Friday, March 31, 2006

how to slice strawberries

today I learned how to properly slice a strawberry. I made neat little piles of wedged red slivers, and as my blade slid through the seeded skin, I realized that I hate the texture of strawberries. I hate how the lines of seeds LOOK. i stared at the neat rows of hideous seeds and cringed, then recalling the multitude of textures i hate.

from closely notched tree bark to the webbing of cracked desert sands i shutter to bring up images of certain textures that make my skin crawl. it has nothing to do with touch, but is merely a horrific torture to see. it's like when you drive past a car accident: you don't want to look b/c you know it would be gorey and horrific, but at the same time you cannot avert your eyes. the same can be said of a list of textures i hate.

someday i plan on taking pictures of all of them and then you can see it from my perspective

Monday, March 13, 2006

wading the murky mire

and if for just awhile the world could stop, the endless sifting through papers and legal matters, financial obligations and the pressure of a working life... if it could all be incinerated in a moment of brilliant cleansing.

and it did for 16 days the reality of piles of bills, tax forms and court papers evaporated into a beautiful existence on another continent: Africa. where one descends Maslow's pyramid to discover that the most important thing here is survival. and between the struggle to eat and the fight against a slew of diseases is a joy beyond understanding: a joy rooted in knowing Jesus Christ.

when life is so simple, when what you need is anything and everything, He IS your everything, He IS all you need.

why when our lives are so complicated and muddled with such trivial issues of tax percentages, credit cards bills and finding the "perfect job" and the right outfit to wear, do we feel God isn't necessary? is our tangled involvement with paperwork and superficial desires so above the need for a higher power? for deliverance from the mire of obligation and financial assessment?

i cannot describe the dread at leaving a place where i was afraid to walk the streets, after breathing dust and smelling burning garbage for 2 weeks to return to mire of paper and battles against money, bills and the legal system. not that i am ungarteful for the life i have been born into. i am so thankful to have had food on the table 3 times a day for 24 years, to have always had a roof over my head (and a nice one at that) and to always have clothes on my back, in-style or not. but with blessing comes responsibility: a responsibilty to manage the money and blessings properly, and the responsibility to serve and bless others who are not so fortunate. and for that i did not want to leave a joyful people and an opportunity to make a difference somehow.

the people of Kenya seek deliverance from acute poverty, from terminal disease, and from criminal brutality. all they want is a chance at a better life. their faith in God serves as their deliverance, and for the moment it is enough for them. as i gazed across a sea of tattered clothes and dusty, tired feet- all i noticed was the smiling faces as these precious children sang their praises to God. these people will surely be first in the kingdom of heaven.

we, too, can seek deliverance from God. i came to realize shortly after returning that my dread of this messy reality could be qualmed by giving it up to God. He is bigger than famine and He is far bigger than bills and taxes. He is a deilverer for all people of all nations: so why do the nations who have the least, sing the most praise? And why do we, who God has blessed in abundance, ignore the fact that He is our provider?