Sunday, October 30, 2005

So, my little one is rolling around inside of me a lot lately. She's very active and happy, or so it seems. No matter what my mood or present temperment, feeling her swim around or kick always puts a smile on my face. I really do love carrying her and growing her in my body.

The time I notice her most is at night, right before I go to sleep. I lie down in bed and all of a sudden there is a "kick, kick" or "flip, flop" or swimming about. Usually she kicks toward the bed, whatever side I'm lying on. It's funny how I can go for hours throughout a busy day without noticing her, or noticing her much.

I think this is kind of like our ability to see God. When we are moving around like crazy all the time, consumed with a million tasks throughout the course of a day, with our minds on everything in the world, we don't much notice anything beyond ourselves, our tasks, our responsibilities, what is right in front of us (sometimes the most obvious, even!). When we slow down, when we allow our bodies and minds to rest (which doesn't really tend to be very often...), we can notice what is going on around us, we notice what is outside of ourselves, we notice what God's bigger picture is. It seems I can go weeks without noticing anything besides what is going on around me that isn't directly related to MY life, MY tasks, MY current interests... and there's an entire world of creation, of people and places and beauty, that is growing and evolving and turning into something, and I didn't even see it happening.

And it was right there the whole time.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Something that has been breaking my heart lately is people hurting and pretending that it's not happening. I've been seeing people lying to themselves and to others (sometimes people who care about them and sometimes not) about how they really are, even WHO they really are, a whole lot lately. (Maybe my eyes are just not so closed... or maybe they're finally focusing on something outside of myself. O... that's not comfortable to think about!)

I just got the new Relevant magazine issue. There's an article by Craig Gross of about their recent trip to Erotica 2005, a porn trade show in LA. Three 20-something young women came along to help him. Here are some of their thoughts:

"As I walked through the show, my soul felt like it was being suffocated. A life of complete emptiness and abandonment awaits these young girls. I want to hold them and convince them somehow that they are so special and precious and don't need to be used. They are amazing women that God wants to love and hold close. You should see the hurt after some guy puts his hands on them for a picture. They smile for the camera and cry in their hearts."

"My heart broke to see how the girls had no respect for their bodies. Or guys for that matter. The body is a temple of Christ, and so many temples were exposed. I wanted to go cover everyone up. I offered my jacket to a girl who said she was cold, but I knew she probably wouldn't take it. The girls were like machines that people could come up and grab, touch and take a picture with. Underneath that machine was a person."

This made me think of people who are hurting on all kinds of levels. Girls trying to get their self-worth out of the guys they date or the guys who don't care about them but want to look at them and consume them. People everywhere trying to cover up levels and levels of hurt by becoming someone they aren't normally, through layers of masks; or through trusting alcohol to change them into a more "fun" or "carefree" person; or through finding solace in food, either by eating way too much of it or by using it to hang on to some small illusion of control over their lives; or through buying stuff they don't need to try to make their lives easier or better in some way.

We tend to go looking for fulfillment in lots of places that just aren't fulfilling. One thing I tend to do is go shopping. I decide that I'm not experiencing joy, and that this joy is found outside of my regular routine. Well, joy IS outside of my routine... but it's not at Target. Joy can be found in community, faith, love... this is real life. This is where it's at.

So, I've decided to go through today looking at the people underneath the machines. (including me...) Where is the person at Starbucks looking for joy? Where are my coworkers trying to be carefree? Where are my students going for fulfillment? Where is my friend trying to grasp some small illusion of control over her life? How in the world did I end up at Target today?

Here we go...