Thursday, June 12, 2008
A heavy week...
Here are a few highlights...
Oppressive heat: a week of 90+ degree temperatures, including a few record-breaking days..
Powerful thunderstorms last night that knocked out our power for 12 hours.
Lying in bed wondering about the food that was surely melting in the fridges and freezers.
Counting up how much all that food cost.
Lamenting the fact that I'd have to throw a lot of it away and replace it.
Complaining to myself about how inconvenient that would be.
Hoping Daniel was doing well; he was with a teammate for a sleepover.
Wishing I could watch the finale of Top Chef.
Then I remembered.
I have prayed for rain for weeks.
I was lying in my comfy bed in my comfy house with my comfy husband.
Whose hard work and more-than-abundant salary would make replacing our food (which was completely unaffected by the outage) a breeze.
My son was fine; the neighborhood he was sleeping in never lost power.
There are countless millions of people who have never had power and who would love to help us eat any food we have, including the leftovers we often want to throw away.
Jen Lemen's recent journey to Rwanda.
My upcoming journey to Nicaragua - to feed, teach, and hug orphans.
My life is so good and so easy.
I awoke this morning to lights on in various rooms in the house - yeah!
I wondered how many people were awakened by the sound of radios and televisions blaring...
We had only three medium sized branches laying in the backyard; nothing serious.
Just after 6:45 this morning, Steve and I went for a walk in our neighborhood. We took a self-guided tour through a development under construction a few blocks away: $750,000+ houses will be built on third-of-an-acre lots where there will be no trees or privacy. The watering system of that unbuilt community was on - with countless gallons of water running along the curb and down into the storm drain. Less than six hours after a drenching storm had passed through.
That kind of thing raises my blood pressure. What the heck?
Why is watering necessary today?
Why is the watering of grass necessary at all?
(WHO THE HECK INVENTED THE MODERN LAWN WITH ITS PESTICIDES AND FERTILIZERS?)
Lately, I have found myself shaking my head at the sheer, unadulterated greed and waste that are prevalent all around me. On a daily basis, I am disheartened by the apparent lack of concern about water usage and waste, the excessive amount of food we alternately consume and throw away, how quickly we throw away things that are still perfectly useful, and how unrelenting we are in our pursuit of more stuff to replace the perfectly good stuff we've just disposed of.
I am reminded of something a former pastor used to say a lot:
"We get all we can, can all we get,
sit on the lid, and poison the rest."
I find myself shaking my head in the mirror as I ponder all the ways that I contribute to the excess. When will the madness stop? When will I become the change I want to see?
Like I said, it's been a heavy week.
And I didn't even mention the one friend undergoing surgery to remove large tumors from her abdomen.
Another friend whose sister is being threatened emotionally and verbally by a neighbor.
The neighbor of mine who is under attack for an unintentional offense to another neighbor.
The couple whose son has battled ear and nasal infections for most of his three-year-life. And they don't have medical insurance.
Ongoing job loss and job search struggles for far too many people I know.
In the midst of all this, I have had moments of sheer bliss.
Great food. Coffee with Steve in the morning. My favorite wine.
Solitude. Prayer. Journaling. Reading. "Aha" moments on a daily basis.
Ping-pong, reading, card games, and movie watching with the kids.
A prayer retreat last Saturday. Meeting unexpectedly inspiring people there.
Conversations with loved ones on the phone. Time with others in person.
Vicarious travel with dear ones who have gone overseas.
(Happy trails to you all! Traveling mercies.)
There has been great joy and deep laughter.
Even though it has been a heavy week, I have remembered to make time to dance.
Take the lead and make a line of dancers in the darkness and in the rain.
During the midst of the heaviest storms of life, I hope I'll dance.
Care to join me?
All of the photos in tonight's blog were taken at the Welcoming Prayer Retreat
I attended this past Saturday. I need to go pray that prayer right now.