Monday, June 28, 2010


"We are now largely adult and children 'human doings' and not 'human beings'. That's where the soul and spirit comes in, and that requires quiet time...the meditative, reflective process...The opportunity to practice being attentive to things that are greater than revel in that sense of wonder."
--Alan Mirabelli

Monday, June 14, 2010


It's mid-June, and for some perspective, should all my support be raised in time, I'll be leaving this country in two months. And yet it doesn't feel that short. I know how quickly it will fly by and so the thought is that I should be celebrating these last few months, living fully in them.

This summer hasn't felt like a last, not by any means. It just feels like a summer. One where God is working a lot of good things. Most of this has been through people and situations that aren't here, my attention between a God who is here and now and is also there, was, will be. That's a mess of a sentence, but in the same way worship is deeply freeing because it's not about me, there is rest for my mind and my worrying heart and my frustrating over-introspection when I remember that God is working things apart from me. When I think of my brother and wonder what resolution might look like for him--now it occurs to me that it may happen entirely apart from me. I know this, and as obvious as it is, it's good to think about. My brother is a whole life created by the God who knows his story, knows his hopes, knows him better than I ever will and the redemption of that boy has to do fully with how he is known by God, not by how he's known by me.

Just now I'm reminded of the story in Mark where Jesus talks about his mothers and brothers and sisters are the people who do his will. He's my brother and he always will be and I say that fiercely. But my friend Scott is my brother, and so is my friend Chris. Wayne, the homeless man who kissed me on the hand the other day--he's my brother. If my brother is homeless, there are homeless people in this city, there will be in Bucuresti. I don't think this means I should abandon family ties or anything like that. And in any case, Luke 12:27-28: "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more he will clothe you, O you of little faith!" Surely if this is true for me then it is also true for my brother.

I remember when we were kids--I was fourteen, he was eleven--we would ride our bikes all the time. The difference between us then is, at least to me, fascinating compared to the differences now. He'd get on his bike with a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, all of it, and then ride down the side of the highway, pedaling furiously against traffic. I was the opposite. I might not be wearing shoes, much less a helmet. I don't remember much from that summer except how we'd fly down the hills and around corners, all the stops along the way: the concrete house, the path to the river beneath the bridge, the gas station. And I remember eating at the neighbor's a lot, but not where our mom was.

The point I'm getting to is how I don't remember worrying. If I think back on it, there was a lot to worry about. The other day I had this crazy moment with God when I realized--heart-realized, not head-realized--how much he was providing over all those years. I think we ask why I lot. I know I do. I don't know about my brother. But more and more and more I'm understanding just how big God's sovereignty is, how far-reaching a thing it is. When I look back, I see: God was here. When I look back after having said yes to God, I see: he really does know what he's doing. Shocker, I'm sure, but knowing it is something else entirely. I never knew.

I feel at once that I am both tasked to care for and love my brother(s) and also understand that he is better cared for by his Father than I ever could. I remember us as kids, hardly thinking of God at all, and still he clothed us in joy and fullness, in a perfect summer together.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

about when i met julius caesar

This post is about a few things. First, it's about the lamentable things happening to my Spanish (amidst the fun things happening with Romanian, of course). And second, how in the process of trying to reverse it, I met Julius Caesar.

I was walking over to my neighbor Scott's house to hang out and standing on a ladder above his door was a guy who I'd kind of talked to earlier as he'd been standing on a ladder above mine. Since we talked before I waved at him and because I did and it looked like I was walking over specifically toward him he got down and asked me what was up. Now, one thing I love about my neighborhood is that it's not all white college students, which unfortunately is a tough thing to find in this city unless you're in certain areas of downtown. As much as I love Wilmington and can imagine moving back, since I want to live somewhere with good public transit and lots of diversity it might not happen.

Anyway, my neighborhood. Which I love. Lots of opportunities to practice my Spanish. I'm usually too scared to unless it's Jaime, our Colombian friend, but in this case, the guy got down from the ladder and I could hardly understand his English and it was mixed with some Spanish anyway so before I could stop myself I said, como? Huh? And so we started talking together in Spanish and it took twice as long as it used to because I couldn't remember much of anything at first. I forgot what you say for nice to meet you (mucho gusto) because the only thing that would come to mind was îmi pare bine să te cuncosc, and I hope that's right, I haven't looked it up, but if I remember from last summer that's what I was taught to say when I met people. So. Good thing. Romanian is coming to mind. But my Spanish! It wasn't even some complicated tensed verb conjugation which would be understandable. My only option is to put in a fair amount of time practicing Spanish, and under other circumstances I'd go volunteer at a clinic or something, but the other problem is it's doing really weird things to my Romanian. And it's also possible I'll forget a ton of it anyway once I move over there and am starting to speak Romanian all the time. We'll see.

