Living the questions and trying to think theologically... and practically. Learning that these things are more synonymous than I once thought.

Location: Dallas, TX

Monday, July 12, 2004

New York, New York

I really don't know what to say about the past few days. We arrived on Thursday, and everything kind of a blur. The staff has been going nonstop. We're doing camp at Long Island University located in the heart of Brooklyn. It's probably the most urban part of the world my feet have ever stepped on. Huge culture shock recovering from Murphy, NC.

I would like to tell you about camp and the spiritual side of our ministry here, but instead I just thought I'd write about the city and all the random little things I've noticed. There are a million more logistics to camp in NYC than a camp in a normal town, so there's not much time for things like blogging. I'll try to hit some highlights, and after I've seen the students on their ministry sites a little more, we'll talk more about the ministry here.

* Central Park is the grandest place in all of NYC. Before, I thought of it as just a park, but after picnicking there with our staff, I really get it. Strawberry Fields is dead quiet with teary eyed hippies moping around, but it's very peaceful. I enjoyed it. We were sitting in sheep's meadow which is a huge grassy field where sports enthusiasts play Frisbee, children enjoy walking barefoot on grass, and lovers cuddle on blankets. It's a place to stop and simply be in a city that's always busy doing.

* The subway is an interesting place for me. As I was riding it on Friday, I was very aware of the people around me. They come from places and speak languages that I am completely clueless about. Everyone seems to be busy doing their own thing, and I wonder if anyone from New York ever stops to notice anyone else around them. I think about what life must be like for the people I see, and I pray for them. There doesn't seem to be much joy here. It's sad in many ways.

* On Friday, I took our site director, CC to the dentist in Manhattan. The poor thing has a horrible abscess in the middle of the busiest week of her life. We got separated on the subway, but I found her about 10 minutes later. Her dentist is named Dr. Goldstein, and his office is on 70th Street in a row of dental offices operated by Jewish dentists. I waited for her in the lobby while reading Girl Meets God. Laura Winner was Jewish and then she came to know Christ, and this book is about her struggles divorcing Judaism and embracing Christianity and her reflections about Christ. I felt very cultural reading about Jewish customs in a Jewish dental office. I also felt a little bold since it was ultimately a book authored by a Christian. It was strange yet cool.

* I love students and the ministry I get to be a part of this summer. I simply wish I had more time to slow down and read and write and experience the city and its people. I'm so exhausted that I struggle to wake up to my alarm. That's unlike me. I only get this tired at camp. I'm about to fall asleep sitting here, but I'm not complaining. It's a good tired you get from serving the Lord and other people. Like Andy P. says, I want to run my race with vigor and fight my fight with strength.


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