1. The other day, I got an email from a "relative" who wanted to tell me of a cousin of a guy that goes to her church who she thinks would be a good match for me (to marry). Let me add here that this relative has laid eyes on me maybe twice in my lifetime and we have actually said hello to each other once. She doesn't know the first thing about me except for what I looked like some eight years ago. Apparently, he "has a heart for Christ and is not too flashy."

2. In my mental health counseling class, we looked at a case study of a husband and wife struggling with sexual problems (details omitted here) to the point that, even though the rest of their marriage is phenomenal and they have two kids, they are seeking divorce after having really bitter sex for fifteen years. So the first question that pops into my mind is this: how is it that two people, who have been married for fifteen years, have never been comfortable enough with each other to talk about sex and each other's expectations and limitations and presuppositions and ideas, etc.?

3. Taking part in the AIDS Walk For Life made me realize a lot of things. I walked to support the countless millions suffering from AIDS in India and Africa. But really, for me, this whole thing is about dignity and respect. Every human being has a right to dignity no matter what--whether you are a homosexual man living in Canada or a single mother in Botswana or a girl making a living through prostitution in India. Fault finding and finger pointing is a stupid and pointless. It's all part of not just loving your neighbor but loving your neighbor as yourself.

4. I've been learning a lot about this approach called the Anti Oppression Framework and I think it's a phenomenal idea. Christians would disapprove of this approach. But I think Christ would take it a step further. "Helping" someone suggests that we are somehow above them. "Working with" them puts us at their level. Jesus tells us to "serve" because that places us at the lowest level that we can possibly go. If God wanted to "help" us, He could have just sent instructions from Heaven. If He wanted to simply "identify" with our humaness, He could have come down maintaining His power and glory and started a dialogue with the influential people of the day. Instead, He wanted to "serve", so He came down into the feeding trough for animals and walked with fisherman, tax collectors and prostitutes, and died naked on a cross, bringing Himself to the lowest point possible in order to make a very simple and profound statement of His great love for us. Humbling. So it's not about how much I accomplish in this life. It's not about whether or not I leave my mark. It's not about how many people take notice of me. It's about a constant dying and laying down of myself. It's about carrying my cross. It's about service and humility and love that is sincere.

Benita Joy