there seems to be so many different things banging around in my head as of late. mostly they seem to be little nuggets of inspiration, kernels of future study, or that child like nudging saying it's time to paint. today driving home after a full day which included a bit of childcare in the morning, la traffic, attempts but not success at napping and then a dinner at a urban ministry...all the subtle nudging swelled and grew as BRMC's "The Toll" echoed through the sound system of my best friend's car via my ipod and i thought my heart would burst with all the inexpressible gratitude and emotion. still three months after moving to los angeles i find that i am still being amazed and blessed by the unexpected. some days God chooses to be more showy, as anne lamott puts it, and today was one of those days.
it started with a sermon as i drove in fog slowed traffic at 6:30am. edwin, the pastor of the church i attend was talking about the lack of passion people have today and how we are called to live lives marked by passion for the vision of God and those specific unique gifts that we each are given to use passionately for the blessing of others. my heart cried out hearing those words, he went on to say that it is not enough just to know your skills/gifting/calling/passion but it is also important for you to know how specifically you utilize that. he spoke about his own need as a writer for someone to come along side him and type out his works and story. at which point i was dumb struck by the solid knowledge that i need people to come along side and create with me...co-collaboration is one of the aspects to how i uniquely utilize my skills and gifting.
the same idea of passion came up this evening...John Perkins (major name in racial reconciliation) spoke about passion as the calling to live with people, to take on their suffering and emphasize with their situation and help change it. he also spoke about the fact that currently we have lost passion as church and people in general because we have everything we want at our fingers. which was similar to edwin's talking about the current lack of passion in people.
i began to think about things that i am drawn to the places and issues where even when unintentionally i speak with fever and passion. one of them is women and abuses that happen to women and girls. which lend to musings on the disconnection between some people who i have known who are passionate about social justice for women who are trapped in various forms of slave trade and human trafficking yet who do not treat the people they are in relationship with in the same manner of dignity and respect. i recall an author who has written a piece in eve elsener's "a memory, a rant, a prayer" about his experience in exposing human trafficking in thailand and yet in his first book glorified the object focused random sex he had in and after college. it feels like something is missing...that there is a underlying current of something missing in that equation. i wondered what it would cost to fully give to reconcile the dissonance in my life so that my integrity was solid through and through with out the discontinuity...yet still bringing my humanity, hope, love and truth to every encounter i have with another.
i think both of the wise men i listened to during the day were right about passion and i think that maybe through the fusion of gifts, passion, truth, love, and faith that integrity and hope can be found...or at least a meaning and purpose for one's unique and beautiful life that is greater than just filling the gaping whole of desire but rather roots and grows a tree of deep meaning out of that life.
and in the end i want to do something good and creative and positively changing in the world and in the lives of others. and so my heart wells with joy and anticipation about the journey that i am on to get to that place.