Thursday, August 13, 2009

.If you've visited my blog very often, you've probably heard me talk about one of my favorite authors, who just happens to also been one of my dearest friends. Claudia Mair Burney and I traveled to Swaziland together last year. But even before we spent days underneath the brutally, beautiful, Swazi, summer sun, I had been getting to know her through phone calls, emails, her blog, and her books. Mair is an amazing story teller with a passionate heart for God and for loving people. She has walked the kind of hard life journey that most of us only see in a made-for-tv movie. Yeah, it's that unbelievable. But the thing is, it's not some fictional work, it's her true life. Unlike most of those movies, though, through out all of it---the good, the bad, and the very ugly---God's grace has been mysteriously woven through it. Sometimes the grace was very hard to see. Sometimes the grace was and is so potent as to be overwhelming. And unlike the ending of those movies, Mair's story continues as she reaches out to embrace all God has for her in this life and beyond.

Today I received word that my friend is in a deep, dark valley. Jesus told us that His followers would have trials in this world and believe me, that's very, very true for Mair and her family right now. Would you please read her message and pray? And if you feel led to do so, give? Mair has blessed so many with her writing and with her life.

“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.” – Dorothy Day

One of my favorite parts of Dorothy Day’s autobiography, The Long Loneliness is the postscript at the end. She writes, “We were just sitting there talking when…” She goes on say that Peter Maurin came, and lines of people needing bread—and she couldn’t tell them, “Go, be thou filled!” Folks moved in and the walls expanded. “It was as casual as that,” Dorothy writes, “It just came about. It just happened.”

My friend Lisa Samson and I were just sitting there talking when someone brought up human trafficking. I’ve always wanted to do something to relieve this brand of suffering. The needs are astounding, but these victims are so easily forgotten, truly the least of the least of these Jesus talked about. Turns out Lisa always wanted to do something for this needy group of people God loves so much, too. In the wee hours of the morning, a work of mercy and hospitality, The Living Room, was born.

We’re going to get a building in downtown Lexington. People have already offered their expertise to help us get started. In a safe, cozy respite, we’ll quietly offer compassion, coffee, and a comfortable seat to women who come off the street, or find their way to us by other means. We’re going to preach the gospel, but only use words when we absolutely must. If the ladies need more we’ll give them that, too. We’ll make wrap-around services available. God sent me to school, inexplicably, to be a social worker fifteen years ago. Now I know why. Ken and I, and the whole Burney brood were on our way to Lexington on August 3 for our first vision trip. We were so excited.

On July 28th, our car was stolen. Two days later, we got an eviction notice. Most of the time I’m given room to get our rent payments in. Our apartment managers know I’m a writer. My income comes in slowly, but I wasn’t given that wide and generous berth this time. We have ten days to leave. I don’t have the means to fix this. I’ve tried, in the most humbling, pride crushing ways, but I gots nuthin’. I have felt every terror and loneliness a mother with four children and a disabled husband would feel in this awful predicament. But I keep hearing voices—no, not that kind!—but friends urging me to ask my readers and cyber-friends for help. Among those voices is my soul-mother Dorothy Day who said, “the only solution is love, and that love comes with community.”

If I’ve had an intentional community, it’s been here in cyber-space. We have laughed, cried, prayed, and stumbled along on the journey together. Now, I need your help, as I never have before.

Will you join me in love? Could you find it in your heart to be a part of the solution to this difficult set of circumstances? I want you to be part of our mission to love people for Jesus. Will you help my family get to Lexington where opportunity awaits us? We would be so grateful.

If you’d like to help go to The "event" is Claudia Mair Burney Family Relocation. Thanks ever so much!


1 comment:

Wyatt Roberts said...

Can figure out what to do with the chipin link.