This Glowing City

The train is almost to school; my hour-long commute back from work is almost complete.

I’ve just switched onto my last train of the night, the third leg of my three-times-weekly voyage.

There are four other people in the train car. A father and daughter are hunched over their Subway sandwiches across the aisle from me. They’re chattering to each other in hushed tones, the soft conversation broken frequently by interjections from the young girl.

Two young women, probably college students, sit towards the back of the train car. One, her light hair styled into a funky up do, is balancing cross-legged on the thin train seat. Her backpack on the floor in front of her, and there’s a thick three-ring binder perched on one of her knees.

Studying on the train on a Monday evening.

The other woman, her long dark hair spread nonchalantly across her shoulders, sits against the back of the train car. She’s leaning back, eyes focused tiredly on some spot far beyond the end of the train.

Exhausted on a Monday evening train ride.

I still have minutes until my stop, until I step off the train and onto the freshly cut platform boards. But I can’t wait- I want to see out, I want to watch the city skyline slide past in the distance as the train rounds a bend and snakes its way towards the heart of the city.

I stand next to the sliding door, leaning against the plexiglass divider and swaying with the jerky rolling of the train.

The black outlines of young trees and clean-cut condo buildings zip past the scratched train window, and I strain my eyes to see past them to where I know the skyline will be.

Seconds turn into minutes as I wait expectantly for what I know is coming. My hands in my pockets, I watch and wait.

I notice the sky before I realize what’s happening. Out the window, my entire view is illuminated in pinkish orange. Warm, glowing light is emanating from the ground to my right, and my heart thrills as I realize what I’m seeing.

Fog has obscured the city skyline that so takes my breath away. Layers of thick fog swirl around the Hancock Building and the Sears Tower, obscuring them from my squinting gaze.

But the fog cannot hide the light of the city, the glow of a metropolis that does not go out, does not stop.

The sky behind, to my left, in front of me, is a dark purple. But to the right, out the window where I know the city is, is light. Murky, glowing, orange light that rises from thousands of urban buildings and streaks into the sky.

The train kept moving along the track, rapidly approaching my destination. And I remained just where I was, captivated once again by a glimpse of this city that I love so dearly. This city pumped full of lives and heart and moving people.

This glowing city.




February 1, 2012

February 29, 2012

April 28, 2012

April 30, 2012

Well, at least we know that I’m not sleeping too much…



This man, who happens to be my father, turned 50 on Wednesday. Amidst school stuff and coordinating a wedding, I was unable to see him on his actual birthday. I am, however, currently sitting in my traditional blogging spot on the couch in my living room. I’m home for the night, and got to hug the man and wish him Happy Birthday in person.

Even better, I was able to be here earlier this evening when a large group of friends and family (including my grandparents!) surprised my father for his birthday. We laughed, we talked, we ate delicious food, and we celebrated my daddy!

Happy Birthday, Dada!

I’m glad you’re my daddy.


I Need to Tell You

In case I hadn’t before, I have found a calling.

Wedding coordinating.

I kicked off my career as a wedding coordinator yesterday, and I loved it.

Loved it.

I hope I get to do that again someday.


Life Right Now {#25}

Picture taken February, 2009.

Mimsy‘s getting married tomorrow! I’ve known Mim since forever, and I’m so excited to celebrate with her!


Make It

I love talking with people who attended Moody.

I love hearing their stories.

Stories about CPO and bro/sis and chapel speakers.

Stories about Founder’s Week and orientation and flagpoling.

Stories about their lives and hearts and how they grew while at Moody.

The stories, their experiences and memories, are funny and encouraging and hopeful.

Funny because the same shenanigans that they got into are still going on around here. And sometimes funny because never in my life would I have thought to do that.

Encouraging because they lived this crazy, full, confusing, fulfilling, rewarding Moody life and they turned out just fine.

And hopeful because they made it. They made it through the four-year growing process that is Moody. They loved, they learned, they grew, and they made it.

And I think I’m going to make it, too.


Only Six

She’s only six years old.

She arrived at the Casa Hogar the week before Christmas, mere days before I arrived.

She and her older sister.

The littlest sister’s too small; she’s at an infant orphanage.

They need to be here. Need a safe place. Need to be with people, adults, parents, who care for them, love them, show them the love of Christ.

She needs to be here.

Her older sister knows what to do. Knows how to build walls around her heart, how to keep people on the outside. She’s nine years old and already practiced at hiding her heart.

But she can’t hide her desperate plea for love, she can’t cover the way she longs to be loved, longs to be able to trust someone completely.

And she’s in a place where she can. She’s right where she needs to be. To heal, to love, to grow.

The little sister doesn’t know yet. She’s too little to have learned. She doesn’t know how to lie to protect herself. She doesn’t know that life is ugly, harsh, and broken. She doesn’t know that she’s not supposed to melt into a angelic lump in my arms on the way home from a party, breathing the deep, sighing breaths of a sleeping child.

She doesn’t know, but she’ll soon find out.

She’s in a place where she can grow and develop. She’s not impervious to the world, and its tendency to hurt and destroy, but here she’s shielded from it.

She smiles shyly at me. She follows her older sister devotedly around the Casa Hogar. She laughs gleefully when it’s her turn to hit the Christmas piƱata.

She’s six years old and she’s in the right place.

And then one morning I’m pulling up to the Casa Hogar with Hermana Tere. Hermano Manuel is standing in the office doorway, silent. Serious.

The court decision came through. Big sister will stay, the two little sisters are leaving. Leaving safe. Leaving trust. Leaving the Casa Hogar.

They’re being legally returned to where they were before.

And the little one is clutching her gift bag from the Christmas party in one tiny hand. The bag that she was given at the party that left her curled, exhausted, in my arms not three days prior.

And she’s wearing a new dress and a jacket that we found for her in the Casa Hogar storage area.

Her maryjane shoes are still shiny on her tiny feet, only slightly smudged with the pervasive Mexican dust.

The social worker is leading her away, toward the waiting car. Away from here. Away from us.

I stand with Hermana Tere and Hermano Manuel and we watch. We wave and force smiles onto our faces. We tell her we love her and remind her to be good.

We bite our lips as the small one climbs obediently into the back of the car, glancing back at us for just a second.

And then she’s gone.

And I don’t know where she is now. I don’t know whose home she is living in, what she’s eating, or how she feels. I don’t know if she understands or knows. I don’t know if she’s hungry, if she’s sick, if she’s hurting.

I don’t know.

The only thing I know is that God is sovereign. He knows. He loves. He plans.

And I can trust Him. Trust Him when He brought her to the Casa Hogar. Trust Him when she climbed into my lap and talked to me about six-year-old things. Trust Him when a prim social worker packed her into a black car and drove her away.

I trust Him and I beg Him to care for her, to love her, to protect her.

Because there is nothing I can do but trust Him and pray for her.


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