Monday, July 5, 2010


The portrait of Americana. That was me today--if you didn't really know me. Driving down Table Rock Road, presumably oblivious to my surroundings (except for whatever consciousness it must have taken to keep me out of the ditch) I had for a moment the privilege of an outsider's view of myself. Sunglasses, Dutch Brothers, an Infinity QX-4 and large wedding ring bulging from my ring finger composed the picture I saw of myself. Surrounded by tinted windows and air conditioning I felt unruffled, sufficient, even self-satisfied. From the roadside I must have appeared almost regal, like the wives I always see hustling their adorable children into sparkling Lincoln Navigators. Only difference is, I think their diamonds are real and they probably usually drink Starbucks. But then who knows? I don't know them. Maybe they buy Dutch Bros and pour it into Starbucks cups in order to look expensive. Is that really all that matters to us anymore--looking expensive, that is. Who am I trying to be? Who am I judging? I started it.

I'm not completely sure why I do the things I do, or buy the things I do and etc. Maybe I should look into those reasons more directly. While in the virtual "lap of luxury" I sit, someone in Haiti is lying on a cot (if lucky) with nothing material left to their name and no family members accounted for. (And I am not saying this to go the "bleeding hearts/we should feel guilty" direction; I'm just gathering some perspective). Bearing this in mind, it wouldn't take much for me (in a loss situation) to wish I could close my eyes and fall endlessly asleep. At what moment that would be I can't say. Would it be having my SUV repoed? My cell phone dropped in the toilet and ruined? Perhaps that moment for me would be learning that the FDA had come to the conclusion coffee adversely affects too many people and must be banned. Which withdrawal will be the moment of my reckoning? Freak out for me would most likely come at a more monetary point than I would be ready to acknowledge, but I want to be selfless. I want to be content.

My America struggled for independence, for self-sufficiency, for unity and civility. All men do struggle for these things; perhaps we just did it more adeptly. Somehow the majority of us managed to base the part of our motivation--that shows--on democracy. We seem in this to have some sort of invincible favor. Did we try to become the Nation the whole world ogles, or did we wake up one morning and find ourselves here? Now we don't want the responsibility.

Good thing I am not only writing of my beloved Nation but of my own heart. My physical roots are American. God knows why I am here and not in the shanties of South Africa. How does a person get chosen to live in riches and plump security and another in the worst kind of poverty and disarray? One of my questions for God. One thing I think: there has to be someone who can give to someone else. Right now, if no one had enough to share, a lot more people would be going without chances and options . I am thankful I am one of the one's with enough to share. May we through our poverty (and come on, all of us are pretty much the same when it comes down to it--stinking needy) share what we have. Those who have nothing material share with us their profound faith in the middle of incomparable loss. Those of us who have literally everything we physically need ought to share looking at Creator and desperately, gratefully thanking Him there's enough to go around! The manna only landed in our neck of the woods so we could distribute it all wisely! God I pray we do.

For my Dear Country my heart breaks beyond words, for we have a disaster upon us every bit as serious as those laboring across the world. And patiently He allows us to lull in it, hoping and praying that we will wake up. This sleep is deep like Rip Van Winkle's, but if we ask to be woken up, it's not too late. I have been given this house to glorify God in. I have been given this SUV to glorify God with. I have been given these feet still attached to my legs to carry the Good News! I have been given friends, family and neighbors that I might spread unabated love! I have been given knowledge of the Nations that I might ask for them as my inheritance; I HAVE BEEN GIVEN.

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