Sometimes life isn't necessarily hard, it's just not fun. Yesterday I went to the dentist yet again because I still have just a screw in my jaw (I'm supposed to have a crown put on top of it). This is the 3rd time I've been to this dentist. It seems like every time I go, there's another problem. This time he hadn't got in touch with my dentist in Orlando, so he couldn't proceed. Since I was already there (and since I hadn't had a cleaning in like over a year), he squeezed me in for x-rays and a cleaning. I don't know if that was such a good idea. He found like 3 cavities! I don't get it! I brush and floss as much as anyone else (ahem, Travis) and yet I still get cavities. I know it can have alot to do with genetics, but STILL. Ew. I don't mind getting the fillings done, per se, they're just so freaking expensive.
So I get home from the not-fun-dentist and try to pay some bills. I had to make a call to fix something with one of our bills and I ended up on hold for over 45 minutes. No thanks. By the time Travis got home, I was so frustrated. He's so good at letting me vent and then calming me down. I usually need some time to just be mad; only after that time can I look at the situation rationally (well, relatively) and move forward. All this on Monday. Mondays are supposed to be relaxing.
Life isn't bad or even very hard. School can be stressful and having no money is definitely a difficult place, but overall everything is really good. It just seems like there's not enough time in the day for crap and menial stuff AND fun and productivity and sanity. And guess what gets taken out of the picture first? That's right, cookies, TV watching and reading gossip magazines. A.k.a. my sanity.
In my spiritual formation group (small group "class" that all 1st year div students take) this morning we were talking about discernment. And by "talking about", I mean our leader Shane (serious black man) talks and we stare tiredly at the ground or nod when he looks at us. But anyways, this morning was a little more casual and we were actually talking about situations that require discernment. Recently in Rocky Mount (a small town near Durham) two women were attacked in the kitchen of their church while preparing food for Meals on Wheels. One was killed when the man slit her throat. The other is still in ICU. There is a lady in my group who pastors a church near Rocky Mount and she was talking about how alot of people in her church are having a knee-jerk reaction to the attack; they want to lock up the food pantry and basically have church behind bolted doors. How do we respond in this situation? Should we ask the church to put themselves in danger to do God's work?
My simple answer is: yes. Now, I'm not claiming that we should purposely put ourselves in harm's way. What I'm saying is that fear is paralyzing. If we are unable to act, to serve, to love, because we fear harm, then we're letting violence have the last word. We're saying that we are subordinate to the evil in the world and act (or don't act) because of the actions of other, ill-willed people. Redemption is happening all over the world, in a million ways. If we don't open ourselves to be vehicles of redemption and reconciliation, how will God move? How will the church remain alive?
This takes courage that is beyond our own. It requires reliance on greater Grace than we can create within ourselves.
But they knew it was love, it one they could understand.
He was showing his love, and that's how he hurt his hands.
I don't really care about my stupid teeth now.