Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Building a history

Get to the church after spending all morning with Jane at a special United Nations event to celebrate interfaith understanding around the world and the role of faith community ngo’s in building world peace. Our friend Imam Faisel of the Cordoba Inititive was one of the featured speakers.  Most surprising learning: 30-40% of all health care (and up to 75% in areas of conflict) is provided by faith based services. Neverthe less, it was a long morning. 
Gio is working on the steps. There’s a bed to clear away and I explain to him how this works, folks can stay here at night, but everything must be gone in the morning. Can’t keep it around. Deacon James comes by and is somewhat annoyed to find that the bulk of the sweeping has been done. Still, he takes broom and pan and finds some spots that haven’t been cleaned yet.  
Jeremy comes in looking for Jane. I tell him that she has probably gone home. Last saw her at the Starbucks annex. He asks me if I want to hear his latest. I say sure. He’s still working on it. He’s become part of a new writing group that is given a title and has a week to come up with a song. The title is Building a history. 
I listen. Hear allusions to lost, wondering youth from the heartland. Protesting students in California. In the midst of lostness, seeking to build a history. Jeremy writes with clear concrete images, but always by inference, never didactic. And he’s able to swing into some gospel with it as well. A work in progress.  I close my eyes and listen. 
I realize that he’s onto what I’m talking to my students tonight. The whole idea that is enabling, equipping, people on the margins to reenter history, to in the langauge of Freire, become the subjects of thier own history, regain, or claim for the first time, control of thier own narrative. That’s part of what’s going on with the Sweatshop Free workers, with the #OWS folk at West-Park. It’s right there in Jeremy’s song...building a history.
On the way out of the sanctuary, I see a woman has been sitting there, listening quietly, by herself. 
I’m off to a meeting. Stop at West-Park on my way to teach my theology students. Today I have missed Dan. And Mim. And representatives of the Cordoba Initiative.  But now, off to teach. Building a history....

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