Saturday, May 31

No Time Like A Good Time

You know, I have a propensity to only think about the tough stuff. Especially when it comes to work. I allow myself to be bogged down by the harshness of it, and tend not to look beyond where I am at. But seriously, is not that the way of it? Here right now in front of us is a grand world that is enshrouded in a Mystery by its Creator. And the Mystery extends into both the Spiritual and the Physical. But do I regularly take a peek into This is why I have greatly enjoyed reading Frederick Buechner's book On The Road With The Archangel. This lovely little novel is a joy to read and has more Theologically sound golden nuggets within its pages than most books sold under the title "religion."

Sample this quote: "The things the world fills time with are enough to turn the heart to stone, but the goodness of time itself is as untouched by them as the freshness of a spring morning is untouched by the yelps from the scaffold. Time is good because the Holy One made it that way and then set the heavenly bodies wheeling through the sky so there would always be a way of marking its passage. Unfortunately, not even the most devout understand this for more than possibly a day or two out of the entire year when everything seems to be going their way. The rest of the year they go around like everybody else rolling thier eyes and expecting terrible things to happen... they prefer to think that it is time itself that is terrible and that the terrible things are only another method by which the Holy One afflicts them for their sins."

Oh, so good. It is a treasure to have artists who have the ability to transfer Truth in a way in which we can understand.

Wednesday, May 7

the long road

Some things take a Long Time to process, which is an idea somewhat relative to the culture in which we are raised. A long time to me might be one week; most packages from arrive within a week, much longer of a wait than if I went downtown this very afternoon and bought from Books-a-Million. For the Lost Boys of Sudan, on the other hand, one month is hardly sufficient to learn three new English verbs in their hometown refugee camp. One of them might happily read a very small book within a year.

We watched And God Grew Tired of Us last Saturday, a documentary on the lives and fortunes of several Lost Boys. A few of them were very determined young fellows who, some 3-5 years after arriving in New York City and Pittsburg, could live fairly self-sufficiently (as they found to their sorrowful loneliness, Americans are trained to do) and began to search for family left back in Africa and for other Lost Boys scattered across the US.

Watching the movie, I remembered one young man and woman who came to our high school in Franklin, some nine or ten years ago, and only this week I learned the story behind why they were called "Lost." I also realise we ask silly questions of refugees: "aren't you so glad to be in a country where you have freedom?" Away from your homeland, much of your family, left-behind friends, the common language of the refugee camp, only to come to America and find cars that are out to kill you at all times and crowded apartments where no one meets you in the eye. Given time, America can be a good home. Give it years, and let yourself stumble diligently through work, busy roads, neighbouring strangers, to find the neighbours less strange and something familiar of your culture has been absorbed by them.