nobody is truly immune

There was a shooting in my area.  It was rather far from home and I was at my grandparents’ at the time.

There is no such thing as immunity to this.  There is no immunity to hate, to fighting, to violence.  Nobody is truly immune to this.

And that’s scary.  Scary that it hits so close to home, even if you have no idea who the people involved are.  There were multiple victims.  Yes, it was suspected that they’re involved in gang activity, and that’s unfortunate.  Small choices lead to huge tragedies.

But even if they were involved in gang activity, they’re still human.  They’re brothers, sons, fathers, uncles, sisters, daughters, mothers, aunts.  Friends.

Now in critical condition because of one small choice leading to another leading to another.

People still with a chance, a hope for redemption.

Distant from home still feels too close.

 

home — is this a quiet place where you should be alone?  is this where the tortured and the troubled find their own?  i don’t know.  but i can tell this isn’t you, your cover’s blown.

space, something corporate

fire

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This was my street tonight.  We think it was a garage and fortunately not a house. 

Praying for the family and that everyone is safe.   It seemed that EMS was on call but not needed – hoping that remains the case.  Seeing this, this destruction, just breaks my heart.

i only notice Your face, no matter what You’re gonna break my shell

I’m Sorry | Flyleaf

So the day started off sucking.  I woke up to a nosebleed [which like, never happens but has happened twice this winter], both my debit cards and my bus pass were missing, and you know, it was early.  I was pretty much ready to write the day off before it even started.

Starbucks fixed me.  Not only because of the copious amounts of caffeine and sugar it caused me to consume, which did help, and not only because it was delicious, but because out of nowhere, Starbucks messed up both mine and Terina’s drinks which we looked at in confusion as they arrived on the counter:

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That is one heck of a Frappuccino.  Not only that, is that I discovered White Mocha Frappuccinos, which are delicious and I was okay to consume a large amount of white mocha Frapp due to that delicious.  But yes, huge.  Thank goodness for Tiffani sitting beside me helping me with it throughout the service this morning.

The Frappuccino sat under my chair as the service went on and as the service ended awaiting consumption, perhaps awaiting when I would need another cheer-up. 

Our latest series is on tough stuff in general–today was no exception, today delivered, because life can be hard.  They’re services that it’s hard to get through if you have any sort of personal connection to the topic.  Today’s service was especially hard for one of my friends sitting beside me, and it spoke to parts of my past, too, parts that I have overcome with Jesus . . . things that Jesus is working in my friend to overcome.  At times like that, He Loves Us is more impactful than it is on a non-heavy Sunday morning.  I definitely didn’t get through “I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about . . . how He loves us.” without some tears (which happens more often than not.  I mean, how GOOD is that lyric?]

I firmly believe though that tears are outward signs of God working on the inside, outward signs of beginning or continual healing, and that is a really cool thing.  A thing that lead to the end of service, sitting with my arms around the same friend from above and just praying for God to help her feel that He is walking with her through this . . . tears heal.  Love heals.  JESUS heals.

And Starbucks to pick you up again doesn’t hurt . . . prayer being draining is definitely a good thing too.  There is LIGHT in all of this.  But if darkness didn’t exist . . . light wouldn’t matter.  It is amazing how God created such things to complete one another.

The irony is, LIGHT ended up being our unintentional theme in our room today with the three year olds.  I was trying to think up a quote about children [since our Bible verse had already been there a month] for our board.  I got this:

photo (14) The lady at the desk behind me told me I was very creative when I was drawing stars all over it.  I think being creative is a prerequisite for working with three year olds.  So, I guess I’m in the right place.  [See also: I know how to deal with criers and new kids ;).  New kiddo today and it was her family’s first time at our church.  She clung to her mom, I showed them around, she got excited by the trains, and did not care about her mom leaving anymore (though, she did wait for me before going anywhere, but that works, whatever).

Here was our craft:photo (15)

photo (16)

How cute is that?

LIGHT, hugs and high-fives from three year olds and goofy praise songs were exactly what I needed after the service.

(Oh yeah, and my bus pass and one of two debit cards were found)

. . . Cause there’s a light in your eyes, and it tells me that God is on our side.

Light in Your Eyes | Flyleaf

the sun will set on this, my dear

breaks your knees and leaves you so the sun can burn you up and wear you out / it’s an angry summer / there’s no room to smile when the face you make just before you cry looks so young like a child

the sun will set on this my dear / your labours aren’t in vain / you’re blistered and you’re burned from it / your wounds are gonna heal

life on earth will end for all conceived / and prove to be only a breath / a mist, a womb for what’s to come / how soon forever arrives

steadfast my love / the end is near / just keep your eyes ahead / grab hold of Me, I’ll help you there / you’re never on your own / you’re never all alone

don’t look at the past again / the first and last has made everything new / and you are too, so lift your head / and let your story be told

break your knees // flyleaf

Desperation accompanied by massive amounts of hope, prayer and positive vibes to those in need seems to be setting the theme today.  Continue to share the hope and love so that those in need can heal.

be[ing] a spark

I totally wasn’t expecting this.  I got a Christmas present from my boss!DSCF5695

And the card [aside from being epic project (RED) and saving lives, since that is one of my favourite things ever] just hit me so, so much.

I work at a rough school.  A few of the kids in grade 3-5, use worse language than my friends used in grade nine [when we all swore the most, pretty sure].  I broke up a physical fight between two boys today when I was the only one in the gym, in the span of 3 minutes when my coworker Bethany was gone to the crafts room, and had to deal with them.  It sucked.  Because when I talked to them, we had a discussion about why they seemed to think it was okay to fight.

“Well, my step-dad hits my mom and they’re grown-ups.  And then one time he stabbed her with a knife over and over and over again.”

My heart just breaks sometimes.  It hurts that kids have to see this kind of stuff.  It hurts that kids have to think ‘if my parents do it, it must be okay’.  It hurts that kids are exposed to this kind of stuff at home, where they should feel safe and loved.  It hurts that some of these kids are so desperate for love.  Two kids simultaneously clung to my legs today.  A boy hugged me and didn’t want to let go.

This is my job.  To, with my coworkers, let these kids know that someone cares.  Let them know that someone cares enough to see that they, at least one day a week [all we’re funded for], have somewhere fun and positive to go after school.  Where they will not go home to an empty house, but get a snack and to talk to people, connect with friends, play some games, do a craft, and get a hug or two if that’s something they need.

We are the sparks that will hopefully IGNITE these kids—for some of them, to ignite them to see the good of the world beyond the pain they have seen in their young lives.

And as hard as it is, as much as work sucked today because the kids were crazy . . . this, this longing to be a spark . . . is why I am here.  A tiny thing, that can light a huge flame of motivation . . . of hope.