listening to grace

akwittaspiritLeave a Comment

To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God’s grace means. Brennan Manning Every book of the Bible from Romans to Philemon starts with something to the effect of “May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.” And then all of those same books end with another blessing of God’s grace. That’s thirteen books, for those of you who use the table of contents as much as I do. Maybe that’s just Paul’s style. Grace and peace, like a Biblical hippie. That, or he was really trying to get a point across. I had always skipped over those parts before because I have heard the words grace and peace a lot. Like, a lot. So much so that they had become buzz words that told me it was time to tune out. (Makes me think about what else I might be tuning out, right?) But now, grace is changing me. Martin Luther said that most Christians have enough religion to feel guilty about their sins but not enough to enjoy life in the Spirit. That’s so true for me. I’ve lived heavy in the guilt. I remember one night in junior high, I was supposed to be watching my younger siblings while my parents went out, but instead I spent hours on the phone with my “boyfriend.” My brother and sister didn’t care- … Read More

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kolkata, india

akwittaspirituality, travelLeave a Comment

I have a hard time putting the experiences I had in India into words. Clearly I’ve struggled with it, since it’s been two months since I stepped foot back in the States. (Oops.) I think one of the best words to describe Kolkata is intense. Intense heat. Intense poverty. Intense busyness. Intense traffic. Intense service. Serving alongside the Missionaries of Charity was incredible. I don’t feel like that sentence really sums up the impact that it had on me, but that’s what I’ve got. It was incredible. The work that the volunteers helped with wasn’t anything glamorous. We did laundry by hand, made beds, helped with mealtimes, and occasionally got to dance and paint nails. And we said “namaste” hundreds of times. But that work transcended all kinds of boundaries- race, religion, gender, socio-economic, and language. I’ve never been a part of something so simple, yet so profound. I could probably spend all kinds of time trying to put into words what I learned about the impact of nonverbal communication, the richness of cross-cultural friendships, the devout lives of the Missionaries of Charity, or the power that comes with doing small things with great love. But honestly, I wouldn’t do them justice trying to explain them here. So if you’re interested, please ask me more about India. I’ll do my best to tell you. If you’re wondering, the men in the third picture asked to have their picture taken, then posed like this. In the seventh picture, I’m pointing at … Read More

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