Give Them You

I find myself constantly living in that tension between giving people what I think they want and giving people what I am. 

You cannot serve both God and mammon.

Mammon is currency though. Currency is the power to order and control and manipulate your world into getting the things that you think you want. 
But what is it that we really fundamentally need? What is the most living moment in any meaningful interaction? Is it the moment when you realize that like a genie you can just wish something and that someone magically pleases you with such gifts? 

A. I don’t know if that’s ever possible 


b. Even if that’s what we want, could we ever be pleased with such a life? I don’t know about you but the most meaningful, transforming and deeply connected moment I have had in any relationship is when you realize that just then, even if it lasts a few minutes, in that particular moment someone brought their fullest selves and offered it up to you. 

Such a gift.

It is this offering; our fullest selves, these living sacrifices that please God…not the temple dance. It’s tough though. 

The temple dance gives you coins for your performance. Coins and praise. You gave them what they wanted. A heightened experience; an exciting titillation of the senses. A provocation that only demands more. Dance. Dance. Dance. I am giving you coins. Dance.

How tired we all are.



On Sharing

To share or not to share?

It’s a thing.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m very generous as a person. I share my learned experience, resources and time abundantly to any creature who crosses my path.

Vulnerability is not always the issue. Many times even after the boundaries checkpoint has been cleared and the subject at hand has been deemed personal (not private; there’s a difference), my personal, beautiful and most holy gift sits, wrapped with a bow in a corner collecting dust…or worse, in my hand, just shy of being offered. 

There are so many reasons why. 

Trusting people with fragile things is well…scary. 

How will they hold it? Will this thing I love be tossed about roughly or held like the jewel I have known it to be? We do not all value the same things and well… the value of some things, through all of our filters can be deceptively hard to see. 

On a train ride one summer from Lucca to Rome, I shared a car with a gentleman who lived in a small hilly town outside of Rome. We were facing each other in our seats by the window; knees only a foot apart. I entered a coughing fit, he offered me a mint. Then, with a mumbled, “grazie”, our conversation began. 

Now, all of the Italian I had studied before I arrived was mostly used to order food and ask for directions or to compliment a shop owner on her shoes. I had not yet actually held a real conversation with anyone…and I don’t know that I intended to. But here I was…talking.

And it was amazing.

I felt so alive! The rush of trying something new! I am speaking Italian…to an Italian! Granted, when he left the train I was drenched in a nervous sweat and I fell on my face so many times in that convo it wasn’t even funny. Antonio however, was gracious and kind and even complimented me because he spoke no English. We took a selfie together when we parted and connecting with another human being so different from me, and yet so similar, was an experience I’ll never forget.

So there it is. Sharing (art or anything else) is scary.

But just maybe the rush might be worth it.



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