Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Making dreams come true?

With all the generous charity drives being promoted during this holiday season, I don't want to discourage the much needed efforts, but I do wonder 'who is really giving and who is receiving?' I ponder the first Christmas and how kings and paupers alike brought what they could to the poor homeless family staying in a manger. They each brought presents but they still knew they were the ones being gifted. When I hear reports that the toys, food, and blankets are 'making dreams come true' I fear that it may be forgotten what a beautiful gift we are given when our charity acts are received. How blessed are those who recognize Christ among the society-labeled poor and how small in comparison are the gift of toys, food, and blanket to being able to share in recognizing the miracle of love today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Wreck Day

My father died almost eight years ago, but it was 53 years ago today that he was involved in a serious accident. He was a young man in his early thirties. He spent several months in the hospital and the doctors didn't expect him to live. He baffled all the medical profession by then refusing to die, so they challenged him again with this question: "Your injuries to your hip were so great that we have to fuse it - you need to tell us whether you want to sit or stand for the rest of your life. What do you choose?" My father responded, "I want to stand so I can look the world in the eye."

And that he did. Each year after, he made us kids and mom wish him "Happy Wreck Day" because he explained, it was this day that he was forced to make a decision: In the time of adversity one finds out who they are and decides who they want to be. Dad decided that he wanted to stand by his wife and nine children... Nine kids all under the age of thirteen - I can't imagine what it was like for Mom and Dad. But I do know, they gave me a great gift by offering this unique view of life, where you look the world in the eye and only you decide, not fate or circumstance, who it is that the world is looking back at - only you decide who you are now and who you will be.

The truth of that view I have witnessed daily, there is no harm or misfortune that can ever take that decision from you. We decide and take each challenge as the opportunity to reevaluate and reaffirm who we are. Thanks, Dad, we miss you, but still today, thank you for teaching us to celebrate "Happy Wreck Day."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Trapped in the Economic Cave-in for too long

It seems to me that the rescuing of the miners trapped for so long is analogous to so many who have been trapped in the hole of this recession: We were all just doing our work when suddenly the world caved in around us -we know there is life going on above us (we read of the tremendous profits and bonuses that large finance/investment companies are receiving) but somehow we are trapped in this dark hole. Perhaps, the miners will inspire us all and give us hope, perhaps this recession that is officially over will soon reach the depths of the cave that has held so many captive for too long. Too much time has been spent telling those who are trapped in this economic cave-in, what they should have done to prevent it or just throwing them day-to-day survival support. When what we need to do is to concentrate on providing a “phoenix” to raise those economically trapped into the sunlight. They, too, deserve, to be lifted out of the hole and onto solid ground.