Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Visit to Thistle Farms

A week ago, I had the opportunity to visit Thistle Farms, and I was struck by how honest the women are: before any work is done, they sit in a circle and share their brokenness. In a culture obsessed with emphasizing the ego and hiding faults, it was such a breath of fresh air to be around women who have no problem showing their wounds. It is, in fact, what seems to make their community so solid; their willingness to share each others true selves--no matter how painful--becomes the foundation on which their work rests. At Thistle Farms, the truth sets them free to work without pretension and in community.

I was able to share a few songs along with my mom during their meditation time: "I Will Change Your Name," "Down By The Riverside," and one I wrote called "Communion Hymn." All three songs have lyrics that celebrate the truth that beauty, wholeness, and redemption can come when we feel the most worthless, the most out of control. I hope the songs really resonated with the women, and I was honored to be a part of their day.

My favorite memory, though, was when we split up to do different tasks. I ended up helping a woman named Grace by giving her some drawing tips for her own artwork. It felt so great to empower someone else to continue to develop their gifts. I'm currently pursuing a masters in Theology and Art; I think it's safe to say that I was living at the intersection of those two worlds when I visited Thistle Farms.

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