Saturday, November 5, 2011

Greyhound Ragamuffins

Traveling for over 24 hours on a greyhound is not for the faint of heart. One must be able to tolerate uncomfortable seats, very little leg room, and brakes so squeaky they wake you up from whatever short uncomfortable rest you got. One must not get upset over witnessing bad cellphone ettiqutte and bad parenting. One must not be bothered by gassy old men, the smell of weed, or talk of the best prostitutes in any given city. One must be okay with frequenting gas stations and sketchy bus stops with locks on the doors and bars on the windows where at any moment a fight may (and did!) break out.
For many single, 22 year old, white, Midwestern girls, traveling alone, this trip would probably make them super uncomfortable.


I could write about all the crazy stories I now have, but instead, I’ll let you know my main take away. Have you heard of the book The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning? So far, I’ve only read the first couple chapters, but I know the book is about God’s grace, and how it is for those who are lost, dirty, and messed up---otherwise for us all. It’s not only for the very hygienic, the church goers, those with the same values as I. It’s for the unshowered, the pot smokers, those who just got out of prison. God’s grace is for people. For all people. In the same way that He wants me to know the depth and power of His love; he wants everyone else to know that too.

“If you look down on anyone on the planet, you don’t understand the Gospel.”-Steve Treichler

On my ride, I met those who were dirty, drug dealers, pot smokers, nomads, migrants, homeless, young, old, veterans, and a few men recently released from prison. People who God wants to know His power, His character, His love. My goal at the beginning of this week was to talk to strangers more. We are called to love people, and how can we do that unless we talk to them first? On this trip, he gave me to opportunity to have great conversations multiple people. I got to learn about their life stories and how they ended up on a Greyhound. From that I got to ask about their dreams, their hopes in life, and their view of God and validity of the Bible. Mainly, I got to listen to people who needed someone to talk to; someone to care about them. I got to be that person, and I love being that person. I may never see any of them ever again, but I hope they will remember our conversations as I will. I hope I impacted them as much as they have impacted me.

And from this point on, I hope to start talking to strangers more. On the bus, on the street, in class, everywhere. I also hope to finish reading The Ragamuffin Gospel, but I’ll need to borrow someone’s copy. I had the opportunity to give it to a man who just got out of prison. He had asked me what I was reading and seemed very interested in the topic. Pray that he reads it and pray that I don’t forget what I learned and keep talking to strangers. 

Life Update :)

Oh hello my little blog!
                I’m sorry it’s been so long. I’ve missed you! I’ve been meaning to write, but sometimes life gets so dang busy, ya know? Oh, I’m not complaining. I’m loving this season that I’m in. Let me tell you about it:
                I’m still living in Minneapolis, but now I’ve joined the trendy/cool/hipster kids that live in Northeast. This is my first time living in a neighborhood…well, EVER. Born a country girl, and then four years in dorms and apartments, I’m finally in a house with a yard and neighbors all around. And TREES! Right now they are red, yellow, orange and beautiful. Em and I were on a pretty carpet of them on our walk this morning.
                I live with Emily, Jessica, Katie, and a lovebird named Sully. It has been wonderful. We all get along great (except Em and Sully…they’re working out their differences.) We live in a house that is very comfortable and inviting, and many nights people are there for small groups, pirate themed study parties, or dinner/brinner/coffee/tea. (Soon a Let’s-party-like-it’s-1999/Jessica’s-B-day party) So much silliness; I love it.
                Grad school has been fine. Honestly, its not much different than my undergrad, except I care less. Maybe five years is too long to be in school. Or maybe I’m just ready to start applying the things I’ve been learning about for years. I may actually get a chance to soon!
                This season of my life has been so busy mainly because on top of school, small group through Hope, volunteering with Navs, working, and having an awesome social life, I have been trying to get my boss’s job. Although that sounds conniving, I assure you it’s not; it was just time for her and her family to start a new chapter in their lives (great for them, sad for us, so, the group home I work at is now without a Residential Supervisor BUT we do have a Residential Supervisor Assistant (me) who would like to step into that role. My company is very particular about who they let do that job and has pretty intense training before the position is even offered. Currently, I am in that training. I keep getting the question, “So, did you get the job? When will you know?” My answer is always, “Kinda/Sorta/Not yet.” And “I don’t know.” Though this state of limbo isn’t exactly my most favorite state to be in, it’s good. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t know, and realized that I don’t need to know; what I need to do is do my job and do it well. What will be will be.
                So that’s what I’ve been up to, little blog. I am so blessed. Not every day seems fabulous…but in the middle of craziness I try to remind myself that a) tomorrow will be better and b) I really am living the dream. My dream at least. Life is good.