Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lessons in Student Ministry: Moments that make my heart smile

Well today it's snowing in Austin, Texas which elicits a reaction from people similar to if they saw a pig flying through the sky or Elvis walking downtown. It's a strange phenomenon for a girl from the Midwest, and in the two years I've been here it hasn't gotten any less strange.

People stop functioning. They lose their minds. Things shut down. No one wants to come to work because it's "cold." Everyone wants to stay off the roads. Today I was nearly one of those people because I've learned something really important in my time one knows how to drive in this stuff either. I fear for my life not because the roads are slick and my car weighs as much as an empty soda can, but because these people go crazy and I don't trust them to know what to do if they fishtail.

So, my desire to go to the middle school to have lunch today was in question as I watched big, fluffy flakes come down fast 30 minutes before the lunch bell would ring. But, resolving to refuse to become one of "those" people, I headed out, no coat and no gloves...just to make a point. (Hopefully that point won't be that freezing temperatures will in fact give you pneumonia despite what part of the country you grew up in.)

If I thought the community in general goes crazy, it's nothing compared to a building full of little people still struggling to find the balance between wanting to be adults and discovering that their hearts still race at the sight of minor snowfall which could mean going home early. And in fact, I discovered many students had already left. Their parents had come to get them from school simply because it was snowing. Let me be clear that I by no means judge or have any thoughts on kids leaving school because it's snowing. But I'm perplexed. In 25 years I've never heard of such a thing.

Of course all my girls said, "JEN! It's snowing!" Yes...yes it is. "Isn't that exciting! Jen we NEVER get to see snow." I assured them that I would be happy to freeze a bag of cotton balls and litter their yard with it and they looked at me like I was insane. We all moved onto conversation about which kids had called their parents and who thought they might get to leave and whose requests had already been turned down.

Luckily for me the conversation shifted and ended up in places like this:

Claudia: Jen! Guess what! I'm going to Canada this summer!
Me: Why are you going to Canada?
Claudia: Hello! Why wouldn't you go to Canada?! I mean c'mon. It's like a cheap version of France.

Me: Brady when is Ben going to Barcelona?
Hannah: Ben is going to Barcelona?!
Brady: Yeah, for a big swim meet.
Hannah: What!? Does he have to shave his whole body?
Me: Wouldn't that be crazy to have to shave your entire body? Especially if you're a guy.
Claudia: My uncle is REALLY hairy.
*Blank stares*
Me: Is that the end of your story?
Claudia: Yes.

Early on in the lunch period the snow had died down to a sleet/rain mixture, the kind you can hear on the roof but can't really see if you're looking out the window. Sure enough though, just minutes before the bell rang to dismiss, the big, fluffy snowflakes came back...and the fire alarm went off.

Chaos ensued.

It was fairly clear that the fire alarm wasn't anything to really worry about, seemed just a simple mistake or possible prank and I think the kids picked up on that. But despite the fact that kids are to remain seated unless they're getting food, about 25% of them ran to the huge windows. Another 30% started cheering and yelling. About 25% seemed unaffected...and the remaining few looked around with that twinkle in their eye that shows they recognize that chaos is happening and they could get away with a lot before it dies down.

As I watched the adults in the room unsuccessfully attempt to get control of the situation, I couldn't help but smile.

In mere seconds, those kids had completely taken over that cafeteria, going where they wanted to go, making the noise they wanted to make, doing what they wanted to do and there was little any adult could do to actually stop it.

I couldn't help but wonder, if they realized the kind of power they have, and if they had a common desire to use it for good, what could these kids really do in this world. That power, that energy, that creativity and spark...just have to wonder.

The fire alarm stopped and the kids got tired of standing at the window. The noise died down and they started to get back to their seats. All in all the situation lasted about 60 seconds.

But I really had to wonder...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lessons in Student Ministry: Part...I don't even know anymore

Don't underestimate the Holy Spirit or your students ability to hear it.

Last night I taught a message to all of our 6th and 7th graders about Jesus being a healer. In a bizarre, extremely God-ordained series of events, the blog that I previously wrote about dragging our friends to the feet of Jesus just happened to miraculously tie in to what I was teaching and I felt that familiar little tug on my heart to take that message to them. I honestly questioned how they would receive they would understand it...if it would really challenge them or if they could make the words that I spoke fit into what they already do and they could walk away not feeling any need to make a change...and if they were challenged, what that would even look like in their lives.

