Thursday, August 28, 2008

Each time that any one of us team members would say her name, we would have a big grin across our face. Marina was the most influential person I met in Bulgaria. She about made me pee my pants at first. She intimidated me with her gruff loud voice and how forward she was. She was the one that decided wimpy me in flip flops couldn't play soccer at the orphanage with her and her boys. Later I realized, she spared me my life.

Little by little she won my heart. With each instruction, I noticed her genuine and transparent love for each of the boys. Watching how they responded, in laughter with and at her, but with the utmost respect. She had earned it side by side with them. I watched her selfless commitment in coming to the gyspy villages and other orphanages with us. I wondered how many times it took her to learn more than just each of their names, but who they were.

I soon found out her role in the church in Bulgaria. How behind the scenes her leadership is foundational. At camp, she was responsible for accounting for everyone. At she did so thoroughly, dancing until four each morning, up at seven singing karaoke with the roma. I think about leadership ideals in America. And I think about Marina. Her training, her calling, is to be who God alone calls her to be in the very fashion God created her to be- Marina. Marina's past could entrap her, and I am sure at times it does, but she really believes that Jesus is the key, and He has set her free, and more importantly, she is who God created her, good and bad- Marina.

What did God show me in Bulgaria, personally? Honestly, He is still jacking with my heart. Sometimes I feel like a bad boob job- wondering why I am being so fake. Why I feel that I can't say "boob job" on my blog. It is my blog. I mean as Christians, we should be happy with who God created us as, without stitches and tucks. But how often do we look and others and say, oh how I wish that I was just a little more calm like she is? Snip snip.

If I were to truly go naked in the world, would it matter? What drives me anyway? Or who? Sometimes I just really long to sit in a coffee shop naked (and to be completely clear.. no not physically) and really be who I am with people that are completely totally different from me, for the sake of simply community.

Well, I probably lost you all, all three of you. If not, how about some more transparency:
hum, what about politics? Hehe, the feelings that arise in the word "politics." I hate them. I really know nothing about them, except I think that everyone's got an agenda. And it seems in the passion of politics, that real people are lost. I realize that there is a need for politics, and they arise everywhere, including the church. But the line that is created isn't worth it to me. And yes I have opinions on issues, I care, but I have beaten them back and forth with people, and it's been destructive, which to me, seems to be worse than the issue.

Ok- I'll stop, and save religion for next time.. or maybe just go hit Starbucks, hehe.


Beth said...

HA! I love this post!!!! I totally get what you are saying! I LOVE people who are so genuine and completely transparent like that! They are beauty and inspiration! I so too long to be like that.
We do get sooo caught up in our heads with what we are not.. what we wish... we must just do, and be. Does that make sense? at all? anyone?

I always read your posts! Always!

ann said...

Oh man, I feel the same way. I just want to be ME with people. But the problem is I want to please everyone so I act differently around different people. I don't know who the real me is. I hate that I always need/want everyone's approval.

Heth said...

I love this. I love that you said boob job.

Have you read "Jesus for President" by Shane Claiborne? I've heard it's good. Sara says so and I believe her.

melanie said...

Heth- I have been eying it, but haven't read it. I really liked his book Irresistible Revolution though. Makes me want to move to Jersey and live in a basement in a church community, hehe.

Tina said...

I love you so much. Keep going. Be you. I love you.

Amie said...

My nickname should be "snip snip". You can say boob job if you want to - people don't listen to the ones that talk above them. They listen to their language. :) So, have a naked day then!

Nicole said...

ha ha you said BOOB JOB *****LOVE IT!!!***** I always feel like "if I was as good as so and so...hmm, maybe if i had my stuff together like so and so" not that i act different but I wish I did. by the way did i mention i love that you used the words boob job in your blog? i have never thought to use the example as a reference to my life but that is awesome!!

love you!

Chris @ Come to the Table said...

I have so enjoyed all of your posts about the trip. It will just keep pouring out for months and years to come.
You are never the same when God takes you to far away places, messes with your thinking, changes your heart, opens your eyes to truly what is important and then brings you back to live this life day to day.

jenni said...

You nailed this one baby!!!!!!!
I'm so blessed to have you as my friend! I love you!