Well, my heavens! It is Holy Week and by the time you read this, it will be post Easter Sunday. Monday through
Wednesday afternoon Audra and I participated in a Comunication Workshop presented by an organization named YES. Many of our diocesan pastoral friends attended. Each time we meet it becomes a more enriching experience of friendship.
This workshop was to teach us a new way o
f communicating to promote relationships. The focus of discution was gender and orientation and how to negotiate this sinsitive topic within a world of different beliefs to bring safty, love and hope to those who are suffering. We were taught a patern of comunication that begins with truley being present with and for the other person; in this mode the conversation becomes about the other person and what it is that they are saying. The second of this three step patern is to re-create the person, meaning to be able to respond to and repeat what it is that they mean, not mearly parrot what they said and allow the person to be whothey are at that moment, authentically. This is a patern that does not allow the participants in the conversation to be the winer or loser. If this method is to function, both sides must be alowed to remain who they are and no one may loes the discussion/fight. It is a time to put aside that you know that you belive them to be wrong, and concentrate on who they are. The third step is to respond with generosity. In this you are opening up the posibility of an authentic relationship where both individuals are who they are and the relationship itself becomes the tranformative force. - well, if that makes no sense it's because I am trying to concentrate a two day workshop into one paragraph.
Just as much as I was greatly enriched by the workshop and the comunity participation I was reneud by the gardens and beautiful sights where we were staying, it was a Catholic nunery, I guess you would call it. I took as much advantage of this beautiful environment as I could. We arrived Monday morning, early and had attended the workshop untill lunch, that afternoon we had free. I spent a glorious hour and a half or so lying in the grass hiden from all eyes amongst beautifully kept gardens. The following two morning I awoke with the sun to have plenty of time before breakfast. It was time to be in silence, to be with God and scripture. It is in nature that I can finally find my mind quiet. The city has been draining me more than I realized. I am making plans to spend a long weekend in Faca in a few weeks.
I participated in the Holy Thursday service by reading the Epistle. For Friday I was asked to be one of seven individuals to give a five minuet sermon on one of the last frases that Christ spoke durring the cruzifiction in the Gospel of John. My frase was 'woman here is your son; and then he said to the other disciple, here is your mother'. The night before my dad helped me negociate this text. With some help from the internet to get a better understanding of John the disciple I wrote out some notes. Well, I didn't use the notes really at all and I spoke too quickly, but I was asured that the people were able to understand me. I kind-of left it up to the Spirit to help me to negociate the language and scripture. If another oportunity aris
es I will be considerate to prepare more fully.
Oh, Saturday evening service I had an emotional melt down. Earlyer that day I had contended with the man who had been singing during each of the Holy Week services. It is him singing with a guy playing the keyboard, he has a lovley rich voice. He has some amazing songs and I had been asking him since I arrived in Colombia to help me learn the songs so that I might sing with him or with the other group that sings at the 11am service, but he never came through. So that Saturday was just too much after I had raised my hopes to sing durring holy week. Before I went to the service I was studying psalm 63 which, in part, talks about David singing God's praises. So while in the service I suddenly became overwhelmed with the desire to sing out thanks and praise, to sing the songs with this community, but I couldn't. The man wasn't calling out page numbers for the song book and I didn't know them. I sudenly missed my church terribly. A place where I know the prayers and the songs where I can share in this experience with my friends and loved ones. I burst into tears and had to leave the service. It actually was a needed reliefe to cry it out for a bit. Ironicly it was the singing man whocame to check on me and I was able to tell him at that moment how frustrated I was and that singing is something that I need to do. If he hadn't come to me I don't know if I would have had the strength to go to him. So I was able to return to the service in time for the second half of the sermon. Later that evening I got a wonderfull dady-like hug from Father Juan Carlos who had been very concerned. Audra and I both decided he is probably our favorite person here in Colombia.
I have begun dance clases, and they are not exacly what I was hoping for. The two times I have gon, there has been a dance teacher who has a baby and spends the great majority of the time on the phone. Monday afternoon I was there for an hour and a half and was taught one dance step. I am going to try to go tuesday and thursday mornings in hopes of finding the other of the two dance teachers less distracted. I must say that it did take an hour and a half of dancing salsa by myself to become board. It was a little bit of excersize, that is better than nothing. My hair is still insisting on falling out more than I want, but as long as there are no bald spots I won't worry too much. My stress level has totaly calmed down. Yoga and prayers in the morning is a great way to start the day.
Sorry about the long update, but hey a lot occured.
Blessings and Love.