Friday, August 19, 2011

pondering Mama Maggie Gobran and my own tough calling

Mama Maggie Gobran impacted me most of all, not just because of how she lives among and serves the poor children of Cairo, but because she literally seems to know God - in a mystical way.  She spoke both of silence and solitude and of the necessity to read the Bible through cover to cover, every year of our lives.   But here, I will simply share her words, at least the ones I wrote down:
Anyone who will carry the fragrance of eternity must start by wearing the dark veil of death.

To be elegant comes from inside.  To be elegant is to love.  To love is to give and forgive.

Go'd promotion: leave the best and brightest, go to the poorest of the poor. Who are the poorest of the poor? They are always the children.

Among them the Creator is hidden. The is mystery with the poor.

How to have a pure heart and get to know the Almighty:  complete silence.  The silence is the secret.  To be in silence is to be fully inside your own self.  Discover a taste of eternity.  The kingdom is within.

Silence your body, to listen to your words.
Silence your tongue, to listen to your thoughts
Silence your thoughts, to listen to your heart beating
Silence your heart, to listen to your spirit
Silence your spirit, to listen to The Spirit

In silence we leave the many to be with The One.

When she was finished speaking, Bill Hybels spoke about tough callings - he specifically talked about Jeremiah. I was undone as I thought about the toughest calling I have before me right now:  our youngest daughter.  Adopted at age 5, she is a gift - a joy - and a challenge.  There are so many times we feel completely lost as to what is best to do.  It was good for me to think about that in the context of a tough calling.

At break, I sat with my notebook to journal... I will share some of it here, though it is personal and was never meant for others to read.  I do so because I'm being obedient to the very thing I believe God is calling me to do:  not just write, vulnerably write.

From my notes:

I keep hearing the call to write, but I want to DO (like Mama Maggie) ...

And so of course I say yes.  Yes, but... Sell all I have, move, serve, feed, love on ... I could do that!  You know I could, and you know I would.  Just say the word.

But that is not the word.  The word is SPEAK.  SHARE.  TELL.  I've been hearing it for months now.  The word is WRITE. 

And so I say Yes.

Make the world new through the words You give me.  They feel like nothing real or tangible or helpful.  Sitting in a coffee-shop with a laptop day after day, while children literally starve for both food and love? 

"Mary is starving for love. Love her. She is your tough calling. That is enough.  Your other children and your husband, love them.  And write.  Write about that.  The world needs you to write about that."
Will anyone read it?  Will it matter? 

"Luke 1:37  nothing is impossible"

This is a sacred time.
 Later that day, as we broke for lunch, I heeded Mama Maggie's advice and found silence.  It was golden.

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