Now, in this mess of a conversation with my grammar coming out all gringo, the guy told me his name. Julio Cesar. And because I was so bewildered at having forgotten how to tell him it was nice to meet him and because it was not in English, it didn't immediately occur to me what he'd said. But I'm here to report that this Mr. Julius Caesar was in fact a pretty amiable guy, not at all what you'd think. We gave him a cup of water and he kindly returned it. He did not try to take over the our street or conquer the other streets in our neighborhood. Nor did he try to make us all speak some form of Latin or Spanish or otherwise assert his empirical power. Silly empires. He just wanted some conversation and some agua, which reminds me of another guy I know who changed the world...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

very barious, berry various

A lot of thoughts bouncing around in my head tonight. I read for a while on Jesus for President last night and I'm nearly finished and the book has been fascinating. I definitely recommend it. It's one of those books that might make you really, really angry or that you might think is incredible, particularly depending on how you feel about the military. (Yo Jamie, read this book, seriously.) If nothing else at all it'll get you thinking about a lot of different things, about what Jesus informing our politics might look like. It talks a lot about peace and turning the other cheek (or doing weird things like drawing in the dirt like Jesus and surprising people) and how violence always begets violence. Not long after I put the book down last night I found this video. I don't want to ruin it, but guy gets aggressive toward a girl, another guy nips it in the bud pretty quickly, and I won't say how but it involves pants. And is hilarious. I wonder what Mr. Claiborne would think?

So speaking of books, I got two yesterday. I'm trying to give away and otherwise consolidate all the stuff I have, including the many, many books I have (that I sadly can't bring all of with me) so I felt kind of guilty about buying them. One of them was Velvet Elvis--it's been recommended to me several times recently. I've jumped on the bandwagon it seems like, even though I've always felt kind of suspicious of Rob Bell (it's all those staccato sentences, says the girl with the penchant for run-ons). I've been reading a lot of non-fiction lately though so if anyone has any good fiction recommendations I'd love to hear!

What else? I read this today: "'You can't take things too seriously' has two meanings." I don't really have anything to add to it, but I did really like it.

It's been a quiet, totally in my head kind of day. I copied down Isaiah 43 in Romanian the other day because it's one of my favorite parts of the whole Bible and I figured practicing reading it out loud might help a little bit. Unless I practice bad pronunciation. Well, I have some songs on youtube I've been listening to and every once in a while there's the Romanian church streaming from Raleigh. I can't remember if I've written about this or not, but I figure with the grammar as complicated as it is, there's little I can really do about putting sentences together until I get over there and can hear it all the time. But this helps vocab, helps get my mouth used to finding where the sounds go. The really funky sound that I couldn't make at all before (â, î, same sound, different letters) that I won’t even begin to try to describe has grown on me in both the figurative and literal sense—it feels much more natural than before. Anyway, learning this language and pronouncing it well is going to be a crazy tough amazing adventure, but I had a lot of fun with it today.

And to tie up the loose ends with a related tangent, I’m happy to report that support raising is going well. It’s going slowly, as far as I can tell, but it’s going. Financially at about six percent pledged right now which sounds small but feels huge. For perspective, over the course of a year it’s already more than I was able to raise last time. It may be further along, too, since unless I get the little response cards back I have no idea what’s going into my account, so we’ll see once I start calling people. Anyway, I don’t want to write too much on here about all this but I’m praying it up for sure. And I’ll keep a periodic update on here until I’m at 100%. But if you know anybody who’d be interested or you are, let me know and I’d love to talk. I think my email’s on here, but if not, sara.hedgecock [at] gmail [dot] com.

Aaaand, not sure how to end this one, so happy Saturday! (The word Saturday looks so weird if you think about it, it’s because of the u… just noticing.)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

avalanche + ''mister" = one busy day so far

I'm sitting here at work on my lunch break and I would like to report that, in addition to my handiness which involves: freeing thirteen jammed staples from a stapler, untangling something like a hundred feet of plastic angel bead things and cutting perfectly straight lines (better than the paper cutter!), not ten minutes ago I survived an avalanche in the storage room. And when I say avalanche, as in ''avalanche of paperwork,'' I'm not being figurative. I had to get some folders from a box on the bottom of a stack of six, and these stacks are very precarious and crooked. So, no, I didn't try to pull the one from the bottom, and instead I responsibly tried to remove them one at a time from the top down. However, this did not prevent the other stack from avalanching down on my head while everything else in the room got knocked over by the flying files. But I surived, got the folders I needed, did the filing to be done and cleaned up the mess, all in under ten minutes. This is why they pay me the big bucks. Right? Don't they?

