Thursday, April 26, 2012

Loving Each Other

It's been quite a while since I've written!  I mentioned that I was sick a while back and I'm still not 100%.  Every week I'm better than the week before, however.  I really haven't been sick much since we moved here so I guess I finally got my turn of something nasty from this part of the world.

As I've recovered and have added back in the parts of my day that I can do I've noticed that the hardest thing is interaction with other people.  I can do chores, pick up Adam from school, go to the bazaar (all of which are fairly involved tasks here) much easier than I can sit down and have a good conversation with a current volunteer.  I normally LOVE having people around, but lately it's been harder.  When I expressed this to a friend recently they observed, "It's just harder to be nice when you don't feel good."  True!

Time after time lately the verses I keep turning to to soak into my soul are:

"Therefore, as G0d's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with  (I pause and consider where I'm at with each word in this list.) compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.   Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the L0rd forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Chr1st rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Chr1st dwell richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to G0d.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the L0rd J3sus, giving thanks to G0d the Father through him."      ~ Col. 3:12-17

So much good stuff in there about attitudes and how to love each other and live together in community!

This morning I read:

" Lewis once stated, that 'there are no ordinary people' and that 'it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit.' Once we tune ourselves to this reality, Lewis believes, we open ourselves to imaginatively transform our lives in such a way that evil diminishes and good prevails.  It is what Chr1st asked of us in taking on our humanity, sanctifying our flesh, and asking us in turn to reveal G0d to one asks us to recognize that the great relig1ous struggle is not fought on a spectacular battleground, but within the ordinary human heart, when every morning we awake and feel the pressures of the day crowding in on us, and we must decide what sort of immortals we wish to be."   ~Kathleen Norris in the introduction to 'Mere Chris.' by C.S. Lewis

I think like in the Psalms I need to say, 'Selah'!  This is worth pausing to consider!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I just finished reading Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (free on Kindle!).  Wow, what a book especially knowing it's place in history, the fact that it brought awareness about the slave trade in the US and is credited as an influence towards the Civil War.  It was the most purchased book of the 1800's after the B1ble!  I learned things I was never taught in History at school.  The high school that I graduated from was probably 60% African American and to think I really hadn't been properly educated about what their ancestors had gone through.  I wish I'd read this back then.

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated a month before I was born so I missed out on most of the Civil Rights Movement in the US, too.  Even my high school friends' parents had been through a lot that I didn't really know at the time as well.

The book had a few overly long speeches in places but was powerfully moving in others, a great story inspired by real life events that the author knew of.  The chapter directly from the author at the end of the book was one of the most passionate speeches that I've ever read.  Here's just a fragment:

"The Writer has given only a faint shadow, a dim picture, of the anguish and despair that are, at this very moment, riving thousands of hearts, shattering thousands of families, and driving a helpless and sensitive race to frenzy and despair....... Nothing of tragedy can be written, can be spoken, can be conceived, that equals the frightful reality of scenes daily and hourly acting on our shores...."

I wonder what it would have been like to read this book at the time!  Probably not very comfortable.......

As I read it reminded me of the slavery that takes place not far from where I live.  That, too, is something that the people of this city don't want to talk about as well as the occasional person in our homelands.  They don't really want to know.  It's just not comfortable.

Because once you know, then you're responsible to respond.