One heart

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Alex and Julie De Hoyos!

After eight years, finally! ūüėÄ All things in good time. It was a very elegant and simple wedding held in Unity Hall of our church, very spiritual too. I can’t express how happy I am for them. I wanted to cheer when they finally said, “I thee wed.” Huzzah! Hooray!

As usual, I find faith to be a curious thing with impeccable timing. One of the passages read was Colossians 3:12-17.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

For the hundredth time I’ve said today: amen and amen.

By the sea

I’ve always thought that I would love to live by the sea
To travel the world alone and live more simply.
-“Life for Rent,” Dido

(photo by Christopher Davy)

On the other side of the castle is the English building, and beside that, my house. I can’t wait. (Though it all hangs on my appeal. I send it off today lovies, prayers/thoughts/crossed fingers, eyes, toes¬†would be appreciated.)

More nonsense

Caspian is at the Apple Store, where he will be getting a new keyboard. Poor Caspian! But he’ll be better soon. There’s just something about the Apple Store that makes me happy–maybe it’s the quirky, shiny, computer geekiness that appeals to my DATA days. Anyways, to continue the motif of heroes, Mario the Genius was wearing a t-shirt that said, “not all heroes wear capes.” He was excited to hear that I’m going to study medieval lit for grad school. I was impressed that he knew Chaucer was written in Middle English (most people say “Old English,” sigh). Good job, Mario!

There was a quintessential moment in the Apple Store where suddenly I was aware that Spanish was being spoken on one side of me and English on the other side, and the rhythm of both was so perfect and natural that I was so glad to be back in South Texas. I’m glad to have grown up in a predominantly Latino city. I can’t imagine growing up without such an extensive Hispanic influence.

Of Names and Reeds

I’m so thankful for Megan: though she is half a world away, even still I can talk to her about how I’m doing spiritually, what I’m reading in the Bible, what I’m thinking about it. We have to use code words, but the accountability is still there. This morning was one of the few times we were both online that it wasn’t midnight her time, so we got to talk a little longer than usual.

This morning, as I was reading the Transfiguration in Luke 9, I was thinking about the parallels and nuances¬†between “chosen” and “love” (you’ll have a seminarian out of me yet, Danielle), and the word “love” reminded me of my name. Several summers ago, I was the most dangerously depressed I have ever been, and I was sitting on a bus in Arizona on my last choir tour, listening to Chris tell the others about Perelandra by C.S. Lewis, and staring out the window. He knew I had read the book, so he would ask for details from time to time, but mostly I just listened. He got to the part where Ransom, who was in pursuit of the devil incarnate, was worn out and discouraged. God came to him and asked, “What is your name?” “Ransom,” he answered. God went on to say that Ransom was named that for a reason, as a reminder in his time of need that God gave his life as a ransom for him, and that Ransom’s life is not his own but God’s. Ransom drew strength from this, and rose on to continue his pursuit. Almost audibly on that night on the bus, God asked, “What is your name?”

Chera. Beloved. If I am loved by no one else, I am loved by God. And my name is a reminder (and enforces, to me, the importance of naming). That night a star broke through the darkness.

Thinking about that summer, and this summer, I thought more on my acquaintance with melancholy. Bruised hearts led to thinking of bruised reeds:

“A¬†bruised reed he will not break,
      and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
   till he leads justice to victory. 
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Matthew 12:20-21

Which I later shared with Megan. We weren’t sure what to do with the word “till.” Perhaps by that time, the reeds will have healed, and the smoldering wicks will have reignited, and when justice comes to victory all will find fullness in Christ.

Ours is a God of hope.

To a Candid world

Happy Signing Day, everyone. You [presuming you are American] should read–I dare to hope, reread–the Declaration of Independence today. You really have no excuse not to: I have provided a link for you here, and it is short and quick to read. Instead of [or in addition to] eating hot dogs, getting drunk because we can, and watching fireworks, we should be reading the Declaration in public places today. I say this not because I am a patriotic person [as I am not, really, as evidenced by an earlier post regarding patriotic music], but as an historian and as a citizen. Perhaps if we read the Declaration more often we would remember the purpose of government, of the contract we have made as the governed with the governing, and the rights and duties we have as the governed

Instead of America the Beautiful, I listened to America by Bree Sharp. Instead of going to a cook-out, I’m going to go feed the homeless. Instead of making any big plans for today, I have been rereading Hobbes, Locke, Kant, Rousseau, and Jefferson. I am reminded yet again of my love for political philosophy and how it stirs in me the purpose of the individual in a larger social organism, of the duties and obligations that individual has to his neighbors and the world. [I had written a rather long post expounding upon these thoughts inspired by Locke, Kant, et al, but I’ve transferred it to my journal instead. If you are interested, I’ll still share.]

I think I would be one of those unconventional Englishwomen who lived in Paris before the French Revolution, going to salons every night and mingling with Voltaire and Montaigne, supporting the Revolution as it began and then being absolutely horrified at the monster it turned into.

On a similar, side-tracked note: I heard on The World today that Iran is considering a bill that could charge bloggers as being an enemy of the state and of God on earth [full story here]. I am incredibly thankful to have the right of free speech and intellectual copyright.

This is our summer of freedom and civil disobedience.

I’m no Superman

So, in the past week, I’ve spilled water on my one-month-old MacBook Pro and had my visa application rejected.

…But, there is hope. I took Caspian in to the Geniuses at the Apple Store and they said he should pull through. He’s sitting in a corner of my room in the “tent position” to keep drying out. Here’s hoping. [I’m currently using dear old faithful Luna, the iBook.] And, the hoops I have to jump through for appealing the visa decision are just hoops, and the University is supporting me, so, it should [again, hopefully] not be a big deal. There was a mix-up with funding information. Presumably when they see this next set of documents, it will all be okay. Again, here’s hoping.

Driving back from the Apple Store mostly encouraged, with my windows down and blaring the Heroes mix Kelly made me, definitely helped cheer me up. So did skyping with her this evening. ‚̧

Sarah says that I’m good at surmounting insurmountable obstacles, but I’m no Superman either.

I haven’t sat down to read in over a week. I haven’t seen a movie since Les Miserables… which was when I was still in Shawnee. I spend my days filing and making labels for yet more files. Thus, all mental creativity has evaporated by the time I get home. I’m not a writer, I’m not a reader… what am I?

Update 03/07/08: Julie Campbell, the Financial Aid Administrator, is my hero. If/when we succeed, I’m going to find her and thank her in person.