Friday, March 21, 2008

The Death

I saw Christ die today. I followed the soldiers and saw the beating. I heard the cries of Mary mingled with the shouts of the people.

The catholic church in my neighborhood walked the road to Golgotha tonight. The teenager who was chosen to portray Christ carried a cross, he was beaten with ropes and mocked by soldiers. The cross was made of wood and heavy. The whips were rope, but the soldiers who used them were not afraid of skin. The crowd that followed sang "Perdona su pueblo Senor, Perdona su pueblo perdona le Senor". (Forgive your people Lord, Forgive your people, forgive her Oh Lord).

He was placed on a cross with two others beside him, one who mocked and one who begged forgiveness. Above his head was "INIRI" or "King of the Jews". Mary wept with the other women and the disciples followed at a distance. There were varying degrees of concern and attention among the crowd, much the same as two thousand years ago.

It was powerful in its liturgy. The discrepancy between acting and the reality of Whips, Pain, and all that was Suffered by Christ became invisible as I caught a glimpse of Golgotha.

The Blood was real.
It is Given freely.
The Suffering was real.
It was Chosen.

It was the Choice to be obedient unto death, that the forgiveness of sins for all people might become a reality.

May I never forget the Reality of the Cross. May I not take lightly my Salvation. May I not be an unconcerned bystander when the Blood of Christ is given and his Body broken.

"With a loud cry Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said,'Surely this man was the Son of God.'" Mark 15:37-39

Monday, March 3, 2008

On Assignment

I became a part of Community last night. There was no subtle transition, no getting my feet wet. It was simply a plunge. Full submersion. A myriad of kids speaking as many languages were running/ tricycling through out the house. Adults were sharing a meal and again, speaking various languages. I missed the sermon, but it had been translated from English to Swahili. Unaelewa kiswahili? Welcome to our house church!

I am living with a family that has 6 kids, one puppy and one dog. After work I read Dr. Seuss to a 3 year old and took turns reading Nancy Drew aloud with a 9 year old. (the classic Nancy Drew, in front of a fireplace listening to the rain!) We were host to a group of college "kids" tonight who are working in the neighborhood for the next week. Along with chocolate chip cookies and milk they were learning about my host why a white doc and his family would live in the hood of Memphis. Why does he work in a clinic that serves his neighbors for a fraction of the salary he would make elsewhere? Fascinating really!

I started talking to recruiters last week. We talked about salaries, bonuses, opportunities to do scopes, c-sections and vacations. We did not talk about Christ, Community or Service. As I listened to the vision of the community tonight I had to ask myself- Am I serious about living in community or is it something that is more convenient to talk about rather than do? What do I want my practice to provide-a cush salary or training in how to die to self and serve the poor?.

I am tired. It was a busy weekend and I am emotionally and spiritually drained. I would like nothing more than to curl up with a book and lose myself in the pages. Yet, I think this is when true community happens. It is when Self is exhausted and I can either break down and cry or cry out to Christ for the peace and strength to continue. I might still break down, but I pray that the spirit of anxiety, busyness and self would be gone. I pray that self would die (often a painful process!) and I would become more Christ like. May I learn more than medicine this month.