re: vulnerability

You listen to me over dining hall pizza and cold black coffee. You listen and I see the sympathy in your eyes. You don’t say a word. Minutes earlier you were the one talking and I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe, and I thank you for these moments of joy and unconditional love.

But you stopped and listened when I said I had something to tell you. Your eyes were intent, bearing into my soul, oblivious to the people bustling around and this crappy coffee. You didn’t say much; you understand first. You listened with your heart and I know that you cared.

You listened to me over hushed tones in the fifth floor of the library; we whispered and somehow it made it easier to share. And after I finished, I heard your story about today. Your struggle is my struggle and mine, yours. I almost cried when I heard when I heard what your today was like. Mine is still significant, but it doesn’t seem as bad.

I was reluctant to tell you, but I’m so glad I did. You said you would pray for me. Right now, I can’t pray because I can’t find the words admist my frustration. So, it means so much to me that you will pray for me. It means so much when you respect my confidentiality and vulnerability. I know this beause you confide in me as I do in you.

When I tell you the parts of me that are hurting and my embarrassing moments, you acknowledge my miscomings, not afraid to give me truth. But we move on and do life together, and you give me measures of grace as I fall and rise.

I sometimes am afraid to trust people. I do not want them to hurt me. I have been hurt so many times after I have told the bitter and honest truth and the things that people never want to hear. I can be too direct. But I also do not want to pursue people because I fear that  they will not like the mess they find. I do not want them to feel cornered or like I am intruding on their personal life with my brokenness. For their sake and my sake, I turn away so many times. But when I do show you my soul, it is clear that God is listening to me and to you and that it is His love that binds us together.

We need to intrude. We need to infiltrate each other’s lives with love so that no one is alone. Fears should be quenched with love, lonliness should be sutured with kindess and uncertainty should be contronted with truth and grace. There is power in being honest with one another. It doesn’t matter if where we are; I know you will stop and listen when I need.

Sometimes I am so worn from hearing about other’s pain. I feel so burdened by mine own that I cannot sit in front of you and listen to your struggles when I am on the point of tears myself. But that’s where the Father lifts our worries, commanding us to have peace and be still. That’s when grace happens to your soul and mine, and life becomes a bit easier.

re: science + meaning

I can analyze and  I can synthesize. I can predict the motions of molecules and calculate the velocity of a pencil dropping and make drugs that will make your diseases go away.

We scientists, we can play god. We have dreams and visions of a world without cancer and diabetes and eye degeneration and we make this world a reality; we can resuscitate and kill with the pull of a plug, we know death’s secrets. We imagine a world where knowledge has no price and communication has no bounds and now, now we cannot escape these technological gadgets connecting human to human so that we are never truly alone.

But although we can reduce the mechanisms of the cosmos into measurable objectivity and test the limits of innovation and creativity, we do not understand the basis of human experience. We have missed, and perhaps will always miss, the greatest truths of human life.

I cannot measure the depth or height or width of the love God has for me, or that I have for my family or friends. I cannot weigh the sacrifice of my parents when they raised me. I cannot reproduce a pixelated Himalayan mountain sunset. I cannot quantify the hopes i have in my heart nor analyze their incompatibly with the fears I have in my heart. I cannot calibrate my weakness and my strengths and I cannot gauge my place in my world. I cannot compute the joy in my heart when I am with the ones I love most and we are laughing and love is a tangible force in the atmosphere.

And so, as I learn the value in reproducibility and accuracy of the scientific method, i remember that I must never forget how to feel deeply. I must remember that to have a cold, hardened heart is perhaps more scary than death itself. I would rather be placed in a grave, or burned to ashes, than to not love and be loved, or appreciate truth or beauty for as they are.

I want to feel the wind on my face and the joy in my heart, but not for the feeling itself. I want to be convicted in my heart of hearts and the freedom and courage to live out my convictions. I do not want to be trapped my fear or insecurities; I am young, but I am dying. I have been dying since i have breathed my first. The only difference between me and the elderly is that they have less time- wait. My days are no more guaranteed than their days. I could die any second, and every breath is by the grace of God.

Do you believe that?

If you did, would you trust in science or your heart? Would you believe yourself when you said that that people were more important than things? Would you find courage in your heart to stop chasing money, success, and popularity and the dreams that society says are so important and instead choose love? Would you trust that your dreams are worth the continual striving?

The heart reasons. We do not understand the reasons for we pay more attention to other people’s thoughts contained in hardbound, heavy textbooks that dull our eyes, harden our hearts, and nullify our dreams.

We have lost the ability to wonder. We have lost the ability to wonder not for the sake of wonder itself, or the sake of flighting emotion, but for our convictions themselves and the love that surrounds us.