Sunday, September 6, 2009

Liberation bound . . .

I started at Spelman today . . . attended my first worship service in Sisters Chapel . . . four days after Spelman sophomore Jasmine Lynn was shot and killed as a result of an altercation between two men that sent bullets flying in the direction she was walking on Clark Atlanta's campus. The service was about her. . . the life she lived . . . and the memories and impact she left behind on those who knew her. What a way to start my ministry there. When I heard the news on Thursday morning, I knew my experience at Spelman, coming in as an assistant chaplain this year would be marked by much more than I expected. So, I'm praying God will prepare me for ministry within this context -- one where a university complex exists within the urban core of a community struggling to survive. A community that is riddled with this type of crime. A community where some of the countries brightest, shining black students -- some who are part of a legacy of Spelman women come to come into their own. I question how my experiences here impact where I go next? How they will shape my ministry?

The preacher for the day reminded us all of what Ephesians 2:10 says about us: that we are masterpieces of art God created to do good works and those works were created well in advance for us to carry out to perform.

Jasmine Lynn, say her friends, performed those good works, even though her time seemed short. She lived life freely and showed love to those who did not always show kindness to her. She encouraged those whose path she crossed to live their life purposefully. And she challenged all of us to consider: "What gifts will I leave behind?"

Ephesians 2, as the preacher pointed out, reminds us that we were all created to change and transform the world. And so I pray over this next year to discover why God called me to Spelman and what gifts I'm to leave behind in its halls that will hopefully change and transform a small part of the world of the girls I come to meet. And I pray that within the process, I come to understand the changes God needs to bring about in me.

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