Gnawed

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DAILY

Mock Turtle published one of my poems as Adult second place winner for the Antioch Writer’s Workshop. Also published in the same issue is a photogram entitled ‘Accident’ that I made. Very excited about the double publication!

Mock Turtle Zine

Daily, I twist a valve and let my serotonin flow out onto the floor, an emotional biohazard.
Daily, I brush my teeth but refuse to make eye contact with the foaming rictus in the mirror.
Daily, I take an obscenely cold shower and stand in the jets until I feel completely numb.
Daily, I’ll drive into town, my consumer therapy, and buy something outlandish.
Daily, I water the rosemary on my window sill and feel tired.
Every morning, I wake up to a new ceiling.

about the author
Andrew Ellis is annoying, infuriating, agitating, provoking, engaging, encouraging, and all the things that make a person interesting. His work has appeared in TeenInk, Common Threads, and Ink, Sweat, & Tears (forthcoming). His photography has appeared in Photographer’s Forum. He lives in Ohio, and survives primarily off of Mountain Dew and peanut butter M&Ms.

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Fellowship

It will soon be Easter. On that day, we will stand together remembering the One who lived, died, and rose for us. This is the climax of history, the focal point of God’s saving works. He is risen! He is risen indeed!

But then what? What are we to do? Where are we to go? To whom can we turn?…this is where the Church comes in. We are part of something bigger than ourselves. We are the Church. We are the ‘now what’ and the place we go. We look to one another, united in Christ by the Holy Spirit. We fellowship together, live our lives together, share our possessions together. We are the body. We are the Temple. We are family. We show up on Sundays, Wednesdays, whatever days we gather for worship, and shake hands and say hello. Then we go home, we go to work or school or elsewhere, we go about our lives until we come back together again.

But fellowship is not just Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights; fellowship is sharing our whole lives together in living out God’s mission and proclaiming the Gospel. Fellowship is not just when we get together to eat; it is opening our lives to one another. Fellowship is having each others’ backs and supporting one another through the good and the bad. Fellowship asks more of us than coming to worship or going to Bible study. Fellowship is about opening up the entirety of our lives to one another and about walking together in faith and love.

It is now that I need fellowship the most. For the past six years, I have been actively seeking God’s call on my life-to be an orphan care worker in Haiti fulltime. For the past year, I have been looking for enough financial support to finally achieve this. Today, I regret to share that I am no longer being pursued for my dream position and the position God has put on my life. I do not often ask others so blatantly for emotional support, and it is strange for me to do so. But today, I need a fellowship of believers and friends that will have my back and support me in this time.

And know this: I will not give up on achieving God’s will on my life. He has called me to the orphan. He has called me to Haiti. He has called me, and I have said, “Here I am!” One day, I will make it. One day, I will rejoice in what God has done to get myself there. One day, I will understand why He says “No” to getting me there right now. One day, I will share with the Haitian orphan why we celebrate Easter, why we celebrate Christmas, why we celebrate God’s love.

Today, I may not have all the answers. Today, I may be questioning a lot of stuff in my life, especially the past six years. Today, the past six years feel like a failure. Today, I say, “Your will be done!” whether I understand it or not.

Remember what the father does in the parable of the prodigal? The father does not rub his son’s face in his failures. The father does not magnify his mistakes. The father does not say to him, “I told you so.” The father does not tell him how dirty he is, how smelly he is, how bad his life has become; he already knows this. The son does not need reminded; he needs welcomed back in a joyous way. And so his dad pulls out all the stops, and says to the son that, in that town, in that community, “this son of mine is getting a block party-not because he deserves it-because he’s my son.” Today, I come to you as the prodigal son. Today, I need fellowship. I need welcomed home.

I conclude by saying this: in no way do I have bad feelings towards the ministry or towards anybody with whom I met as a potential supporter. The executive leadership has been very supportive in this decision and they are helping me with the logistics of my transition. The funds that I had raised will remain with the organization, as this is their policy and will be used to help support other areas of the ministry. This is an incredible ministry and you can rest assured whatever donations were made will be used in the best possible way to provide orphan care. It is my hope that I can work with the ministry as often as I possibly can-they are by far the BEST mission organization I’ve ever worked with. In fact, with a portion of the donated funds, I will be travelling to Haiti. It is my hope that those who supported me financially this time will consider joining me when the time comes to get myself there according to God’s timing.

Thank you to the ministry for being there in many ways: Beth, Todd, Corrie, John, Jason, Jeff, Janice, Brent, Anna, Dan, Holly, Matt, Julie, David, Jayne to name a few. The staff as a whole has been pouring so much into me in the past year that I felt included, accepted, loved. Thank you to all of my one-time donation givers. Thank you to my annual supporters. Thank you to my monthly supporters. Thank you for all the fellowship I’ve been a part of these past many years.

This is not the end!