I don't know how to introduce myself, except to say this:
I love hearing people speak from their heart.
I love when people envision something and then do it.
I love vision in general.
I love eating food that I helped grow.
I love turning abandoned lots into community gardens.
I love grandmothers who send their grandkids down to the garden to help out.
I love watching kids figure things out.
I love elders who realize they're elders and who do something with their wisdom.
I love everything about Cornel West.
I love it when people tell me how they really feel, even when it hurts like hell when they do.
I love when I can work up the courage to say "hi" to people I don't know.
I love leaving doors unlocked.
I love potlucks.
Mmmm... I really love potlucks.
I love walking on the bus and listening to folks around me.
I love it when bus drivers know the folks on the bus and treat them like family.
I love that I had Rev. Ross as my first minister, that I had Dr. Mary Sawyer and Dr. Robert Baum as professors, that I have people like Bob, Suzanne, Bev, Mary, Daniel, and Susan who treat me like their son.
I love how my mom hugs me and then lets me go, how she prays, how she appreciates family and welcomes others in.
I love how my dad always reminds me to speak from my heart, how he encourages me to trust my feelings and to follow them into the Unknown, how he talks about God, faith, life, and love.
I love how my sister takes photographs of things no one else notices (and then gives me a copy of the photos), how she wrote "be the change" for her cell phone welcome message, how she has an original sense of humor, how she finds ways to keep loving even when everything and everyone seems against her.
I love theology, especially when I can arrange words "just right" in order to express the fullness of what I encounter in God.
I love thinking about what God thinks about.
I love the story of Jesus and the tradition and ideas that developed from that story, and I love that I can say that I love these things, even in the face of all the harm that has been done by Christians throughout history, because I know that there is still something there that is beautiful and true and liberating.
I love thinking about God as a Trinity -- as the One who remains transcendant and immutable, yet who walks alongside us in a vulnerable and real way, and who, through it all, intimately empowers us and moves in us in a way that is transformative.
I love, I love, I LOVE the story of Mary, mother of Jesus.
I love hearing the "Shema" during Jewish services.
I love that Muslims awaken to the sound of "Allahu akbar" ("God is great").
I love reading about Gandhi, and I love that he was the one who brought me back to Christianity.
I love the Catholic Worker community.
I love clapping to hymns and singing with feeling.
I love listening to Sweet Honey in the Rock, Michael Franti, and Bernice Johnson Reagon, and I love that their singing makes me want to fight for freedom and justice.
I love listening to Talib Kweli, Mos Def, and Common, and I love how they use every word, sound, and break-beat to pierce darkness and bleed out love, grace, justice, and truth.
I love Capacity open mics and the fact that they're creating something beautiful right down the block.
I love Columbus and the entire lower eastside.
I love City Farms and the fact that there are seven amazing gardens within just a few blocks of where I live.
I love the view of downtown Columbus at night, especially going south on Third Street, crossing over I-670.
I love going out in the country at night and seeing the stars, and I love realizing how small I really am in comparison.
I love working for justice and working to transform things that are wrong.
I love being inspired to do things that aren't traditional or expected, and I love knowing that those inspirations come from God.
I love when my stereotypes and misconceptions get proven wrong.
I love creative tension and cognitive dissonance.
I love hearing people talk about God, especially when they speak with a language that is intimate and real.
I love breaking bread with Republicans and Democrats in the same room.
I love being able to understand where people are coming from, even if I don't agree with them.
I love giving sermons, especially in churches that have been deemed "spiritually dead" or "conservative"... it makes it easier for me to realize that I have nothing to lose, and it allows me to really let go.
I love watching Dr. King's last speech, especially when I feel powerless and empty, and I love that it makes me cry tears of joy every time. And I really love that Dr. King didn't want to speak that night (he was sick and there was a bad storm), but he did anyway... and without notes.
I love being in awe of something.
I love hearing Saul Williams recite poetry, and I love that he pushes me to a new level and to new understandings every time I listen to him.
I love reading "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran (especially the chapter "On Love"), and I love that he held onto the draft of that book for seven years so that he could make sure every word he wrote was the best he had to offer.
I love my friends, and I love that they feel like family.