Friday, January 25, 2008

Mr. Darcy

There has been much discussion as to the identity of a possible ‘Mr. Darcy’ in my life. I have heard suggested from various unique sources that he will be from Zambia, Scotland, England, Mexico and any other place I mention no matter how casual the reference. (The original Mr. Darcy never made an appearance while at Chatsworth. Be still my beating heart.)

Mr. T is constantly bringing him up (see previous comments on this blog:P). At work I have coworkers/my boss who update me on any new arrival to my place of work who is male. Age, availability, compatibility and belief systems are duly ignored. Today I was informed that a specific dealer is “single, Angelina”.

A dear, close friend pulled me aside at church the other week and enthusiastically whispered a name in my ear and then looked at me with raised eyebrows. Older ladies inform me after they travel where I need to travel (there was this boy…).

Various ones have informed me that they are praying for me in my hour of need (do I look desperate?!).

Sometimes I get royally ticked. Sometimes I roll my eyes. Sometimes I get up on my soap box. Most often I laugh and thank God people love me enough to care.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

"Change Your Life"

My blog was starting to remind me of new housing developments in most North American cities. Row after row of stucco houses in various muted hues with no distinctive features, nothing that speaks of the owners, nothing to give identity. To combat this cultural phenomena I purposed to change my blog layout. A small and insignificant act that in reality poses no real threat to the aforementioned crisis, however I will do my part! Due to my very limited knowledge of HTML I was restricted in my crusade by only being able to add a picture to my header.

I took this picture at the Imperial War Museum in London. It’s a piece of the Berlin wall that was salvaged during the knocking down of the same. “Change your life.” I thought a lot about the person who wrote this: What was their life like? What did they want to see changed? Freedom? Peace? All revolutions take place first in individuals. So how does an individual change? How do I change? How do I become a better person?

I look through history and religion and try to find someone who shows me how to do this. Someone who not only gives me moral laws but also the strength and desire to follow them. For laws only teach me that I am a failure, a sinner.

Jesus. I see a man who made claims, claims so great the Jewish people wanted Him dead. If any other man made claims such as He did they would simply be labeled a lunatic and ignored. So why is Jesus not ignored? What makes Him special? He healed, controlled the elements, loved, gave life, fulfilled Jewish old testament prophesy, turned the world upside down… And He is ALIVE!

I have found a man, my Saviour, my God who is the perfect example of perfection, I have found the one who gives me strength.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Jesus. (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

musings from the pavement

I noted in my last posting that usually a Spanish speaker is paired with a non Spanish speaker. On the last day of delivering there was evidently some confusion higher up in the ranks as I was teamed with my baby sister, Shawna, whom I share an apartment with and whom knows the same amount of Spanish as I do. None.

You ask, “How do you communicate with a happened upon Spanish person when you know squat in the same language?” My old standby method is to use as many wild hand gestures and wacked out facial expressions as I can dream up. Either this method worked extraordinarily well or it was assumed that we were escapees from an insane asylum and they were just nodding in agreement hoping they could escape our terrible clutches.

Another finely honed skill I have acquired, due to my extensive experience walking the beat in Mexico, is ears with a highly attuned sense of hearing. I can pick up any sort of a noise that could possibly be attributed to that of a roving wild beast (commonly called: ‘dog’). This fine, balmy morning my ears were in action: Dogs to my left down by Shawna’s end of the street. I finished my end and walked jauntily down towards her on the sidewalk. I felt so beautiful! I had actually done my hair that morning plus I was wearing my contacts which allowed me to don (for the very first time) a pair of Christmas present new, large white rimmed sunglasses. Perfecto! I reached Shawna in the midst of contemplating these things (along with many other deep thoughts of much consequence).

”RRRRGGGGGGG, RUFF, GROOOOOWWLLL.” Suddenly, loudly, and in chorus three beasts charge towards me. I panic. My limbs develop a mind of their own, my arms whip up and over the back of my head and my feet surge backwards. My feet miss the sidewalk and land not so squarely on a 45 degree angled curb. I tip. My body is rushing backwards ready to come to an unfortunate end, but with my one pack ab I deftly jerk my body forward so I end up on my knees and knuckles and just nearly kissing the road. One eye is still looking through mirrored sunglasses, the other is very definitely peering above. Even with my mismatched vision I make out my attackers: All three glaring at me from a short distance away.

Behind a firmly shut and locked gate.

I start pondering my living arrangements: Should I inquire at insane asylums??

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Mexico and Materialism

A small crew of us just traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico to join 140 others from Canada, the US, Mexico, El Salvador and Venezuela to distribute John 3:16 Seedsowers ( text to over 100,000 homes.

Each day all available walkers are split into vans and given a box of packets that include the bible verse and an invitation to gospel meetings. The driver is given a map of his area and his goal is to spread his walkers around in such a way that each home in his area is given a packet in the most efficient way possible.

For the walkers this experience varies greatly depending on who your driver is, who your walking companion is, and which area you have been assigned to. Generally the organizers try to pair a girl with a guy (protection?) and a Spanish speaker with a non Spanish speaker (communication!).

On Wednesday I was paired with an older Mexican gentleman. We were dropped off at the base of a steep hill that had the beginnings of a road up it’s side. The road morphed into a path strewn with rocks and garbage that had no direct heading. The higher we climbed the more humble the dwellings. These homes were shacks made from whatever materials their owners had somehow salvaged: tarps, steel sheeting, rotten plywood, old blankets… Any of them would be able to fit into my apartment kitchen. There was no evidence of electricity, a sewage system or running water.

Near the top of the hill I had to wait while Sergio delivered to a shack a bit out of the way. To my left two little girls in dirt caked party dresses were perched on an old mattress. Each held a female doll of some form and between them lay a Ken doll that was obviously the cause for much consternation! Who would get the Ken for their Barbie? It was interesting watching a scene that I had been party to played out in such surroundings. People are the same no matter what their life circumstances. Each of us have a soul.

When we crested the top of the summit (!?) there was stretched before our eyes an horizon full of shacks. Each containing families and lives of which there is no duplicate. It made us pause.

I’ve been able to see from a distance what poverty is: here at home, in Zambia and in Mexico. It brings into focus what has meaning and what is really important for our existence. It begs me to ask, “Why am I blessed? What is my purpose?” Material goods will not guarantee me a fulfilled life. My life best lived is using what God has blessed me with to bring glory to Him.