Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Weekend at the Prison, Greek and Other Stuff

I just spent the past weekend serving with Kairos at the prison. (This is where Kairos goes.) It was an impressive weekend. I had debated even going. First, last week I started to question why I help people. Why did I? I have other things to do, I felt like I was just questioning my existence. I'm glad that I went anyway.

I was talking to Darin and last weekend was Forgiveness Sunday. Tiger was going to come to church, then the director sent a note to me and I was to talk about forgiveness on Forgiveness Sunday. That was seriously cool. At the meeting, I sat at a table with some delightful women from interior Alaska. A lady who works with Kairos but new to Alaska said that she had never liked salmon. All the ladies were curious, "Do you like it half smoked? Do you like it ____--" they asked so many ways in 30 seconds, ways that I had never heard of! Not that I would know a million ways, but I have been up here for over 30 years and you'd think I have heard more ways to cook it! It was cute how the ladies were so crazy for it!

Everyone had great talks on walking the Christian walk.

Last week I had been nervous talking about forgiveness when I was ticked off at a few Kairos women who I work with because. . . when my grandmother died in November, they'd not back off on ordering me to smile (my face went neutral when I was praying for her) and they were just in my face when I was not at the prison with them, but as it was, it gave me great fodder for talking about the topic. (I didn't say that it was with Kairos!) I spoke of how the people we need to forgive most are the ones who we work the most with. I also brought up a taboo subject on forgiving people who had committed crimes that seemed unforgivable. A few weeks ago I was at a book study and we got into a deep discussion on forgiving the mother of Baby Grace and I relayed the story of our conversation. Afterward, I was told that I brought up a topic that needed to be brought up but no one had really discussed. I think that a few ladies who were there for that very reason were welcomed a little more and if I was the reason, it is heartwarming.

I was at the prison chapel service. That was beautiful. A full third of the women came to this and I was moved by the sincerity in their singing. A woman needed to be prayed over, but I cannot divulge why. Trust me, she was hurting. When Mrs. Pastor motioned for me to come pray I looked around to see if she was talking to me-- I'd never prayed over someone before like that. When I was Protestant I went to these, and they seemed contrived and not real. Everyone tried to pray eloquently, sometimes I heard battles of the prayers-- I didn't rust them. The person didn't speak English that well so I just prayed for her, and I broke into German and my bad French because they seemed right. God knew what I was asking for her. I sent her a note later with the Bible verses from Galatians on the Armor of God and hopefully someone will tell her that I lovingly told her to put it on before she sleeps at night so she won't be so sad.

The pastor there is a sweetheart. Someone told me that he was a Vietnam fighter pilot and I have subconsciously started calling him Captain and referring to him as the Captain. He is an older man, a bit stooped over, but I keep remembering him as being 6' tall even though I have never seen him like that. I have a thing for pilots, but it's not like that. I can clearly see him in my mind as a fighter. His wife is a beautiful lady with pretty eyes and a bright smile. They spend 15 hours a day at the prison, seven days a week most of the time.

I have started studying Greek for an hour a week after Vespers with a Greek speaker. What a beautiful language! My tutor is a fast speaker and thinker. This may be trying, but I like her. When I can speak Greek well enough, I think I will pray in it. Greek is the best language for praying, I think. When it is sung, it is mystical! When it is spoken, it is Heavenly.


steve on the slow train said...

Sounds like Green Eggs and Ham--"Would you eat them in a house? Would you eat them with a mouse?" I used to read this to my kids, sometimes substituting at the end, "I still don't like green eggs and ham. They taste like garbage, Sam I am." Of course, I had to read it over correctly. Kids know.

Is the Greek you're learning modern, classical, Koine, or liturgical? Best wishes for success.

Tea N. Crumpet said...

It's Modern-- she says that I can go into the other stuff later once I have a working knowledge of it. I've always wanted to learn koine because that is Biblical, but it will have to wait.

I got kicked out of a cult in college because they said they were the original church so I showed up with my Greek Bible. I just didn't get it and kept gearing every conversation towards when I would learn koine Greek. I wasn't getting it. Later that semester they'd get kicked off campus and I was at the review where they were deciding this and I said, "They never taught me Greek!"

The leader was ready to pull his hair out over me, "WE DON'T SPEAK GREEK!" I said, "Then you are not the original church because the original church knows Greek!" This snake oil salesman hung his head and made a neck wringing motion at me. In today's world I would feel threatened, but back then everyone laughed because they all knew that I'd been excited. . . to learn Greek, dangit!

Later on I'd get with the Russian church and so many knew it but it wasn't a big deal. I pursued and I am doing it now.

Olivia said...

Obviously I am biased but I do agree that the Greek church is the original.

Have you discovered Panos Kavarnos on YouTube yet?
I hope that is what the singing in heaven sounds like.