When we started last night in the big group, we walked through the story in Mark 10 of a blind beggar and how he responds to Jesus, the way his faith makes him completely abandon any concern what others think of him. After we talked through that story, I asked the girls if Jesus is still able to heal that way today, if a blind man today could receive sight by the power of Jesus. The responses were mixed. Some of them clearly wanted to believe that is true, but simply couldn't figure out how it would be possible. Some said it was possible, but it would have to come through a doctor or some modern medicine. None of them were confident that it could just "happen."

After that we talked about different kinds of healing and the different kinds of healing we might need in our own lives. I read them a story from my World Vision magazine about a family from Burundi, Africa and we talked about all the different kinds of healing they need and the ways Jesus could possibly meet those needs.

We broke up into small groups and I was excited to have only 4 girls last night, a great size to really discuss and I had a good mix of personalities.

We read through Mark 2 together, talking about the men who carried their paralyzed friend and dropped him through a roof to get him to Jesus and be healed. We first talked about who we related to most in the story.

Were we the paralyzed man, broken and in need of help, needing Jesus, needing faith. Were we one of the four friends, strong in faith and trusting that our obedience would be blessed with healing, and able to carry our friends to Jesus. Or were we one of the people in the room, followers of the law who criticized Jesus and would have criticized the four for doing something so irrational and ridiculous.

Then I asked, "So...are you willing to drag your friends to Jesus? Do you have friends who would drag you to Him?"

Everybody looked at me for a second and Barbara said the inevitable, "I really don't know what that means since Jesus isn't here anymore. How do we do that if we can't actually take someone to see Him?"

This is a good sign...they're paying attention and thinking. This is not always a given. :)

So, we came up with an example. Let's say that you have a friend who gets in a big fight with her best friend. She comes to you and starts telling you everything that happened and how horrible her friend is and just generally "venting." What would it look like if we responded by taking that girl to Jesus?

"Well...I guess it would be just listening but then reminding her of why they're best friends and encouraging her to forgive her friend."

"Yeah, I think it would be just helping her and her friend work things out and reminding her of all the good things about her friend."


My hope was that they'd respond by telling me that they would listen, but also encourage their friend to not talk bad about anyone. That they wouldn't continue to gossip about it. That they would give this girl a place to sit if she felt lonely.

Because that response from them would mean that at least we've nailed the moralism part. The "right thing to do."

What I did not expect was what I got. A heart change. A recognition that it's not just about their friend, but about her best friend too. About the importance of restoring that relationship. About helping them work through and rebuild. That's HUGE when in middle school one person hating their best friend means one more friend for you when she comes running to you.

After that I asked if they could think of any examples in their own life, and one of my girls, who rarely goes very "deep" but has a wonderful and bright sense of humor shared that when she was 7 her parents decided to move. She was so angry at them and had a sleepover with a couple of her friends. She told them she was moving across the country and that she hated her parents and couldn't believe that they would do this to her. They responded in agreement with her. They told her her parents were stupid. They told her she should be mad at them. They told her they couldn't believe her parents were going to take her away from her friends.

They were 7...

But at 13, looking back on that situation, this was her response...

"You know, even now, I really wish they would have told me that this could be a really good experience. That my parents weren't stupid and cared about me. That I would make new friends and that they would never forget about me. That's what I really wanted them to say. And it would have made me feel really good if they would have prayed with me."

And that's what it looks like to take your friends to Jesus when you're in 7th grade in 2010.

Never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit to teach your kids what He wants them to know.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I'm going to try and teach about 25 6th and 7th graders about this

I pray that the words will fall on fertile soil. Because I really can't get my head back to 7th grade enough to know how they'll respond. But trusting God's leading on this one.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Big FB Break

Well...I realized today that it's been a week and a day since I was "on" facebook. Here are a few observations:

1. The time without it has gone by incredibly fast. Definitely doesn't feel like it's been that long.

2. I really needed to and did get on twice. Once to get someone's email. And once to respond to a message from someone. Both times I had a strong urge to go read my newsfeed or people's walls. This indicates to me that I did in fact have an addiction when the very sight of it's blue and white blocky goodness provoked such a desire in me. But I resisted. :)

3.The final and maybe most important...I have yet to find ONE thing that I'm missing.

