Raw, Humbling, Challenging by Meg Buckley
by Mark Chmiel
I am drawn to the Mev Puleo scholarship because it has been something that has weighed on my heart ever since hearing of its existence. I stumbled across The Book of Mev this past summer, and was immediately captivated and enthralled by the life of a woman with such a zest for life and a passion for others. Her dedication to the poor in Latin America ignited an interest and a desire in me. I firmly believe that God calls us to the places that make us uncomfortable; I desire an experience that will shatter my boundaries, break my heart, and change me in ways I have yet to imagine. I long for a wider worldview, something outside the constraints of my own current experience and understanding. I want to experience God, experience God’s people, in a way that is raw, uncomfortable, challenging, and, perhaps most importantly, life changing.
I intend on pursing a career in public health, but the study of theology is what drives the passion I have for the field and is the lens through which I understand myself, others, and the world. The study of theology impacts how I experience and articulate my faith. God-talk is what I truly love. It creates the thoughts that churn in my mind, the questions and conversations that spark my soul with friends and mentors, and what I would dedicate my life to if I could become an eternal student.
In the words of Dorothy Day, “it is people who are important, not the masses.” In the world of public health, it is sometimes a struggle to see humanity in the statistics. I believe that an immersion experience such as this would open my eyes and my heart to the experience of others. I remember a line from The Book of Mev where she discusses being drawn to a life of theological study or photojournalism. Jon Sobrino expresses to her how the world not only needs liberated theologians, but also needs liberated accountants, architects, and writers. That is how I see the Mev Puleo Scholarship impacting my life plans. I want it to radicalize how I think, how I interact, how I love, and how I serve. As a liberated public health professional, or wherever my path takes me, it is the poor and the marginalized that I want to have at the heart of my decisions and actions. I want to live the rest of my life as a woman for and with others. The Mev Puleo Scholarship offers an experience that is raw, humbling, and challenging, and I hope an experience such as this is one that could challenge and deepen my theology and faith, as well as revolutionize my understanding of poverty, of humanity, and of love.
–Meg is a Puleo Scholar who lived in Nicaragua this past summer.