Being a native of Omaha, Nebraska I knew that there was for sure one place I did not want to go my collegiate years. Creighton University loomed on 24th street as a reminder of my childhood swimming lessons taken in the KFC, of sacraments made in St. John’s Church, of summer camps and so much more. I was certain that I would venture out of this place where I had spent so much time as a child, and select a totally different school for college. So it was kicking and screaming that my mother drove me to campus on move-in day. A faculty member of Creighton, my mother was granted the gift of Jesuit educated for her children at an incredibly affordable price. I was all too eager to let that gift pass me by.
It was fate that I fell into a journalism major, and the guidance of Dr. Zuegner as my academic advisor and Sara Gentzler as my Decurion (and eventual role model). After spending a few weeks in my orientation group and in the Journalism Department I was certain that the Backpack Journalism program was meant for me and this realization allowed me to open up to Creighton University as a whole. I was so excited for the possibility to go on a trip that would be able to combine my loves of writing and social justice. The idea of being a witness to a group of people so different from myself and having the vehicle to tell their other wise unheard story was amazing.
I am excited for the trip because I am ready to gain a new perspective. While I have been fortunate to travel to different destinations that have helped to shape my world view, I am hoping that Alaska will leave me provoked and disturbed. I feel as though I have become too complacent in my view of the world and it is easy to see my community as extending only the 3 miles from campus to my home. I am eager to become hungry once again for change and to awaken my desire to aid and to tell the stories of others.
I have always enjoyed this prayer because I think that it is uncommon to ask to be uncomfortable. But I believe it is when we are in this state that we grow the most.
Lord, make me a channel of disturbance. Where there is apathy, let me provoke. Where there is compliance, let me bring questioning. Where there is silence, may I be a voice. Where there is too much comfort and too little action, grant disruption. Where there are doors closed and hearts locked, grant the willingness to listen. When Laws dictate and pain is overlooked… when tradition speaks louder than need… when we refuse to take control of our own lives… our own church…our own poor… disturb us, O Lord, teach us to be radical. Grant that I may seek rather to do justice than to talk about it, to be with, as well as for, the poor, to love the unlovable as well as the lovely, to touch the passion of Jesus in the pain of those we meet, to accept responsibility to be church. Lord, make me a channel of disturbance.
I hope that I am able to learn more about myself, the world around me, and my role in it as I travel from Nebraska to Alaska.