I believe that without constantly checking it, my life may have changed for the better. I'm not going to say that for sure right now. But it most definitely has not changed for the worse. Short of realizing that I've probably missed an opportunity to tell a lot of people "Happy Birthday," I can't think of anything I've missed. I've turned back to email, a place to connect with real friends where it's kind of awkward to just throw two sentences out there, a form of communication that forces something a little more substantial. I find that not knowing what is going on in everyone else's life is great. If they want to tell me, they will and I don't have the stress of trying to keep up.

And I've had a friend who jumped in the facebook break with me and it's so encouraging to have someone who is willing to give that up too, just to see what comes of it.

We'll see how long it last...but for right now, I'm not going back anytime soon.

Lessons in Student Ministry: Moments That Make My Heart Smile

Barbara: "'s your week going?"

Me: "Honestly, it's a little off. I've been feeling a little funky the past couple of days."

Claudia: "It's because you didn't see us last Thursday. You just need our hyperness to keep you smiling."

...I knew there was a reason. :)

Monday, February 15, 2010


Honestly I’m weaker now than I’ve ever been
I hate to admit, I’m shamefully hesitant
In this my bitter cold, I surrendered my hope
When I gave into the lie again
I believed the untruth, and now I need you
Still something says

Hold on through the moonlight
Don’t let go, don’t let go
Something says hold on on through the moonlight
Don’t let go, don’t let go

And if I could breathe you in
I’ll be sure to hold my breath
Cause you are like oxygen
Bringing me to life
So here I stand once again
Open me and come on in
Cause you are like oxygen
Bringing me to life

It’s painfully evident
That uncertainty is life
And I’m still a child
Tossed by the waves again
So quick to deny, and master to hide
Still something says

Hold on through the moonlight
Don’t let go, don’t let go
Something says hold on on through the moonlight
Don’t let go, don’t let go

And if I could breathe you in
I’ll be sure to hold my breath
Cause you are like oxygen
Bringing me to life
So here I stand once again
Open me and come on in
Cause you are like oxygen
Bringing me to life

~Building 429

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The kind of friend to be...

A few days ago I posted a question and y'all apparently got shy on me and didn't respond. And I think if I waited long enough I'd hear from people, but I'm not patient, and God has made a point of really laying this on my heart and head so I need to get it out of my system. :) (I also recognize that a few of you said you're still thinking and that's completely okay.)

The other day I emailed Char and said, "Why do we always feel like it's not enough to simply point people back to the Gospel. And why do we feel like it's not enough when others do that for us."

Her response, which I completely agree with, was this, "Maybe it is because we live in a culture where it is believed that it is not enough...that ultimately Christ is not enough. The Gospel has been so watered down and humans have been so built up that we don't want a Savior, we want a knight in shining armor...a fictitious character to come and take us away, out of pain and suffering and into bliss."

So so often I am given access to a friend's life, ears to hear their struggles or eyes to actually see it.

And boy do I want to fix it.

I want to make it better. I want to be "that person" who made it all okay. I want to be a savior.

I forget that they've already got a savior and there's not room for more than one of those.

I forget that I've got my own junk so how in the world am I going to fix theirs.

I forget that just because I may "understand" what they're dealing with, it was Jesus who rescued me, not someone else who "understood."

So I don't point them to the Gospel. I point them to myself. And what ends up happening is that I don't have the time or the energy or the resources to actually live up to my word. I can't make good on the promise to save because I will always be too empty to do that. And then I will have left them...seeking something in me that they won't find and possibly with bigger problems than they started with.

And on the rare occasion that I don't forget all those things, well it's then that I have fear.

I fear that they'll think I don't care. That I'm taking the easy way out.

I fear that they'll go find someone else to give them what they want.

I fear that if I ONLY turn them to the Gospel that God won't actually show up for them.

I can only imagine that I fear all those things because that is so frequently how I respond when others do it for me.

I've been thinking on this so much lately and last night God totally brought it right back up. I heard someone speak about having the kind of friends who literally drag us to the feet of Jesus. And about being the kind of friend who drags other people to the feet of Jesus. Because it's only in encountering God Himself that we will find healing.

