Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Simple Realizations

People frequently ask me how my year is.  It is such a hard question to answer, because it is like reflecting on an entire year of your life all at once.  How many good, sad, fun, confusing times does one person have in a year?  The answer:  many.

I think a better question to ask a YAGM is “What have you learned?”  The answer you get might be a huge life lesson, or a simple realization.  I think in my own case, I’ve had more of the latter.

I’ve discovered things about myself that I might not have realized if I weren’t placed into an entirely different culture and community.  I’ve realized simple things such as I am really (really) not accustomed to life being loud all the time (i.e. traffic, dogs, gas truck sirens, music) to bigger realizations such as knowing that sometimes I need to have my own space and independence in order to not go crazy.

It is among these simple realizations that we YAGM slowly discover who we are as God’s people.  We begin to identify both our gifts and our limits – or at least the areas where we are stubborn to change.  And with these insights in hand, we enable ourselves to better be servants and leaders in the world.

So, while YAGM clearly puts us into accompaniment with other people, it also challenges us to look inside ourselves and see the all the pieces – even the broken ones – and that reflection is part of what gets to the heart of the last year of our lives. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Mother’s Day Filled with Memories

On this May 10th, we bring recognition to mothers all around Mexico.  We remember our love for them; and our appreciation of their love for us.  During times both good and difficult, mother and child have a deep relationship with each other.  It is on this day that we honor that relationship.

I’d like to take a moment today to also remember the mothers who will hear nothing but silence today -- the silence of their child who is missing or dead; the silent suffering of the memories that live in their hearts.  This day has powerful meaning for these mothers as well.

We must also not forget the children who live without their mothers.  Their own memories bring heartache for her loss and smiles for the time they spent together.  Children –both young and old—will never forget the woman whom they called mom, mama, mommy, and mother.

Together with all of creation I celebrate mothers, living and departed, who create memories of strength, intelligence, courage, and most of all love.

Thank you to mothers throughout Mexico and the world.
I love you Mom.