! There is a love waiting for you! Just on the other side of the storm, there is love, patience, community, friends, etc! Ecclesiastes says there is a time for EVERYTHING! A time for dancing, a time for weeping, a time for waiting and a time for celebration! Just wait. Wait in the Lord. Wait in the sense of clarity that the storm brings. Most times, after I cry, I open my eyes and the whole world seems open to me.
“Don’t throw your heart away”
-Don’t give your heart over to pain, suffering and anger. Don’t surrender yourself to it. There are so many people that long to hold your heart, to keep you safe. There are so many people that love you and care for you. Give your heart to them!
“Don’t give up now Don’t give up now, No Don’t throw your heart away”
-In Hebrew, repetition was a sign of emphasis, and I believe this repetition to just force the idea that there is so much out there! Don’t give up! Don’t throw yourself away!
“The collapse of the world on the quietest day This time it’s the sun standing still”
-This last line, in all its entirety, just holds the idea that even though we are suffering in ourselves, life still trudges forward. The sun is still standing! The sun, the light to our world, the one constant in our daily lives still lives on. This is our hope. This is our life.
A little explanation: I just went on a fun journey. I traveled to the neighborhood across the busy street from mine, a million miles away, yet, so close, so near. I parked my car and stepped out. I shot what seemed like a thousand words for a thousand pictures, I got back in my car and drove home.
“I want to be a man who knocks down boundary lines…be they social, racial, cultural or stereotypical….I’m sick of them really…i suppose it starts one person at a time…I must refuse to make judgements based on how ppl look, where they’re from or what they sound like…God help me treat every person with the value you treat me with”—Andrew Robinson.
The best thing on this earth is community, knowing you have friends and people to have your back. When we don’t have anyone with us, we feel lonely and loneliness makes us do stupid stuff. BUT we are NEVER alone. There is always someone there for you, even if its your stupid brother or your mom, they are there for you.
God is always there for you. He chose us first, he loves us, even though we are garbage and sinful, He loves us and chose us. I can’t even begin to explain how much craziness God has brought into my life because he loves me and because I love Him. He is amazing. He’s a really cool dude and all he wants is for us to love Him too.
Today, I was worship leading and I completely lost myself in the worship. I couldn’t even sing properly, let alone in front of people. But I didn’t care. I just worshipped Him. It was amazing. All I could do was smile and it was so freeing. Then, I open my eyes and see all of my people, all my friends, all my peers worshipping WITH me! And that meant the world to me. So much community, so much love, so much WORSHIP!
Pedro the Lion is loud in the speakers, and the city waits just outside our open windows. She sits and sings, legs crossed in the passenger seat, her pretty voice hiding in the volume. Music is a safe place and Pedro is her favorite. It hits me that she won’t see this skyline for several weeks, and we will be without her. I lean forward, knowing this will be written, and I ask what she’d say if her story had an audience. She smiles. “Tell them to look up. Tell them to remember the stars.”
I would rather write her a song, because songs don’t wait to resolve, and because songs mean so much to her. Stories wait for endings, but songs are brave things bold enough to sing when all they know is darkness. These words, like most words, will be written next to midnight, between hurricane and harbor, as both claim to save her.
Renee is 19. When I meet her, cocaine is fresh in her system. She hasn’t slept in 36 hours and she won’t for another 24. It is a familiar blur of coke, pot, pills and alcohol. She has agreed to meet us, to listen and to let us pray. We ask Renee to come with us, to leave this broken night. She says she’ll go to rehab tomorrow, but she isn’t ready now. It is too great a change. We pray and say goodbye and it is hard to leave without her.
She has known such great pain; haunted dreams as a child, the near-constant presence of evil ever since. She has felt the touch of awful naked men, battled depression and addiction, and attempted suicide. Her arms remember razor blades, fifty scars that speak of self-inflicted wounds. Six hours after I meet her, she is feeling trapped, two groups of “friends” offering opposite ideas. Everyone is asleep. The sun is rising. She drinks long from a bottle of liquor, takes a razor blade from the table and locks herself in the bathroom. She cuts herself, using the blade to write “FUCK UP” large across her left forearm.
The nurse at the treatment center finds the wound several hours later. The center has no detox, names her too great a risk, and does not accept her. For the next five days, she is ours to love. We become her hospital and the possibility of healing fills our living room with life. It is unspoken and there are only a few of us, but we will be her church, the body of Christ coming alive to meet her needs, to write love on her arms.
She is full of contrast, more alive and closer to death than anyone I’ve known, like a Johnny Cash song or some theatre star. She owns attitude and humor beyond her 19 years, and when she tells me her story, she is humble and quiet and kind, shaped by the pain of a hundred lifetimes. I sit privileged but breaking as she shares. Her life has been so dark yet there is some soft hope in her words, and on consecutive evenings, I watch the prettiest girls in the room tell her that she’s beautiful. I think it’s God reminding her.
