Monday, November 25, 2013

Love is in the Air?

Now. Women are increadibly sentimental creatures who read into just about everything.
Hmm. Let me not overgeneralize.  

I am an incredibly sentimental creature who reads into just about everything.

I am also fairly good at telling when a guy doesn't like me, but not so good at figuring out when one does.

My current frustration concerning this matter is related largely to the fact that essentially every single guy I've hosted at the hospitality house recently has liked one of my friends. (In the case of the married guy there is an exception. He liked his wife.)

I have some really cute friends, I must admit. And though I know these things are largely a matter of taste and that I have my own fair share of attractiveness, my ego was pretty badly bruised by this weekend. Out of all of these visiting people there was only one guy that I was actually interested in pursuing anything with, so really I can't be upset if the others didn't like me either. One does like a little balm for a bruised ego, though. The only balm I've got is the Balm of Gilead. One of my friends told me that Jesus loves me and will always want to marry me. So there. 

All of my premature fears of turning into an old maid can now be dismissed.I've got someone who literally died to be with me.

An upside of this weekend has definitely been connecting with a college friend studying abroad in the area, and busking for reals near the Duomo on Corso Vittorio Emanuele. One of the new people I hosted played drums, and so we went out and had a lovely time. He played my guitar case for percussion and I played my guitar and sang. Cool right?

Unfortunately there are no pictures and video that I have access to, and I never shared my info with the people I saw recording and picture taking. Perhaps one day in my old age I will stumble across a video of myself and remember. Perhaps.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Let's Go to My Place!

When I moved into the apartment where I currently live I was warned not to have raucous gatherings with ten or more people. It was all a figure of speech but all the same I give myself credit for staying below the 'ten' mark. I can't make any promises about the raucous part. I mean, I've made quite a bit of friends here and if they're anything like me quiet isn't exactly their forte.

Anyway, I've been here more or less since the beginning of October and I've had people over a few times now. The point behind this huge two bedroom apartment is to be hospitable and encourage others in their walks with God. So, being the type of person that I am, I've taken to feeding anyone who will let me, and holding various worship/prayer gatherings. We've had two such gatherings, complete with homemade pasta dishes, wine, and lots of enthusiastic singing.

You see, since this apartment is paid for all right and proper I've got the same rights as anyone. As long as I don't make too much noise past about 10PM, no one can say diddly squat. Well, no one should, at least. I sing during the day sometimes but it's not as if I'm belting all the time. On the whole I'm a quiet neighbor-especially since I run around so much that I'm hardly ever home for any real length of time anyway.

Now, this second prayer and worship meeting was incredible. I mean, incredible. I think in some deeply human way this is what we were all looking for. Every single person present was an immigrant to some degree, whether they were from southern Italy, Brazil, Albania, Columbia, or the U.S., and each one of us wanted a deeper connection with these new people we found ourselves surrounded with. A text that for some reason never made it to its recipients meant that our group this evening was intimate, and we took full advantage of that with the sharing of our testimonies. We worked around language barriers, translating where it was needed and singing songs in the languages we knew best, or felt led to sing in.
There's something special about hearing "You Won't Relent" sung in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian all at the same time. This is what happens when the Spirit flows in us: the divisions between us are overcome, and in our reliance on God our unity is Christ-centered and thus pleasing to God. Nothing stands against a people united, which is why I think division is such a big problem in the church. But greater is He who is in us than he is of the world! To me our differences are a cause to join together in celebration of our diversity and the things we can learn from each other.

I can certainly celebrate having a chef for a friend, and this guy's carbonara pasta was soooo much better than what me and another friend had concocted two weeks earlier. I am so full of joy! Everyone who comes into the house loves the energy there and it has been dubbed a house of restoration. Hearing this is one of my greatest joys. Already people are planning prayer nights and we are all eager to meet and worship together again.

I am looking forward to continuing to serve God wherever He calls me to, and in whatever capacity He calls me to serve in. God is good and faithful to provide!

Friday, November 1, 2013


Being American does not automatically make me fond of Halloween. However, in my family it was something that we enjoyed. My first memory of Halloween is dressing up as a nurse. One of my foster brothers was a mummy. I don't remember what anyone else was wearing, but I remember one of my cousins had a pumpkin candy holder that I was most jealous of.

Off we went walking along, warm in our sensibly layered outfits, gazing adoringly ever so often at the adults who took precious time to bring us around for this rite of passage.

We crossed a street.

All went silent.

I noticed my mother gently coaxing my foster sister to keep moving. I had not her gift for sensing danger.

In young and eager trust we went along, and we crossed the bush-shielded walkway of a house when:


This man jumps out in a gorilla suit and all is a blur. We take off running and screaming our little heads off, and I distinctly remember the sound of my mother's laughter. I remember looking back and my cousin with the pumpkin candy holder had stopped to pick up the pieces of candy we had all dropped running away. Opportunist, that one.

Considering this start to Halloween I should not be so upset that it is no great tradition here, and that all of my Christian friends dissuade me from doing anything to celebrate. I understand their hesitancy in joining me for any festivities. Looking at the origins of the traditions makes it clear that there is nothing Christ-centered about the holiday. All the same, I find myself hesitant to give it up. I find myself wondering what I will do with my children. Will it matter to them? It did to me. I loved the fun of wandering around in the dark, picking up free candy, and meeting new people.

So while I personally love seeing little kids dressed like pumpkins and snow peas, I can avoid the holiday for the sake of being a kind sister in Christ, instead of being a stumbling block.

In what should be no surprise, I am noticing that the closer I get to God, the further away I get from the world.