Yesterday afternoon the Colombian roommate left for Brazil. And another friend is flying back from England, and actually she's probably in the air as I type this. And here I am wondering if living alone is something I'd ever like to do. Sometimes I think yes--the hermit in me insists on time away from people. But even apart from the bit in me that does like to be social and have people around, I think I'd be way too scared to. Seriously, number one thing to look forward to about maybe being married one day: someone manly to check out the scary noises.

All of that said, it looks like I'm going to be having a surprise roommate**. For reasons best not discussed on the blog, my brother will be staying with me for a brief period of time before I can get something more permanent and official set up for him. It's a weird place to be in, honestly, and for the record this has nothing to do with the last blog post. I feel like I've become the mom in addition to being the sister, and for all practical purposes it's what I am now. After everything, who would have guessed it'd go this way? I'm trying to come up with something clever to call this, but the only thing that comes to mind for mother + sister is mister, and no, thank you. However, somewhere in all of this is the acute awareness that a line has to be drawn somewhere. I'm not his mother, not even close. And he has to be able to live for himself. Guidance, yes, supports, yes. All of that. But for those reasons I'm glad I am leaving for Romania or else the line might get too blurred to ever make sure he does it on his own.

So if you pray, I'd appreciate those. And if you don't, that's okay too, just be thinking of us. I've had a lot of help so far even just today in figuring out how to work all of this out, so I think it will. God's good, and the people around me right now are jumping in helping like nothing else. And if we can get this to work before I leave for Romania, it might be okay, I might not be so scared of leaving him. Things could come out all right.

**UPDATE: Whether or not he's coming here is now up in the air. There are better programs in other cities and we're looking into that, but everything is still going really well. So we'll see.

And if this post could get any longer, just read this quote: "I've got to quit trying to play the Holy Spirit's role by forcing, manipulating, talking, and programming people into the change I want to see. Instead I've got to spend more time praying that the Holy Spirit would come into their lives and regenerate them." --Francis Chan. As the Colombian would say, hit me like a ton of bricks. Good gracious.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

rainy day in june

Today it's all smudgy and grey outside. It was sprinkling when we left for work, but still white, still glaring. And now it's dark and the rain is coming down, slow soft rhythm. This is why I love the rain. The movement of it, the rhythm. Something you can slip into. Today's a good day to be curled on the couch under a blanket, under the sound of it. But I have hot chocolate so even in the office I still feel cozy.

And today's the first day of hurricane season, for me at least the tense version of today. I've written about it before, but I love hurricanes--not the damage they do, not ones like Katrina, but the wildness of sitting in your hallway on a mattress while outside it's an electric windstorm. Particularly in this city I worry about flooding, but I'm thinking about all the hurricanes from when I was kid, when the power would go out and Josh and I would be on the twin mattress together trying to blow out a candle from across the room. Speaking of rhythms. Those were the bottomed-out, flat part of every year, when it was so hot outside, everything steeped in humidity and there came come those storms, everything washing away and in the morning, what was left? Bluer sky than you'd believe, like being really high up. All the metaphors of new starts, new things, and my brother who, for years, was scared of the wind.

It's been a strange summer so far, different in nearly every way than last summer. It's been hard, too. The word I'm thinking mainly of is reconciliation. It's been good in that I think I've finally come to understand giving something to God I've never even come close to, that I've just held tight like pretending it away. And here we are, second time around as messy as the first but somehow I've found myself trusting that even though it might be the same thing all over again that there's nothing in vain at all about it. Whatever that will mean, however much I don't like it, I'm finding that if just keep saying yes to God then it's working out, that I'm still in one piece, and that, in fact, I'm better than before.

The tension of it all's what's got me thinking of hurricanes. It's pouring outside now but the sound of it is a solid thing, something you can lean on. All these metaphors and I feel like life is hurricaning the heck out of me, but there's comfort in it. I remember the wind blowing furiously and if there's anything that can invoke awe in me--but this word is in awesome and awful. I think that's where I'm at right now--I am in awe of my God. And I remember that sweeping away is something like the old has gone, the new has come.