Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the splendid and magnificent

these are things that i have loved in the last couple of days...

...6 grown middle aged men walking to the river in their towels to take a bath in the river.

...singing "how great is our God" this morning as a prayer, a testimony in the face of great darkness. A prayer lifted high for the ladies at sari bari, the ones who stayed and the ones who have gone. for the girls in the gach...j, t, m, c and s who do not have freedom yet.

...salsa dancing lessons from our friend jesse and then actually salsa dancing at a local hotel for free!

...seeing the angst with which our team, 21,22,23 years old searchs for the truth of life and God. And ever so thankful to beyond that angst and into the beauty and comfort of knowing who i am and who God is, a least for today!

...visiting the sari bari ladies who recently left and seeing a glimmer of hope that wrongs might be able to right again.

...learning to play the guitar...really play!

...singing loud and not caring what anyone thinks.

...running at 6am and making it 3 miles with not too much trouble.

...having a staff meeting on the roof of the lindsay hotel...calcutta is beautiful at night.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

back to life

life is flowing again in my heart, mind, spirit...super thankful to feel back to being me with a little help from quiet rest, my mom and reunions with friends. had a great day in the gach yesterday spending time with some the women i love. some parts are so broken to watch friend in j's room line up flip on a bright light waiting to be chosen or hoping not to be chosen as the case maybe and then just come back and flop on the bed next to us and continue our conversations. the signs of the hard life of the gach was very real yesterday with the sounds of a girl crying after being beaten by her customer and the comments, resignation of the ladies I was sitting with as they heard it with me. i felt their resignation, the sense that these tears are apart of the life we or really they lead in this place. tears and pain are things you live with and accept...they happen. i want more, so much more that those tears, that pain, the resignation for these women. i want life and hope and joy mingled with the pain...that is real, that is whole life. i want whole life for myself and i want it for them.

i want it for the sweet little lady we found on the street yesterday. she apparently works cleaning the area but as soon as she got sick she was put out on the street. super discouraging but it was hopefully to see a little TLC in the form of some medicine, a sheet, some water and later some food made a difference.

well, i am off to sari bari for the day...another day in the arms of love, being loved and loving some of my favorite people in the world.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Jesus saves....

i was reading Fredrick Buechner this morning for my own private church service since i skipped the regular one today and i kind of got my face ripped i wanted to share an excerpt:

....and he see's written out in large clumsy letters as they were falling apart or melting, the message "jesus saves"---just that. JESUS SAVES---with all the other signs going on with whatever they are saying too. And if that man is like most people i know, including myself much of the time and many ways he will wince at the message; that is really a very strange and interesting thing, both the message and the wincing.

God only knows what kind of person must have crawled up there with his bucket and brush to slap the words on: a man or woman, young or old, drunk or sober, by daylight or by dark. And God only knows what reason he may have had for doing it, just that way, just there. But in our strange times, amoung people more or less like us, the effect at least of the words is clear enough: Jesus Saves. The effect more or less is that we wince. One way or another, i believe we wince because we are embarrassed, and embarrassed for all kinds of reasons.

Embarrassed because the words remind us of old-time religion and the sawdust trail and pulpit pounding, corn belt parsons, evangelism in the sense of emotionalism and fundamentalism. we wince because there is something in the name of jesus that embarasses us when it stands naked and alone like that, just "jesus" with no title to soften the blow. it seems that the words "christ saves" would not bother us half so much because they have a kind of objective, theological ring to them, whereas "Jesus saves" seems cringingly painfully personal--somebody name jesus, of all names, saving somebody named whatever your name happens to be. it is something very personal written up in a place that is very public, like the names of lovers carved into the back of a park bench or an outhouse wall...

and maybe, at a deeper level still, "jesus saves" is embarrassing because if you can hear it through all your wincing, if any partat all of what it is trying to mean gets through, what it says to everbody who passes by, and most importantly and unforgivably what it says to you, is that you need to be saved. Rich man, poor man; young man, old man; religious, unreligous--the word is in its way an offense to all of them, all of us, because what it says in effect to all of us is, " you have no peace inside your skin. you are not happy, not whole." That is an unpardonable thing to say to a man whether it is true or false, but especially if it is true,because there he is, trying so hard to be happy, all of us are, to find some kind of inner peace and all in all maybe not making too bad a job of it considering the odds, so that what could be worse psychologically, humanly, that to say to him what amounts to "you will never make it. you have not and will not, a least without help?

and what could be more presumptuous, more absurd, more pathetic, than for some poor fool with a cut rate brush and a bucket of white paint to claim that the one to give that help is Jesus?...because of course, Behind the poor fool with his bucket there always stands of course the Prince of Fools himself, blessed be he, in his own way more presumptuous, more absurd and pathetic than anyone has managed to be since.

Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons by Fredrick Buechner

i was talking to my mom before i read this and she gave me some good insight on how to answer the question of my anger and why i am angry. She said you need to ask yourself what it is that you are demanding and will discover why it is you are angry...this is good stuff. Almost immediately, i said i am demanding perfection of myself and everyone around me and it is making me miserable and probably everyone else too. so i feel like a failure which makes me angry and i feel terribly disappointed to sometimes the point of devastation when i hurt someone or when someone i trust hurts me. i am that person in need of saving...i mean i know this...but i am trying so hard, striving to make a good life one that honors and cares for others and but i just need that kick in my ass, that reminder that jesus saves sarah, that i will fail every time with out Him. I am not stuart smalley, i will never be good enough, smart enough and liked enough...and somehow i think i can be okay with that when i rest in Jesus arms, the arms that save me. i am offended and affronted that i can not do it on my own, i want to make myself good enough, kind enough, gentle and generous enough...but the fact is that i will never be enough and that i will never too much for Jesus to handle.

so i am feeling a bit right today, basically because i am broken and empty, that crakced jar of clay that reminds me that none of this is about me but about Him and what a relief that is...

Friday, August 17, 2007

one good this is...

i started taking guitar lesson yesterday at the Calcutta School of Music. my fingers are now raw after trying to practice today. yesterday, i as a little irritated because i just wanted to learn cords to play worship music for the ladies at SB but i became really pleasantly surprised that he is really going to teach me to play the guitar...all the cool stuff and i will understand what i am doing while playing. kind of teacher is a bit eccentric but really, really nice. i think this is going be fun! and oh yes, this costs me 12 bucks a month for one lesson every week. i think i might really be able to play decently after a couple of months...lets hope so.

much needed processing

so yes, i have been mysteriously absent. i have been unable to will myself to write a real blog...i have been settling for false intimacy on face book, which is fun but no processing happens.

so i am basically in a processing black hole...not much going in and not much going out. feel like i could probably almost always say the wrong thing ( thankfully this has only happened a few times in the last week) to the wrong person and wonder just a bit what i am doing back here.

i can not say i am discouraged nessasarily, just not right fully. my hope meter is seriously low and self love is in the pits of the mirey depths. i feel like i pull myself out for a few moments everday but there is always an opposing moment when i wonder i will ever recover from this stupid culture shock, jet lag, being a human being thing.

so i think i just need to verbally expel some drama from the last week...feel free to stop here if you want. it might be more than you want to know

i arrived just over a week ago on a strike taxis or autos so i had to lug my bags onto a bus--not so bad really. i did not mind the adventure because it was keeping me awake. and my cell phone was dead after a month in the states and i arrive at new market hoping to plug in at a local coffee shop but nope they do not have that convient thingy that lets you recharge for free. i went to new market because there was no direct way home...and i needed help with my bags to catch the next bus to our house...anyway could not get ahold of kristin or beth so upendra came and we brought my stuff to sari bari.

sari bari was good...actually each time i have been in the last week it has been a shining light in my day. and basically, with how hard things have been with sari bari and the loss of some of our ladies while i was gone this is amazing in itself. i think my hope is not any less for the sari bari ladies...because i believe in them and for them...maybe i am struggling to hope for myself. anyway sari bari is going though some yucky stuff but the staff are being amazing and the ladies who are working still are beautiful and growing and the light of my time back so far... to have coffee with my friend charlotte...i love charlotte. she is a good friend and it is okay to be serious and normal with her. i do not have to be over excited or funny or passively accepting to be appreciated. i feel like i can just me...serious, direct, thoughtful, not so perfect or kind all the time, but mostly nice, deep sarah. it is good to feel known by her.

i think i am angry about something but i can not really say what for sure...maybe all this drama i feel in my heart is just culture shock and i just need to give it a week. i am tired of myself basically and want some change but i am not sure what that change is supposed to be....i am battling in prayer, longing for jesus but running away at the same time, struggling to have self control, but wanting to have it, wanting to be kind and generous and servanty but feeling selfish and kind of numb. i guess i am not this raw on my blog usually but i needed to start somewhere. maybe you are thinking...your private journal might have been good...

so anyway, say a prayer for me and my little sob story of the day. i am sure i will get over it. i hope verbal expulsion has helped. i know there are more stories but i am not interested reliving them right now.

on a happy note..we are backing in the running swing of things and getting ready to start training for our marathon.

can i recommend "a thousand splendid suns"...amazing book. read it.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

family pics




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please pray

so i just want to ask for a little prayer for our friends in india. kristin is there on her own with the bengali staff and some tough stuff is happening. i really do not want to get into specifics except to say they really need our prayers. there is always some power struggles at SB and one of those played out yesterday and had some sad results. this is a battle for the women's freedom, their minds , their hearts and their future. hold them close today!