Katie Go Now!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spoiler Alert

If you haven't read all 7 Harry Potter books, seen Slumdog Millionaire, or heard about last year's Oscars, I wouldn't advise you to read any further. If that's really the case, I'd also advise you to get electricity and friends. (That goes more for the Slumdog part than the HP part. I know I'm a geek there.)

The real title of this post is "What the heck does Harry Potter have to do with Bollywood music?"

You know me well enough to read this; you know how I feel about Jo Rowling's epic tale. I grew up with Harry. But, when I was not-so-secretly reading Goblet of Fire under my desk in 8th grade English class, neither Harry nor I grasped the depth of the story. There was the bad guy and we knew he had to be defeated, but no one knew how that would come about.

Not until one of the final chapters of Deathly Hallows does it all come together. There had been hints of it before, maybe it should have been obvious. In short, sacrificial love was the thing stronger than death. It saves Harry as a baby, and it saves everyone he loves once he chooses it himself.

Ok, seriously. What the heck does this have to do with Slumdog and its music winning Oscars?

You remember that scene. You probably cringed in fear and disgust.

Little Jamal's face, so determined to get to the one he loved, even if just for a moment. He almost didn't hesitate. It took a flying leap into excrement, but he met Amitabh Bachan. That scene stands as a metaphor for every choice Jamal makes for the rest of the film.

Teenage Jamal so determined to get to the one he loved, he burst into a room full of armed gangsters. Adult Jamal finally within reach of her, lying through his teeth to those same men just to get to where she lives. His character never wavers; his own safety is never his concern.

When "Jai Ho" won Best Original Song, giving Slumdog its 8th Oscar, composer A.R. Rahman said something I'll never forget. Rather than rambling a list of thank-yous, he stepped to the microphone and said,

"All my life I have been given a choice between hate and love. I chose love, and I am here."

That's it. Love wins. That's the story they all tell.

That's all I can do. That's the only story I have to tell. So let's go.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Big Picture

Weekend Status: youth group purity retreat.

Happy reunion with the beautiful middle schoolers I worked with over the summer!

Insightful/awkward conversations about love, sex, and dating!

Dance parties!

And if I hear "Party in the USA" one more time... I really might throw up.

In the middle of all of these conversations and teaching, there's Haiti. We've been praying for quick aid and necessary rescue each time we get together with the students, and they've even raised money to send over. Even with that recognition, it's weird to me to have such a personal topic of focus this weekend. Before this morning's talk, we stopped to pray for our Haitian brothers again, and Casey (pastor) asked me to look up the death toll.

They've only found 50,000 bodies, but the highest estimate is that over 200,000 people died in the last 5 days from this one catastrophe.

The kids ended their prayer and the worship band started playing. I didn't sing; I read through that article...

...and looked at these pictures...

...and wondered what living a life of purity has to do with Haiti?

How can we focus on ourselves and our relationships when everything in those pictures is really happening right now?

God-centeredness. That's what these things have in common.

When it comes to purity, all I've really been able to tell these girls is that a focus on glorifying God will lead to right decisions in relationships.

When it comes to Haiti, hope, help, and compassion, a focus on God being glorified pulls us out of the "How could this happen?" despair and moves us to act, to pray, even to go.

In other words: we quit thinking about ourselves.

We start thinking about the end for which we were created.

We start loving. Really loving.


Sunday, January 10, 2010


in the truest and deepest sense is so hard to come by.

Since I found my "family" in college (read: the people that I am, by default, always... always with), I've felt some level of belonging. It was occasionally clouded by the knowing in the back of my mind that we'd likely part ways as we graduated. I still resist that thought as strongly as possible. Read any of my past posts; I like to hold onto people I love.

As much as this group has given me a (fleeting) sense of belonging, it just occurred to me that something may be missing. Yes, we're all following Jesus. That's our foundation, that's how we all met, it's an unspoken truth of us being together.

It's the "unspoken" part that makes me think something's missing. Yesterday I was with about a dozen of those people for over 12 hours. I loved it, I love them. But Glory is still on my mind.

Passion is a rare thing (the event and the emotion). Being with 21,000 people I don't know still gave me a sense of belonging. First of all, we had matching wristbands. And t-shirts. Who wouldn't feel like a solid part of it? :P

What I actually mean is that there was a sense of purpose that brought us together. We heard of those who were oppressed, poor, in need, and as well as we could from Atlanta, Georgia, we fought hard to love them. And it worked.

I know that kind of excitement and effort is concentrated in an event and can't really sustain from day to day. But the purpose can. That's what is missing from our constant hanging out here in Manhattan. There's love, there's fun, there's even that important common ground, but unless we're at a leadership huddle on a Sunday night, our purpose is laid aside.

So I'm taking this and trying to apply it to what to do once I leave Manhattan at the end of this semester, maybe sooner. In the most basic terms, that's what I'm seeking: a clear purpose and those who share it.

I think most people call that a job...