crumbs-from-the-table-of-joy

First of the month…must mean it’s time to #rockthosereads. My pick today: Lynn Nottage’s Crumbs from the Table of Joy. Harlem’s City College campus plays a beautiful role in this play, and every time I ever cross or see the campus I think of Ms. Nottage’s work.  To find out more about Total Equity Now’s literacy efforts in Harlem, go here: http://www.facebook.com/totalequitynow?fref=ts.

100 - Crumbs From The Table of Joy

100 – Crumbs From The Table of Joy

Crumbs From The Table of Joy
Lynn Nottage
4F 1M

Lynn Nottage’s Crumbs From The Table of Joyis a nice coming-of-age story set in 1950s Brooklyn. It has a wonderfully unreliable narrator in the form of Ms. Ernestine Crump and tells the tale of how her and her sister Ermina moved to Brooklyn with their dad to escape the crippling state he was in in Florida after their mother passed. Godfrey, their…

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[03/24/15]

Matthew 15

{Joy}

V22: A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
V24: He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
V26: He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
V27: “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
V28: Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

This part of the passage was very strange to me. Jesus is known for his mercy towards the weak and the poor, the “underdog”, the people banished by society. His answers to this woman seem so aloof and alien. 

And then the woman’s responses amazed me. If someone were to speak to me that way and liken me to a dog… shoot, I don’t know what I would say or do. I’d probably have been like, rude. I don’t need no degrading savior. 

But then, Jesus praises her for her faith. Her FAITH, he says. Meaning, her desperation made her humble, made her cling unto Jesus regardless of what He said to her. 

How many times have I followed Jesus because of how convenient & comfortable He is? How many times have I fit my Savior into a box that is suitable and favorable for me? Many anti-religion people argue that religion is something that humans created because they needed something to rely on, get encouragement or validation from. My attitude towards God these days… actually kind of confirms that argument. My faith weakens at the first sight of distress. If my Savior were to give me words of rejection, would I still be able to cling unto Him?

The woman, whose daughter was dying, sought Jesus out of desperation. Am I not just as desperate? My worries and frustrations consume me and make me miserable. Each day is a cry of desperation for redemption. I pray for faith that will give me the spirit to desperately cling unto Jesus every day. 

{Jane}

These people honor me with their lips,
  but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
  their teachings are merely human rules. (vv. 8-9)

I feel like most of what I do in regards to God and worship is sort of just mechanical or as if I was on auto-pilot. I just do it. When I lift my hands during praise, I sometimes question if I’m really even worshiping God, if I even feel his presence.

I feel like so much of my faith has been just what I was taught, what I grew up doing, what I was told was the way to do things. I don’t think I started to really try and make it my faith until college, where I was challenged on what I believed. Did I agree/disagree with certain opinions because I was taught that it was right/wrong or is it from genuine convictions in my own heart?

I was so used to the way we did things at home and the things we were taught. I followed along, without much question. But as a result, I think I’m having a hard time knowing how to spiritually feed myself and how to grow in God on my own, without being so completely dependent on others. Yes, community & church is important & I’m definitely not trying to downplay that. But too much of my faith was as result of good fellowship and strong leaders, without me learning how to also stand alone in my relationship with God, how to not make it a thing between God, me, and another person or people.