In Mark 2:1-12 we hear a story of a paralyzed man whose friends literally put him on a board and carried him to the house that Jesus was in to get him healed. When they saw that the crowd was too big they straight up climbed onto the roof of the house, cut a hole in it and lowered the man down right in front of Jesus. And it says, "When Jesus saw their [emphasis mine] faith, He said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven...rise, pick up your bed, and go home.'"

This guy's friends had so much faith in Jesus to heal this man that they carried him heaven only knows how far, took him on the roof of a home, cut a hole in the roof and lowered him down to Jesus' feet. And Jesus recognized the faith of the man and of his friends. It was just that simple...

And really, that's the kind of friend I want to be. I want to hear someone's struggles and even if it's through tears want to respond by saying, "I hear you. And I hurt with you. And as much as I want to, I can't fix you. But I will take you to the feet of Jesus. I will drag you there if I have to. And I will stay with you there." Because that is what will make you well.

So, if you think that all you need is a hug...if you just need to curl up with a chick flick and eat ice cream...if you need to vent about a crazy boss or hurtful friend...if you need to escape where you are and come play in Texas...heck, if you need to escape, to run from where you are, and move to Texas, yeah, I could be your girl. I could help you with all that.

But if you need to not just be hugged but comforted...if you need to not just feel better but to actually get better...if you need to not hear lies but truth...if you need to not escape but to find your home, right in the place God has you, then I'm going to have to take you to see someone else.

And my prayer is that I'll start remembering to do that.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Calling all sandwich artists...

The management team at Subway on 38th and 1/2 is looking for sandwich artists to join their crew.

I guess that means they're hiring.

Status Update

I am not on facebook right now. (Sounds like a medication I take doesn't it? Hence the reason I'm not on it.)

But if I were, this is what my status would say:

Jennifer Corzine's dinosaur nickname should be Cankersaurus Rex. Ouch.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I need your thoughts...

Why is it that it's never enough for us to simply point people to the Gospel and NOTHING else when they are seeking guidance, help, comfort or assistance.

We point people to comfort food, movies, self-help theories, ourselves and our own ideas of how they should be responding or sometimes other people and just maybe a little scripture somewhere in the middle of all that.

And why is it that when there is a rare person who ONLY points us back to the Gospel and to Jesus, we feel like they haven't done enough.

Okay go...

P.S. I would love to find out who more of my random blogger friends are so please feel free to leave a comment! :) I really want to know people's thoughts.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Jesus and Social Media

The time has come again...

The call for me to take a big ol' break from facebook. Aka: How to Waste Time 101.

I'm becoming more and more aware of the church's push for the effective use of social media as a way of furthering the message of the Gospel. I see over and over again that we communicate using twitter and facebook.

My disclaimer: I absolutely see the value in social media. I very much respect the potential that it holds for connecting people and transmitting information to the masses.

I won't speak for anyone else and it would be wrong of me to even consider/judge the way other people use it (but I'm human so sometimes I do that). But, I fear and am very much aware that in my own life, like any good thing God has given us, I spend much more time using His gifts for my own purposes than for His glory or to further His Kingdom.

Let me be real vulnerable about what my time on facebook looks like...

I read my newsfeed.
I click on random friends' profiles and read their walls.
I read comments that people, who I don't even know, have left them.
I question what some of those comments mean and what may be going on in their life and sometimes even make my own assumptions as to what those mean. (This is a BAD idea).
Sometimes I even go to their friends' walls and on the off chance they don't have their privacy settings a certain way, read how my friends responded to them.
I look at picture albums posted, again by people I don't know, that have my friends in them and sometimes at picture albums full of people I don't even know.
I find out information that I'm not even seeking and probably don't need to know.

I know what my friends' plans are for the weekend.
I know what my friends did last weekend.
I know who is dating who.
I know inside jokes between people, without knowing what they actually mean.
I know who has family members who passed away.
I know who knows who.

I know SO much information that 1. I don't need to know and 2. Was not actually invited to know.

Seriously? When this is in words in front of sounds certifiably insane.

I have ways of finding out information that by no means was someone planning on telling ME when they wrote it on a mutual friend's wall. While I recognize that in posting something on someone's wall they are allowing anyone to read it, it doesn't mean it ever crossed their mind that I would.