I’ve never walked this road, but I decide that if we’re going to run a five-day rehab, it is going to be the coolest in the country. It is going to be rock and roll. We start with the basics; lots of fun, too much Starbucks and way too many cigarettes
Thursday night she is in the balcony for Band Marino, Orlando’s finest. They are indie-folk-fabulous, a movement disguised as a circus. She loves them and she smiles when I point out the A&R man from Atlantic Europe, in town from London just to catch this show.
She is in good seats when the Magic beat the Sonics the next night, screaming like a lifelong fan with every Dwight Howard dunk. On the way home, we stop for more coffee and books, Blue Like Jazz and (Anne Lamott’s) Traveling Mercies.
On Saturday, the Taste of Chaos tour is in town and I’m not even sure we can get in, but doors do open and minutes after parking, we are on stage for Thrice, one of her favorite bands. She stands ten feet from the drummer, smiling constantly. It is a bright moment there in the music, as light and rain collide above the stage. It feels like healing. It is certainly hope.
Sunday night is church and many gather after the service to pray for Renee, this her last night before entering rehab. Some are strangers but all are friends tonight. The prayers move from broken to bold, all encouraging. We’re talking to God but I think as much, we’re talking to her, telling her she’s loved, saying she does not go alone. One among us knows her best. Ryan sits in the corner strumming an acoustic guitar, singing songs she’s inspired.
After church our house fills with friends, there for a few more moments before goodbye. Everyone has some gift for her, some note or hug or piece of encouragement. She pulls me aside and tells me she would like to give me something. I smile surprised, wondering what it could be. We walk through the crowded living room, to the garage and her stuff.
She hands me her last razor blade, tells me it is the one she used to cut her arm and her last lines of cocaine five nights before. She’s had it with her ever since, shares that tonight will be the hardest night and she shouldn’t have it. I hold it carefully, thank her and know instantly that this moment, this gift, will stay with me. It hits me to wonder if this great feeling is what Christ knows when we surrender our broken hearts, when we trade death for life.
As we arrive at the treatment center, she finishes: “The stars are always there but we miss them in the dirt and clouds. We miss them in the storms. Tell them to remember hope. We have hope.”
I have watched life come back to her, and it has been a privilege. When our time with her began, someone suggested shifts but that is the language of business. Love is something better. I have been challenged and changed, reminded that love is that simple answer to so many of our hardest questions. Don Miller says we’re called to hold our hands against the wounds of a broken world, to stop the bleeding. I agree so greatly.
We often ask God to show up. We pray prayers of rescue. Perhaps God would ask us to be that rescue, to be His body, to move for things that matter. He is not invisible when we come alive. I might be simple but more and more, I believe God works in love, speaks in love, is revealed in our love. I have seen that this week and honestly, it has been simple: Take a broken girl, treat her like a famous princess, give her the best seats in the house. Buy her coffee and cigarettes for the coming down, books and bathroom things for the days ahead. Tell her something true when all she’s known are lies. Tell her God loves her. Tell her about forgiveness, the possibility of freedom, tell her she was made to dance in white dresses. All these things are true.
We are only asked to love, to offer hope to the many hopeless. We don’t get to choose all the endings, but we are asked to play the rescuers. We won’t solve all mysteries and our hearts will certainly break in such a vulnerable life, but it is the best way. We were made to be lovers bold in broken places, pouring ourselves out again and again until we’re called home.
I have learned so much in one week with one brave girl. She is alive now, in the patience and safety of rehab, covered in marks of madness but choosing to believe that God makes things new, that He meant hope and healing in the stars. She would ask you to remember.
Its an absolutely GORGEOUS day here in Houston, TX. I only wish my new camera was here so I could go photograph.
I was driving down Champion Forest and I came to a stop light and ahead of me was this tunnel of the greenest trees I have ever seen in my life. It was fantastic. The sun hit each leaf with such compassion and made the trees glow. That was one moment where I thought, “God, you are here! Why don’t I have my camera?!” It was a wonderful way to start my day.
I’ve come back to my roots. I have found my passions again.
Due to a break in normal life, my day-to-day, boring life where all I would do is sit, eat, walk, talk, etc. I’ve come back to who I am, who God made me to be.
I spent this past week living for no one else but God, living, breathing, acting within God’s presence. He showed me so many things about myself that I never even knew. I lived with a broken spirit, an open soul, where every part of God could just pour into me!
God gave me visions. I prayed SO much this past week that He would show me His plan for me, or at least help me wait and to sustain me and finally, and after an intense message on how I am God’s child, when He sees me, He sees Jesus and I am righteous, I completely broke again. Everything, every pain, everything I had been holding in completely poured out in tears. I couldn’t breath, all I could do was cry and in that moment God gave me two visions. The first vision: I was saying goodbye to my past life, to everything that was holding my back from God and from being free. The second: I was in an unknown, beautiful place, surrounded by people I didn’t know and they were all with me. I was worshipping and praising God and all of the people were worshipping with me. They were blessed by my worship and my photography and everything.
God showed me where HE wants me. Now, all I have to do is wait, watch, and listen to what God has to offer me.