The gospel: “Follow me…”

By late afternoon yesterday, I had heard more police helicopters in one day than I had ever imagined possible. Along with sirens and cruisers racing down our streets, it was enough to unsettle. We spent the early evening over at my sister’s house in her backyard, enjoying dinner (and lots of space for the kids to run) with our cell group. Her yard felt like an oasis in the midst of all the sirens and commotion in the air and on our streets, and I was grateful for the feelings of peace we enjoyed there. I was especially grateful watching Mercy and Aaron’s carefree play that seemed completely unaffected by the noise.

Later, after running home with Doug to put the kids to bed, I came back to my sister’s house for a special send-off party for three young women in our congregation who are leaving later this week to spend time in Guatemala for intensive Spanish language study. We played a Guatemala trivia game, ate a lot of dessert, and ended our time together by praying for them and their travels.

I was struck by a memory I have shared here before of sitting in a Fuller classroom and overhearing two students discuss how appalling it would be to live in my neighborhood: “Are you kidding me?” she said, with a laugh. “Two single women living in that neighborhood? That would be crazy!”

As I extended my hand toward these three beautiful single young women who have heard God’s call to love their neighbors here in the midst of helicopters, sirens and cruisers, and who have responded to that call to the degree of committing their time and vacations and money to go and learn the language that many of those neighbors speak, I marveled at the beauty of a crazy gospel.

Godspeed, Lauren, Sarah and Sarah.


  1. We did the language learn in Guatemala but found out that our Mexican immigrant neighbors in your part of LA didn’t dig our copy cat Central American version of the tongue.

    They said Guatemalans spoke Spanish too slow and didn’t get with the Mexo-Spanglish LA street slang.

    Sometimes the prejudices and cross-cultural challenges get overwhelming no matter where you live.

    Hang in there sister.

    Poco a poco. Little by little.

  2. Actually, the fact that Tom Pratt chose to write that kind of comment in response to the post, only serves to perpetuate more, or another kind, of prejudice. funny…

  3. I thought one of the points of the original post was that some people at Fuller, out of fear, are prejudiced to the point that they wouldn’t even consider living in some parts of the city even though they follow a Lord who gave particular importance to poor folks.

    We lived in poor neighborhoods with a variety of Latin American immigrants for many years and saw another variety of prejudice up close.

    That seemed relevant to me since these women will learn a form of Spanish that will identify them with a particular immigrant group that many of our Mexican immigrant neighbors–the vast majority of inner city folks in parts of the city–looked down on.

    That’s just our experience and witness. Sounds like you’ve got a different experience, Xochitl. I’d love to hear about it.

  4. Well, I suppose my experience puts me on the other end of the situation, the one in which generalizations are directed at me from people who don’t know me persoanally. Perhaps because people may have had a *particular* experience with other Mexican-American females born and raised in LA (as is my case), they feel confident it also applies to who I am, or to other such identified people. So my experience of being on that end of generalizations makes it so that I am more sentitive to not making that which is particular a generalization projected onto others, and I try to not make statements that would perpetuate the generalization of people.

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