The Compass

Greetings from Scranton, PA!! I am currently wrapping up our orientation with my fellow JV’s (some of which leave tomorrow for their new journey) and heading home to the Northwest after a month hiatus. My time gone has been heart-breaking, eye-opening, tear-filled, gut busting laughter, and beautiful people. We were asked as JVs to write something that should serve as the equivalent of a mission statement or purpose statement to help describe our hopes and goals. Here is mine! It’s a poem…it’s rough…and I sure as heck am not Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, or Maya Angelou… Paz y abrazos! 


In December 2013, my plane will head south,

Towards a great, ambiguous journey.

I know that my internal compass

Is oriented towards something greater though.

Call it a call, call it a vocation, call it silly inquisitiveness…


Without shoes, or socks, or nail polish,

I enter into a community with a humble heart.

With eyes wide open and eager ears,

Curiosity for the wisdom and stories this community holds,

I unpack my bag.


In the classroom, in the church, in the kitchens of friends,

I hope to better understand

What lies under the tip of the iceberg.

What the eyes have seen and what the hands have felt

And whom the arms have held.


My barefeet will stumble on the cobblestones

Or the sharp rocks of my inevitable mistakes.

The times will be lonely,

And there will be walls to climb and break down again,

But the path will be lit with the soft light of hope.


To move and enact the quiet reverie of God’s love,

To realize the binding I have to you and you to me,

And to rest assured in the love story I’ll never fully understand…

It won’t solve every one of my problems,

But it will surely make my days easier.


To realize that justice doesn’t only entail

The grand trumpets of change,

Or the messy war of triumph over power

Or the breaking of iron-clad cultural –isms,

But can happen in a living room while accompanying one another.


These are my grand dreams

That will not seem so grand or exotic in two years

But will mark my heart through words and actions

While rooted in the soils of simplicity, prayer, community, and justice

And further orient my internal compass towards my life’s path.