And I don't want to learn things that way. I want to learn things because someone wanted to share it with me. I want to learn about conversations one person had with another simply because they wanted me to know that information, because they wanted to share how it impacted their heart.

And even harder to deal with, but somewhere deep down is true, I want to NOT know what others don't want me to know.

I don't want to be a gossip. I don't want to be nosey. There is nothing edifying in any of that. Sometimes I feel like it's like if I were to read someone's diary. I would find out information that only further peaks my interest, but I'm not in a position to actually talk to them about it because I shouldn't have read it anyway. There's nothing comfortable about being in that place. And there's nothing glorifying about it.

So, I'm giving up facebook again for a little bit until I can have a more God-centered relationship with it. Until I can use it not as a way of distracting me from my boredom, which in turn leads to all of the above, but until I can use it for the SOLE purpose of being intentional in my relationships and possibly furthering the message of the Gospel.

I can only imagine what all I'll miss in however long this break takes, but I'm kind of ready to be missing a lot of that and definitely ready to find out what I'll gain in the meantime.

I wanna be this person when I grow up...

Dressed in Gentleness

Once in a while we meet a gentle person. Gentleness is a virtue hard to find in a society that admires toughness and roughness. We are encouraged to get things done and to get them done fast, even when people get hurt in the process. Success, accomplishment, and productivity count. But the cost is high. There is no place for gentleness in such a milieu.

Gentle is the one who does "not break the crushed reed, or snuff the faltering wick" (Matthew 12:20). Gentle is the one who is attentive to the strengths and weaknesses of the other and enjoys being together more than accomplishing something. A gentle person treads lightly, listens carefully, looks tenderly, and touches with reverence. A gentle person knows that true growth requires nurture, not force. Let's dress ourselves with gentleness. In our tough and often unbending world our gentleness can be a vivid reminder of the presence of God among us.

~Henri Nouwen

Friday, February 5, 2010

“It started out being a musical about ideas and it became a musical about people. And I think that’s an important lesson for me in all writing is that people are more interesting than ideas when it comes to drama...The other thing we learned is that when you’re young, it’s very easy to be snarky and ironic and there’s a lot of great material to be derived out of those modes of thinking. And as you get a little bit older you realize that snark and irony and sarcasm are actually pretty easy. They’re defensive poses. It’s much more challenging and dangerous to put something sincere and real out in the world.”
Brian Yorkey, Lyricist of hit musical "Next to Normal"

Lessons in Student Ministry: Moments that make my heart smile of the sweetest, most kind-hearted and precious middle schoolers I have ever met in my life. One of those kids who really just gets it. One of those kids that you can never imagine has done anything “wrong” in her life, but will be the first to tell you that she feels a drastic change in who she is since really beginning to get to know Jesus.

Last night one of our girls was talking about the sin in our lives and said, “We're just all so...dirty.” I said, “Well, can you ever be too dirty for God?”

Two of my girls looked at each other, looked at me, kind of shook their heads in the safe diagonal motion that could be perceived as a yes nod or a no shake.

And then Barbara said, “Well, I don't know if this is really the answer to your question. But, when I was the age that I really started not just knowing about Jesus, but actually knowing Him, I did a lot of needlepoint. One day I realized that when I did them, the back of the needlepoint was always knotty and just messy looking. But when I turned it over, I could see a picture. It didn't mean there weren't still a lot of mistakes. I still had knots where they didn't belong. Or I had mixed up colors. But I could still see the picture. I think that's kind of what life is like if we have God. There's still mistakes, or parts that aren't right, but we can see a bigger picture and things make more sense. But if we don't have God, it's like the back where it's just a mess. We can't be too dirty for Him. He makes things better.”

Moments that make my heart smile...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Spirit of Thankfulness

Sunday night, I'll be really honest here...

I was tired.
I was frustrated.
I was distracted.
I was homesick.
I felt alone.

And there was nothing in that moment that I could bring myself to look forward to. (To those of you who are about to email me and ask me if I'm okay, I'm fine. Keep reading.)

If we're being honest, this is part of being fully human, of fully feeling. Some days, that's what it was going to look like.

I went to our middle school get together/youth group. And you know what? I'm going to be even more honest...On that day, and in that moment, I went because right now I'm being paid by the church to be there. That's it though. There wasn't really any other reason. I didn't want to be there, for all of the above reasons, and I felt like I was the last person in the world who needed to be teaching these girls about the joy of Christ because at that moment...

