Like many of you, I was immediately struck by the horror of the images coming from Haiti post-earthquake. There were conflicting reports of orphans and being sent on planes to the US just looking for families to take them in. Being the my wife and I are at the end of our foster care/adoption licensing process with Ohio, I wondered if we were supposed to be getting somehow more involved. So I did some fact finding and was able to get on a conference call to Washington D.C. with Dept. of Homeland Security and US Immigration Services for updates with shareholders in the US. They were triaging all their work and updating on the process of “humanitarian parole”. Basically, any child in Haiti that was already in some sort of an adoption process, it could be expedited immediately. That left the question of new adoption processes. For now, that is somewhat of a closed issue. Why? 1) in the chaos it’s hard to know who is an orphan and who has family looking for them 2) the problem of human trafficking. With all the open hearts for the children, there are also those with evil intent and the infrastructure is not there right now to make that discenment 3) perhaps the best hope for Haiti is kids growing up in Haiti in orphanages where they get education and guidance and in turn lead their country in the future (that is if the basics are met of saftey and nourishment) On the conference call this was all brought up and in the end, one of the women on the panel alluded to the over 500,000 US children in Foster Care and adoption eligible here and if people had a heart for it, they should get involved right here in our own backyard. And I concur wholeheartedly. My wife and I have sensed a calling towards this work since we first got married and now is the time we can put our hands and feet in as well because of our kids ages. In the theme of St. Brigid, of reclkess generosity and hospitality, the children of our culture are hungry and destitute here. Do you have an empty room? they need a safe place. Do you have a heart for others? they need care. Do you have extra food? they are hungry. Is your life godly? they’ve been abused. Do you care about the Kingdom? may it come on earth as it is in heaven.
26-27Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world. (James 1 The Message) I want to raise awareness, not guilt. But if you can help, please do. peace, Chris
All credit to Brant Hansen on this. Who, by the way has a great blog if you need to laugh, then stop and think, and then laugh again. It’s truly genius.I really wish this was true cuz it would be like . . . AWESOME!Having done some time in catholic school growing up, something like this to help me practice at home might have kept me from being dragged to the principal’s office by my ear on a few occasions.
Saw Jonathan Willis’ photography at an art benefit last week and its pretty stellar. Add the right music and the right cause and this looks quality if you are in the Cincy area.
Today is St. Brigid’s day after Brigid of Kildare. She is known for a “call to recklessness“, particularly in terms of her generosity and hospitality. Here is a description of her from Celtic Daily Prayer:
Many legends and few facts survive about this Irish woman who founded a community at Kildare, primarily for women. She was famed for her generosity and hospitality, and her influence was widespread; but she remained eminently practical.
I live in America which means ask the common person on the street what the great perception of those who claim to be Christian is and most likely not in the top 100 are the words generosity or hospitality. (of course that’s a generalization based on the person’s experiences, but I would wager its decently accurate) Perhaps words like self-righteous, judgmental, greedy, immoral, close-minded etc. may make that top 100 list. Whether the perception is based on micro experiences (local church, interactions with Christians, spiritual history) or macro observations (fantastic media reports, the folks on the tele etc.) the perception may be reality or atleast perceived. The point is that our micro and macro messages hardly reflect the one we claim to follow. So what is getting in the way? Surely at least our broken humanity for starters and the list can go on from there. My reflection today is that I want to be known as being recklessly generous and hospitable to both strangers and friends. Thanks, St. Brigid for the reminder. Here is just a portion of the Celtic Blessing for the day of St. Brigid for our homes:
For love of Him we offer friendship and welcome every guest.Lord, kindle in my heart a flame of love to my neighbour,to my enemies, my friends, my kindred all,from the lowliest thing that liveth to the name that is highest of all.I would welcome the poor and honour them.I would welcome the sick in the presence of angelsand ask God to bless and embrace us all.Seeing a stranger approach I would put food in the eating place,drink in the drinking place, music in the listening place,and look with joy for the blessing of God, who often comes to my home in the blessing of a stranger.
“Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years” – LL Cool JThanks, LL.From 2003-2008 I had a blog hosted elsewhere and I have deeply missed it. Today I am glad to be back at it, at least getting re-started. It will be a work in progress for a bit but I suspect it won’t take too long to grow some legs and start walking. This blog is about the questions I ask, the stories I want to tell, the people I think should be known, the issues I care about, some answers I find a long the way and the desire to find like-minded sojourners. My pursuits are authentic community, true spirituality, honest reflection, contemplative living and paying attention to the people around me. It is relationship that matters. We get to be the artists and creators of our own lives (at least our response to life’s circumstances) and these are the practices that I want to pursue on purpose.A couple of things you should know about me:- I’m Irish. I love the legacy of Celtic Christianity. The life of St. Patrick has deeply influenced me. At times I’m fiery, emotional and passionate . . . if you’re looking for only reserved reflections, this is the wrong blog.- I like questions more than answers. I believe in wonder, particularly in the things that matter. I think good teachers should wonder more and conclude less.- I really care about the historic Church. It’s mission is written in my DNA. I am most basically a follower of Jesus but I am mostly uncomfortable with the traditional labels of Christianity. The labels are loaded with cultural assumptions that I am not sure accurately reflect the intent of the ancient Scriptures. Most basically, I believe in the truth of the Kingdom of God as taught by Jesus.- I believe that fundamentally, all truth-seeking will eventually end with Christ and His Kingdom. Therefore all truth-seeking is accepted and respected. Truth-seeking is a round table and all are invited.- I really care about the cause of orphans around the world. You will find me advocating for them here in any form or function.- I believe the best kind of learning happens on the other side of tension. I guess you can fill in the “no pain, no gain” cliche here. I like a good fight, if done respectfully.I really look forward to connecting again with readers and fellow thinkers as we pursue the truth of our lives.peace,marshall