The restoration of the church will surely come only from a new type of monasticism which has nothing in common with the old but a complete lack of compromise in a life lived in accordance with the Sermon on the Mount in the discipleship of Christ.
I can’t help feeling a heavy sense of defeat.
I feel like everything I say is received with and air of negativity and defensive argumentation. As if my new convictions are condemning. I really hope they don’t come off that way. I feel lonely.
Lord! Help me to be patient and humble. Let me feel your comforting company. Help me to be graceful and persistent!
Give me thick skin and a tender, humble, loving heart!
The “Twelve Marks” of new monasticism express the common thread of many new monastic communities. These “marks” are:
- Relocation to the “abandoned places of Empire” [at the margins of society]
- Sharing economic resources with fellow community members and the needy among us
- Hospitality to the stranger
- Lament for racial divisions within the church and our communities combined with the active pursuit of a just reconciliation
- Humble submission to Christ’s body, the Church
- Intentional formation in the way of Christ and the rule of the community along the lines of the old novitiate
- Nurturing common life among members of an intentional community
- Support for celibate singles alongside monogamous married couples and their children
- Geographical proximity to community members who share a common rule of life
- Care for the plot of God’s earth given to us along with support of our local economies
- Peacemaking in the midst of violence and conflict resolution within communities along the lines of Matthew 18
- Commitment to a disciplined contemplative life
PHOTO: SABRINA TUBBS-KLOMP (She doesn’t hyphenate, but I think she should. So I just did it for her.)
I wrote a post sometime ago about rebuilding and mudding the blind brother’s house in Puma. Here is a picture of Emma and I working on it. Haha, that was such a good day. I hope that man is staying warm in there.
PHOTO: SABRINA (then Tubbs, and now) KLOMP
Breakfast in Puma.
Funny thing about food in Puma number one: There are often rocks in the food, Most often my food, it seemed. I think this is because they make it essentially on the ground in a little cement room filled with smoke. It’s hard to see in there, and if you drop something, you don’t waste it. I still really need to get that chipped molAR capped haha.
Altso, in case you were wondering, this is what I look like after not showering for mmm probably seven days by the time this was taken and waking up from a night spent on a drafty wood-plank stone hut floor. Beautiful as the Nile
[Please note Emma and my matching fleeces. We were dating. Just kidding.]
I seriously love my life.
This is a really poor photo but the only one I could find from that night.
This is the night that Emma and I had a sleep over with the girls we worked with at Higher Ground. There are three sisters, Oliin, Basbik and Dosnif. I worked with Oliin in the office and with the catalog, Em worked with Basbik designing jewelry and Dosnif was just along for the ride that night. First they took us to their mother’s house, who made us some really spicy (but incredibly delicious!) dal baht, Mongolian style. Their mother was beautiful. She could not speak English and our range of Nepalese was under ten words at best, so there was a lot of translating going on. We also met Basbik’s children, who were so funny. She always talks about how everyone thinks they are so cute, but they are so so naughty haha. The youngest one kept dancing and falling down over and over again to make us laugh.
After we went to their mom’s house we got a bunch of junk food snacks and set up a giant bed on the floor of their living room and had a bible study. We talked about our insecurities, and bible verses and promises that were comforting for each specific insecurity, and the beatitudes a little. We talked about how amazing it was that Jesus loved us in spite of our insecurities and the things that caused them. We snuck and used someone else’s heater that we weren’t supposed to because it was freezing too haha. After bible study, we watched a horrible, horrible movie called Frozen, omg. Never, ever, ever, watch Frozen. I LOVE crappy horror films and even I think that one is bad. The sisters knew more American celebrities by name than I did.
I really love those sisters and I’m so grateful for having been able to spend time with them. What a blessing to know them, to have friends in such a far away place. As simple as it sounds it helps me to remember that everyone really is the same. We were all just girls having a sleep over. I’m not trying to sound all Miss America and everything, but remembering that always makes it easier for me to believe that the world can become a better, more loving place. No matter what is happening in your country or mine, countries are made up of people who are all the same. Coworkers from every country want to have dinner with each other’s families, and girls from every country just want to be friends and have sleepovers.
If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time.
But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.
Lila Watson, 1985 United Nations Decade for Women Conference in Nairobi/Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s
This is one of my inspirations in missions. One of our speakers said, “When you step out of the airplane onto the soil of new land, you are not starting a story, but rather stepping into one that already exists.” I want to be part of the new generation of missionaries who does not represent the great white, imperial hand of America but instead something more sensitive. I want to listen to people’s stories, and I want those stories to take root inside of me. I don’t want to go out and do volunteer work out of sympathy for the troubles of people, but out of empathy.
I think this means I have to settle down somewhere for a while…
More to come on that subject soon.
The seminar ended yesterday, and I have just as many questions if not more than when it began. I do however have new convictions, inspirations, information and passion about the subject of justice in the world. The question I want to find myself asking at the end of everything I put time into like this is, “Have I grown closer to Jesus?” I believe I have. I do not have all of the theological answers about violence in the Old Testament and the question of why God allows suffering on the earth, which are the questions I came here desiring to have answered. But I do feel as though I have a better understanding of how Jesus saw all people of deserving the same fair things. How his heart ached for people who were poor, and hungry, and discriminated against.
I have found that with the Lord and the world it is always a game of negative vs. positive. If I go home and say, “I have become a pacifist”, people would say “So you don’t believe in war”. I would not in fact be saying I do not believe in war, because I have never been in war, I don’t understand war, I don’t understand real violence as a privileged person- I DO, however believe in peace, and that everyone deserves it. I believe that mediation and reconciliation, in sharing and in apologies and recognising the wrongs of the past. I’d like to say that I believe in those things at the cost of my having more comfort than 99% of the world, I’d very much like to say that. I’m going to begin my journey on that road in the small ways I know how until I can expand them to big ways. (EVERYONE GET THE BETTER WORLD SHOPPER APP!- A guide to ethical consumption. This is where I am going to start.)
My friend Anna said it the best:
“I came to this conference wanting a microwave dinner of justice. I wanted these people with experience to peel back the plastic on all the hard questions and heat them up and I there, I would have hot, ready made answers. It didn’t happen like that. In reality what they did was open the refrigerator, take everything out, tell us what it was, put it on the counter and say, ‘Here. Now learn to cook.’”