Sunday, August 30, 2009

Living the Call on the bus

For a couple days now I have been working with the Radical Journey participants. We have worked on a covenant, shared personal faith stories and lots of other cool stuff. On Tuesday, the leaders asked for questions that people had. Darrell (the other leader) and I looked at those questions and had a conversation – modeling how to have good conversation about things that you may not agree on. One of the questions that we talked probably the most about was How do I know what I am called to do? Darrell shared and I did too.

I talked about my internal sense that it was more than just a passion, almost to the degree of unexplainable. For example, I am passionate about food. However, I can usually describe why I like to cook, bake, or serve food. I really can’t even begin why I feel so passionate, beyond passionate about issues of class and race. I also shared a moment I remember in a SCUPE class that would be the community calling me to work with these issues alongside those may not understand. I told Darrell (and the 20 others that happened to be in the room) that I felt that moment in the SCUPE class happened 10 minutes ago instead of almost 10 years ago – it that strongly effected who I am today.

We finished the day and then Darrell and I took the bus to go back to Jim and I’s house. It was rush hour, but the bus we happened to be on had lots of seats empty. A man got on the bus and sat next to me, after a stop or two looked at me and said:

Man: “Chicago is sure full of lots of cultures.”
Krista:“Yes, isn’t it beautiful?”
Man: “Sometimes it causes a lot of conflict though.”
Krista: “Yes, that happens sometimes”
Man: “Where you from?”
Krista: “here (Chicago)”
Man: “What do you think about bi-racial dating?”
Krista: “I think it is fine.”
Man: “You mean if a german woman with blue eyes and blonde hair started dating an Islam Middle Eastern man, you wouldn’t care?”
Krista: “No.”
Man: “What about the way that culture treats women?”
Krista: “Well, if the woman feels comfortable with the man, then I am okay.”
Man: I believe you shouldn’t harm anyone.”
Krista: Me too.
Man: I am not prejudice but I think I would have a problem with if my sisters started dating a black man.
Krista: But you wouldn’t do any harm to them would you? That is what you said you believed, right?
Man: Yeah, but they are so violent…
Krista: Well, not all people live in the stereotypes that are given in society.
Man: Its hard to find people who are willing to talk about the hard issues
Krista: Yeah, its sorta my job
Man: Oh yeah, what do you do…
Krista: I help direct a program that hopes to teach people to have these hard conversations
Man: Cool
Man: I guess I don’t live in a lot of the stereotypes of a jewish male…I am not cheap, I tip well.
Krista: Cool. This is our stop (it really was), have a good ride.

Darrell and I spoke of this a bit when getting on the next bus, but the conversation got much more animated when Jim came to dinner with us. Darrell was able to give him the run down of what had happened. Jim’s response? “Oh yeah, that happens all the time. She just keeps them going.”

All in all, we could think of 4 or 5 times in the last 6 months that I i have had conversations like this one. And yes, I do “keep them going”. I engage folks who talk to me. I admit that sometimes I want to ignore people, but I just can’t. I am not saying I am perfect, I can easily stick my nose in a book and put headphones on and ignore the world on the bus.

One of the great things about living in the city is that I can interact with folks that I normally wouldn’t or folks that I disagree with. What if I really took more time to listen? What if I “keep them going” more?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Joke Time

Krista has her quotes I have my jokes...

"Wow!" exclaimed Jesus. "We really enjoyed your work here. Especially Thriller! I listen to that album every night before I go to sleep."

Michael is a little taken aback. "Thank you, Lord..."

YHWH goes on, "Well, I have a special reward for you. I'm prepared to grant you one wish. Have anything in mind?"

Not one to act selfish and change God's opinion of him, Jackson thinks for a second and decides upon a wish. "I'd like for everyone on earth to always be able to hear the sweet sound of music, not to be interrupted by the noises of the world."

"Done!" exclaims the Prince of Peace. He snaps, and Billy Mays appears next to Jackson.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

overheard on Congress

While cleaning this afternoon Jim asked about the whole cake that was sitting on the counter, "What's the deal with this cake? Is it ours?" I had made it to take with us to the Flaming Meat party yesterday, but forgot it (Thanks and Sorry Eric and Nadia!).
"Yes, its all ours, I thought we could have it for supper."

Fast forward to after a supper of leftovers - I cooked way to much this week, its so fun when I am actually home for several days!

Jim: "Cake time?"
Me: "Sure!"
Jim leaves room and comes back with two pieces of cake, one for each of us.
Jim: "Ok, this is good. Whats in it other than chocolate?"
Me: "a bit of sugar, its actually chocolate chips, a bit of mayo - that's why I bought mayo the other day, and chick-peas..."
Jim:"and there it is...I knew there must be a twist for you to be baking it."

Its true, I probably wouldn't be baking just a chocolate cake.

The recipe follows:

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups garbanzo beans (chickpeas) – cooked if fresh, drained if canned
2 eggs
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
powdered sugar

Place rack on middle level and pre-heat oven to 350 °F.In a small bowl, melt chocolate in microwave oven on medium power for two minutes.In food processor or blender, combine beans, eggs and egg substitute, blending on high for thirty seconds. Add chocolate, sugar, mayonnaise and baking powder and process until smooth.
Pour mixture into 9” heart shaped non-stick baking pan or a round pan, baking for 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool and dust with powdered sugar and serve with pureed and strained raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries as a garnish. (We didn't use the sauce today.)

I got this recipe in a sparkpeople email.



There is no difference between living and is impossible and misleading and harmful to think of them as being separate.

- John Holt, author

Saturday, August 15, 2009


In late June, Jim and I went to see Food, Inc. While I didn't see much I didn't know, the way it was presented some new realities came to the front of me. I was disturbed by the circle of injustices that surround the farmers enough so that Jim and I are trying to buy meat that is locally grown and if beef, grass finished. Right now, I feel strongly about this. One place that I can get this type of meat, other than the CSA I am a part of, is Whole Foods, which frankly is a guilty pleasure, in fact I may have a date for lunch there today with a friend.

You all know where I am going, don't you?

This is an op-ed piece from the CEO of Whole Foods. In it he talks about his views on health care reform. I am not convinced his views are as bad as some are making them out to be, even though for the most part I disagree with him. So now what? Do I boycott as some suggest? I wonder what other stores I would boycott if I knew their CEOs stances on health care or treatment of workers or a host of other issues. That doesn't mean I shouldn't know or that I shouldn't decide to boycott - it is just a question. Yes, a boycott would, in this case, be a huge, huge sacrifice for me - a good lesson for me and maybe for Whole Foods. But I really don't know how to address this issue personally.

If you are interested, another article that speaks to this issue is here. I like the idea behind this piece - that CEO Mackey is going against the mission statement of Whole Foods - and therefore we should boycott.

I am not sure if I have a logical reason to be wishy-washy or if I am just that connected to Whole Foods that I want to be wishy-washy. I would love others opinions about this and other ethical issues.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer utters itself. So, a woman will lift her head from the sieve of her hands and stare at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.
Carol Ann Duffy, from "Prayer"


During a prayer station while in Atlanta, I was thinking about the things that I most hope for at DOOR and generally in my life. Here is the list.

Embracing love

Its a big list; but it is really my wish list for my life.

Monday, August 3, 2009


The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

- Flora Whittemore, author