Thursday, September 25, 2008

C. S. Lewis Quote

Human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and can't really get rid of it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

are you freaking kidding me?

So here's something I just learned.

Americans spent 480 billion last year on cosmetics. Big number, huh? Now, there's a problem with about 80% of the world. People all over the planet do not have access to clean water. In villages all over the world, people are forced to get their water from contaminated sources. The water they are drinking is infested with disease, contaminates, even human waste. In a lot of these villages, obtaining clean water would be the simple matter of drilling a well and putting in a hand pump. I've heard this can be done for as little as $500 in some places.
So, do you know what the experts say it would cost to end the water problem globally? To drill wells, or implement water pruification systems? 10 Billion. Big number, huh? But wait. That's less than 2.5% of what we spent on lipstick, mascara and wrinkle cream last year.

Huh. maybe it's not that big a number after all.

Now here's why I'm asking, "are you kidding me?". This whole thing shocks and excites me at the same time. And I have to say, it's been the topic of conversation for me lately. In fact, I brought it up at lunch on Sunday. I'd met my mother and several other family members for meal, and happened to share what I've learned. And it made someone mad at me. I was actually told by one of my family members that I shouldn't go around telling people this. "No one will want to have lunch with you if this is what you have to talk about. You know, people just have to do what they have to do." My mother just gently patted me on the knee and told me to drop it. Bless her, I'm sure it was wise, but it was hard for me to swallow.

It just struck me dumb. I guess my perspective may be a little different than some people, because I don't see how what I was saying is offensive. But you know, it is, really. Because, cosmetics are a luxury and no one wants to feel guilty about their luxuries being related to the deaths of people on the other end of the globe.

But here's why I don't think it needs to be taken offensively: if we have 480 billion to spend on luxuries, even as we see our economy continue to disintergrate..... maybe we each could spare 5 bucks to help water get to those who need it. I think I could skip the next eye shadow, and just use up an old one; and just put that 5 bucks toward a well in Africa, or Indonesia, or India or somewhere.

I mean, that isn't even a sacrifice. I wouldn't even notice. Would you?

So, sorry if this offends you. I hope you'd still be willing to have lunch with me. Or maybe we could skip lunch, make a pb&j sandwich, my treat, and send our money to blood:water mission or the Eitemillers or someone else and make that 5 bucks matter.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I've fallen

I freely admit that there's a vanity (if you'd call it that) that I entertain and even take a little pleasure in. It's those unexpected times when your eyes meet those of someone else and the glimmer in those eyes tells you that you are beautiful. It is not an everyday look that boosts confidence or drive. It doesn't accompany volleys of flirtation. It is more likely to happen on what you might consider a bad hair day. You may be in grubby clothes, perhaps executing some quite unglamorous (however necessary) chore.

He takes your attention, and there in his eyes is that sparkle that warms your stomach and weakens your knees just a little. For that moment you have the perfect self-esteem. In the back of your mind you're fully aware that there are many others who are more beautiful, more intelligent, more graceful, more exotic, and more elegant than you. You're also aware that any other man in the room could look at you, and there would not be the same glimmer in his eye. Mostly, you're aware that the glimmer that this man has for you allows you the grace to ignore those other things.

Later, you go home, you get ready for bed, and as you are finishing your nightly routine in the bathroom, you notice your own face in a different way and you--for a split second--see yourself the way he did. This, perhaps, causes you to gaze at your reflection a little longer than necessary, and though you might chastise yourself just a little for being vain, you'd gladly plead guilty to that sin than to give up the moment.

As you turn out the bathroom light and head off to bed, the thought occurs to you that maybe you misread the look in his eye. Perhaps it was a look of amusement, as he suppressed a laugh upon noticing the spinach stuck in your teeth. A knot of disappointment tightens in your stomach.

"Ah! But I did not eat spinach today!" you retort triumphantly; and the moment, the warmth--the lingering weak knees--are not taken from you.

And that, simply put, is how He makes me feel. I am in love with him, and relish the knowledge that despite every reason he shouldn't be in love with me, he is. He is sitting in his palace, next to his father, excitedly waiting for the moment when he can come take me away.

He loves me. He loves me. He loves me.

That's the whole thing right there.

He loves you too.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

shadow boxing

Pursuit of God.

We get told that we should be in pursuit of God, don't we?

We often approach the pursuit of God like we're trying to step on our own shadow: repeatedly stepping forward, trying to plant your foot squarely in its middle, only to find that it has moved just past you once again.

We run after God to attempt to somehow quench this feeling that He is unreachable, only to find the feeling really hasn't changed after all our efforts. We end up feeling exhausted and alone.

We miss the clear truth that we were already standing on our shadow, before we ever took that first step.

The pursuit of God is not about chasing after him, not the way we've been thinking. It's not really our pursuit. He's chasing after us! Glued to us, closer than our own shadow.
All we need to do is be still, and know He is God.