a common conversation during day camp:

"wait, you mean ya'll live here?"

"yeah upstairs."

"you live in the church?"


i have this conversation with many of the kids, and several of them already knew it because they live across the street or around the neighborhood and have seen us around. but still, the concept of living in a church just baffles them. it seems like the absolute most strangest thing. and i guess in a way it sort of is. but in another way...it's not at all.

then i had this conversation with a group of girls one day:

"hey what's that thing on your neck? is that a bird?"

"well yeah, it's a dove. but it's also a cross. sort of both. do you know why it's a dove?"


"cause a dove is a symbol for the Holy Spirit."


"will it break?" another girl added.

"no it won't break. it's pottery. it's made by people in a monastery over in france."

blank stares.

"do you know what a monastery is?"

shaking heads.

"do you know what a monk is?"

shaking heads.

"well you know what a nun is right? with the dresses and the thing on their heads." i made very effective hand gestures here. "nuns live in convents and a monastery is sort of like the same thing but for men."

"just men? aren't they married?"

"no they choose to live 'married to God' in a sense."

"that's weird!"

"well not like a marriage like we think of it. but more like just sort of deciding to dedicate, or, to commit to living their lives for God alone and live together to help each other do that."

"that's sort of what you guys are doing upstairs, right?"

i paused. "yeah. yeah it is. though some of us up there are married and some of us aren't."

they lost interest after that and continued to argue about some petty drama. but in that brief instant i felt like that one little girl somehow understood more about what we are trying to do than so many of the people i've tried to explain it to. "trying" would be the key word there of course.

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