For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth. Colossians 1:16

Monday, March 25, 2013

Often times, I just don't know what to think of this world.  Heartache, pain, sadness, terror, all of these things that we feel can leave us feeling hopeless.  Especially over the last few months as I've read in the news about horrible situations, I just keep thinking, "I just can't believe that the world is so terrible." It doesn't do any good to ask why because the answer is simple: sin is in the world.  And so, since we can't cast the blame that we want to, and the answers we want are not easy to come by, our hearts simply ache as we read of shootings, hurricanes that wipe out villages, and high school students growing up far too fast.

What can we do?  What tangible thing can we actually do to comfort those who hurt, nurture our own wounded hearts, or change the world to make it better?  At this point, I could go into a number of quotes that we have all heard hundreds of times about "being the change" and "actions that start small will grow", but I won't.

As I was reflecting on all that has happened lately, part of Psalm 27 came into my mind:

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!

He is so present here on Earth, how can we not have hope?  When there are so many blessings each day, how can we not give thanks?  His goodness is here, just as it is in Heaven, just as it was in the days when David wrote this Psalm, just as it will be as long as the Earth is in existence.  We will see His goodness in the land of the living, the land on which we live, work, and play.  He offered us this hope long, long ago, coming to fruition in the tangible way that we humans often need to understand on a Sunday morning when a group of women came together at the entrance of a cave and met an angel.  This angel told them that their teacher, the Son of God Himself, who had been killed was no longer there, but alive again, having looked death in the face and said "You no longer have authority here."
How can we stay is despair and grief when such hope lives?  Where would we be if we had no hope?  This world still belongs to the Father and His goodness remains.  As Maltbie D. Babcock wrote so beautifully,
This is my Father's world. O let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong seems often so strong, God is the ruler yet. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sometimes, I shock myself with how unbelievably awkward I can be.  Today was a prime example, and it is only 1:30.

I had some work to do, so naturally, I went to my favorite coffee shop in town.  It was a lovely day, so when I got off the bus, I thought, "The sunshine is finally here. I don't need the tram, I can walk the six blocks." I thought to stop in a chocolate shop to pick up a hostess gift for someone, but I couldn't tell if it was open. Here, many stores are closed from noon to 2 for lunch, and I knew it was getting close to noon. I stood about two inches from the door, reading and re-reading the store hours painted on the door for a solid 20 seconds.  I still have to do the math at times when store hours are marked using the 24-hour clock, and after realizing that the shop was open, I went in only to find that the lady at the counter had been staring at me the whole time that I was standing at the door.  I walked around the store and settled on a lovely box of chocolates.  It was on display, so I asked if there were other boxes like that.  She looked at me as if I was speaking Martian.  I repeated the question, knowing that I was using proper grammar and even managed to flip my r's, something I can't always do.  Once more, she looked at me like I was an alien, and said she didn't understand. Eventually, we got it sorted and I was on my merry way to the coffee shop.

I got there and it was crowded, so I waited patiently in line, ordered, gave the guy my card and then walked to a table to put my things down.  After a minute, the guy said, "Excuse me, Miss? There's a problem." My card hadn't gone through, and I said, "Well, that's weird." And he asked if I had out in my PIN. Whoops. Nope. Not only did I not put in my code, but I had walked away without the card. What in the world?  Card in hand, payment accepted, I walked over to the counter where I had placed my things and picked up my book again while I reached for my purse on the floor with my feet.  I've gotten good at this over the years, but once again, awkwardness struck. As I lifted my bag up to my knee, I dropped my book, caught it with my foot, all while trying not to fall out of my chair and onto the table next to me.  Good grief.

After I finished my sandwich, I brought my cup up to the register so they would make my coffee. I hadn't had coffee this morning, which could account for my crazy though I would really hope that coffee doesn't have THAT strong of an effect on me, and I was so excited to drink the delicious beverage brewed just for me.  I got back to my table and promptly spilled it on my jeans.  Wasn't I supposed to grow out of my awkward stage eight years ago?

Let's hope that this behavior just comes from my excitement to see Fun. on my birthday and dreaming that Nate Ruess will bring me onto the stage and sing happy birthday to me.