Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I came across a rat

If there is anything more vile than a real, live rat, it's a dead rat on the side of the road. I passed one today on my drive to work. I really thought it was a squirrel or something, until I saw the huge, unmistakable rat tail. It grossed me out. Then I was reminded of Ken Fong's great words for us. Then, not a mile down the road, I passed a dead bunny on the road. ('Tis the season for road kill aparently?) The dead bunny didn't gross me out as much. It was still dead, but it was a much cuter dead animal than the rat was. The whole scenario stirred up the desire to not be a "cute" Christian, but to admit than I'm not perfect and be okay with not hiding that fact. We all have our own huge, gross rat tails to deal with. Well, hopefully not literally. We can't hide in the fuzzy grey fur and adorable little ears for long!

Friday, April 15, 2005


"I've always believed that we were, each of us, put here for a reason; that there is a divine plan for all of us. I know now that whatever days are left to me belong to God." -Ronald Reagan

The former president said this shortly after learning of his alzheimer's. When he died almost one year ago, this quote was posted on a website. A lot of things struck me when I read it, so I wrote it down. It ended up in a pile somewhere, but I came across the particular pile just this week.
One thing that struck me was the faith that eminated through Reagan's words. I was born in 1980. Reagan was president until 1988. 8-year-olds don't pay much attention to politics. It made me wish I had been older and wiser during his years in office.
I was also struck by the integrity, confidence, and wisdom in his words. He understood purpose. He understood that as humans, we are at the will of an amazing God.
Reagan took God's divine plan for him and ran with it. He gave his years of alzheimer's-stricken days to God. Makes me want to be more deliberate about giving my days--all of them--to Him.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

I went to Haiti today

This morning, eager to once again take advantage of this amazing weather, I took a great walk outside with Dan's iPod (my new favorite toy). I was not the only person with this idea, which was evident as I passed a woman with a stroller, a couple with a dog, and a jogging man. As I neared my turnaround spot, I saw something strange in the distance. There were two black women, and one appeared to be wearing a turban. Weird. As I got closer, I saw the picture more clearly. These two woman had just taken a walk to CVS to pick up some necessities. They walked very slowly--there was nothing important enough to interrupt their leisurely stroll. One of them wore a long linen skirt and worn-out sandals and carried a small bag. The other was similarly dressed and carried a gallon of milk--on her head. Both were very kind as I passed, and we all said hello. I love how unusual it was to see this in the middle of Maple Grove, but how much I enjoyed it at the same time. I was immediately transferred to the streets of Port-au-Prince, where you would be hard pressed to find a woman without something resting on her head. Where it is also very normal to see people taking their time. There is no rush. Some walk without any destination at all. It made me want to be there. But more, it made me yearn for that lifestyle. To take our time. To enjoy each other and the beauty around us.Today I was touched by two gorgeous African women carrying their groceries home. I love the originality of our God.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Reverent or Disturbing?

Pope John Paul II died on Saturday. I feel more sad about it than I thought I would have. I have also been fascinated by all of the news around his life and death. In fact, he was pope since before I was born, and I have learned the most about him in the last four days. I am in awe as I watch people filling St. Peter's Square and making their way to see his body. Is this normal behavior? Is this man revered as more than just a man in the Catholic faith? There is talk of him becoming a saint. I think that is amazing!
There are some things that leave me a bit more puzzled, though. When it was evident on Friday evening and into Saturday that his death was close at hand, the news scroll on MSNBC said, "Catholics are encouraged to pray for thier pontiff" and as things got worse, "People should really focus their prayers." What does that mean? Are they praying that he won't die? Are they praying that he'll get into heaven? Are they simply praying that he won't be in pain? Or that he will just go in peace and be able to meet his Father?
Another thing that makes me think is how he has been displayed since his passing. His body has been made very public and royal-looking. Thinking back over the few public deaths and funerals I have seen, this is a first. I have pictures in my head of caskets draped with flags. Not bodies lying on a board, heads propped up with velvet pillows.
No doubt this man did many things for good during his time as pope. The things I have heard just these past few days have amazed me and made me want to know more.
Imagine being around when Jesus had died. Were crowds in the tens of thousands gathered at the cross? Did droves of people come to pay their respects when they heard of his crucifixion? Sometimes I wish I had been there. I'd like to hear the reaction of the crowds when the final announcement was made. Jesus had died. Even more, I'd like to join the women assigned to going to the tomb and finding it empty two days later. Oh the joy!