I didn't feel it.

When I arrived early for our leader's meeting, Pastor Mark said we were going to be reviewing Romans 1:21-32. Paul is writing about a group of people who lived a couple thousand years ago and he says this, "[they were] filled with unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworty, unloving, unmerciful..."

Sounds a little familiar doesn't it?

Read the newspaper...murder, gossip, slander, malice.
Think about what you call politicians...arrogant, deceitful, greedy.
Think about what every American generation says about the one coming up behind them...they don't obey their parents, they're insolent, they think the world revolves around them.
Think about the people who hurt you the most in life...I can't trust them. They didn't love me well. They wouldn't forgive me.

Scripture, it would seem, may be more relevant than we ever tend to remember. 2,000 years later...and we're still doing the same things.

But if we back up just a little bit, Paul begins with this, "...that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them..."

He made it evident to us through creation. Look around. Look at the person next to you. That is how God made Himself known to us.

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

Paul goes onto say, "For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Pastor Mark said, "This may sound crazy...but I really think that the beginning of seeing a difference in this world is going to have to start with thankfulness."

And I thought not of every word that had hurt me in the past 24 hours, but of the people who spoke those words and how grateful I was to have them in my life. I thought not of every "thing" that had to be done in the coming week, but of the opportunities that were before me to simply live a productive life and have a reason to get out of bed. I thought not of what was so far away, but what was right in front of me.

That night I looked at all my girls and I said, "What do you have in this life that you deserve?" They all looked around at each other and then stared at the floor for a long time. Finally one of them said, "Nothing. I don't deserve any of it."

"So every single thing that is yours, every object, every person, every event...there's reason to be thankful for it?"

"Yeah...because somebody else out there doesn't have it. And for some reason I do."

In some ways, that's the definition of grace. But it's more than that. It's going beyond the "I don't deserve it." It's acknowledging that and then continuing to move forward into, "But for the grace of God I do, simply because He promised that ALL things would work together for His glory and for my good. Everything I've done that makes me undeserving will be used by Him, that He will be glorified through my life."

And that's grace. And whether I feel it or not, it's always there.

And for that, I will spend a lot more of my day being thankful.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday's Fabulous Moment

Me: Hey. Wanna be Amish wit' me?
Mom: Yeah, I've considered it. Ultimate farm wife...all I ever really wanted to be.
Me: I don't really know how we get in wit' them. It's not like the Jewish where you just take some classes and eat moth balls. Or matz balls. Or whatever they're called.
Mom:I don't think you'd be a very good Amish girl. You'd have to quit saying wit'.
Me: Says who?
Mom: I'm fairly certain their English is proper isn't it?
Me: They speak Pennsylvania Dutch so when they speak English all their "th"s sound like d's. How is that different than saying wit'?
Mom: Because then it would be "wid"...Are you just bored?
Me: Thank you for your contributions to Monday's Fabulous Moment. Your time and energy has been much appreciated.
Mom: Oh dear.

Thank you

to my friends who faithfully read every post. Thank you to the few of you who read my blog but don't know me. And a BIG thanks to the couple of you who left me comments to let me know that. Those comments were just the encouragement I needed to come back here, to something that I love, something that fills my heart and something that I don't stop in my day and take enough time words and whatever small ability I have to put them together. Thank you truly for giving me an extra little boost of confidence. I'm going to hopefully do better to push myself to write more often, and continue as well to post things that I find that speak to my heart, knowing that they will to others as well. With that, please check out One in 8 of the more captivating things I've seen lately. Nothing affects my perspective more than hearing other people's stories...

Solidarity in Weakness

Joy is hidden in compassion. The word compassion literally means "to suffer with." It seems quite unlikely that suffering with another person would bring joy. Yet being with a person in pain, offering simple presence to someone in despair, sharing with a friend times of confusion and uncertainty ... such experiences can bring us deep joy. Not happiness, not excitement, not great satisfaction, but the quiet joy of being there for someone else and living in deep solidarity with our brothers and sisters in this human family. Often this is a solidarity in weakness, in brokenness, in woundedness, but it leads us to the center of joy, which is sharing our humanity with others.

Henri Nouwen