*So, I have started to write several times in the past month, and only wrote part of what wanted to be blogged. This one is a fairly completed post that began March 30.*
No really. It was one of the most fun parties I have ever attended. We went to this really nice Japanese restaurant, and the guy cooked in front of us (like at Samarai for those of you in Holliday), and we had several courses. The adults all caught whole eggs in their bowls, and most of us caught pieces of scrambled eggs in our mouths. Even the kids. This family that I get to be a part of for a year is great.
The next night, I got to go to the party of a German au pair that has been helping me find things to do and people to do them with in Auckland. It was a really nice Persian restaurant, and I got to wear my new fair-trade dress. It was nice to see people I had met on my first evening out to a Catholic young adult function, and to see other people I had met through bowling or cricket. On the way home, I got to discuss Robert Frost with one of them. Not a bad deal.
The next next day, I spent the morning painting an elephant on a library mural. One of the reasons why I really like the church I’m going to is that they do a lot to channel relationships in the community. Saturday and Sunday, they spent their time worshipping by fixing up a school a few kilometers away from the church building. Service is a form of real, true, pure worship, and I love that the entire church came and used their separate gifts to do different things around the school – gardening, painting, building, cooking, etc. It was wonderful. That afternoon, I spent a bit of time on my favourite street in Auckland – K Road. One of the people from my house church texted to see if I wanted to grab dinner before we stopped by our other friend’s birthday party on the same street. Talking to my friend, it occurred to me that I was starving for conversation. And my friend allowed me to have a wonderful amount of quality time. Post-sushi, we stopped by the third birthday of the weekend, then tried to wipe the lipstick someone had smeared on of a replica of Michaelangelo’s “Moses” statue. It’s a beautiful thing, trying to preserve art – caring about it so much that you climb up in Moses’ lap to wipe the red off his lips with your bare hands, then finding traces of perfect marble underneath. I think I would want someone to do that for me. Wipe off the mess that life throws at me. I suppose that’s what Jesus did, though – wiped away the blood-stained mess to show me the beautiful person he created me to be. He does that every day. Sometimes gently, and sometimes ferociously. Some of the mess is hard to get off. But he rubs it away no matter how long it takes, and pursues the art beneath the dirt that my life becomes.
My friend walked me to the train station, and we listened to a street musician play a good song. Getting off the train, I walked in the rain to an end-of-season cricket bbq. Someone from the first birthday party had invited me, and they were still going when I stepped off the train. Cricket players drink a bit apparently, so a friend and I played ping-pong, made sure our friend was driven home, then left.
The next day was Sunday. The best day of the week. But this day was spent at the school we were fixing up instead of in a church building. After working on a dragon’s wings for the library mural, I got to pick up tree limbs in the mud. And I was barefoot. Most definitely a perfect end to a great weekend.