and sharing thoughts
I just finished reading Snake Oil, by Episcopal priest, Becca Stevens, published by Jericho Books. It is now my new favorite book and Becca is my newest hero.
Several times I had to put the book down and dry my tears. Stories of women who escape life on the street, addicted, hurting and hopeless, to find healing and grace at Thistle Farms, lifted my spirits and at the same time, broke my heart.
Young women who found their way to safety and recovery, came with scars, both psychic and physical. Women who had been repeatedly bought and sold, abused as children until they learn to accept abuse as their due, discover they have worth and value in a circle of women who understand because they have been there too.
Becca Stevens is the chaplain at St. Augustine’s at Vanderbilt University, the founder of Magdalene and Thistle Farms, and someone I consider a true priest. She ministers not just to the soul, but to the total human being. She celebrates a resident’s joyful dancing to gospel music, the sense of humor of another, and the ability of one to find decorative ways to use found objects. Without judging, she acknowledges their past, accepts that some of them won’t make it, and continues to loves them.
The formula for healing oils and balms that begin each chapter, inspired me to create my own, or to order them ready made from Thistle Farms. Learn more at:
www.thistlefarms.org. Thistle Farms is a social enterprise of women who have survived lives of prostitution, trafficking, addiction, and life on the streets. By hand the women create natural body care products. Magdalene is the 2-year residential community. We believe love is stronger than all the forces that drive women to the streets.
I've been many things in my life and if I'm lucky I hope to become many more things before I leave the world. Today, I'm a priest, an author, a literary agent, and mentor among other things. This page will contain my thoughts and on any given day, it might reflect any of those identities.