I once was blind, now I just look away…

Yesterday night I was watching an American Idol rerun and I guess they were doing some charity thing and part of the show was showing a trip that the host and one of the judges took to Africa. They visited poverty stricken communities where kids, younger than me, were raising their brothers and sisters and living in dirt huts after their parents died. While in Africa they met people who died only hours later. The conditions were horrible. After the 3 minute clip finished, the host remarked “I know this is hard to watch for most of us…” What? Children and families are dying and starving and literally living in a hell, and we find it hard to watch? My heart just breaks, we are so comfortable sitting there trying to relax for the evening, while kids half way around the world are sleeping on mats on the ground wondering if they’ll get to see the sun rise tomorrow. And its “hard for us to watch”…

What amazes me is the mentality that these people have, they don’t want pity and they don’t want to cry about it. They accept that this is how things are, and they carry on. They bounce back, because they don’t have time to think about it, they need to support their family. We could learn so much from this, we get so set in our ways, wake up, grab a coffee, get to school and work, get home, relax and get ready to start over again. We’re living in our own world, and we go on uninterrupted, and inconvenienced by other’s pain. If only we opened our eyes, if only we could reach outside of the cycle. If only we would stop caring so much about the shoes, and the clothes and the music, and broke out of our complacency to feel the pain of those around us.

I may never make any kind of lasting achievement for myself, and if I die tomorrow maybe no one will remember my name. All I can do is try, not for my own prosperity and satisfaction, but to live only for others. To act. To live outside our needs. To give everything, and want nothing. Besides, its not my name I want everyone to remember, my name won’t get you anywhere. To be remembered only as the one who followed Him. Jesus Christ is the only name I ever want to carry. And to say I did not live for myself, but for Him.

The Great Weather Challenge

I have decided that living in the Northeast means that each and every day *is* a weather challenge! Especially this time of the year. The weather “turns the corner”, so to speak, and everyone gets ready for the new season. Then….kaboom! The weather returns to its former state and we are left wondering….

Yesterday, I decided to return the large bag of soda cans and several smaller grocery bags of soda bottles and cans to the store. I crawled up into the truck, gathering them more towards the back so I could hop down onto the ground and grab them out. (I guess it is pertinent to mention that at five feet, one and one-half inches tall, it is a bit *hard* to reach things from our four wheel drive Silverado truck if items are not close to the back.) So….I hopped down after getting the bags readied, and walked about two feet from the truck towards a shopping cart to carry the bags.

Suddenly, this ***HUGE*** gust of wind (Mark, who was sitting inside the truck, called it a sudden hurricane-force wind!!!) caught the smaller bags and they were lifted into the air and sent sailing across the parking lot! I chased and caught up with two bags, but two others landed probably a good three hundred and five hundred feet from the truck. I felt so silly…I just took my two bags I had in my hands and walked back towards the truck. Ben had jumped out and raced after the farthest bag, then a young guy who works at Wegman’s grabbed a shopping cart
(HOW did he just happen to have that cart right there?) and gathered the bottles and cans from the other bag. Within about, oh, five minutes, all of the bottles and cans were back in my possession. I thanked both Ben and the young man….profusely…..then headed into the bottle return area of Wegman’s.

This morning, we are nineteen degrees with a bitter wind that would chill a snowman’s heart! The forecast calls for one to two inches of accumulation (yes, of sn*w!!!!) AND 20 degrees below *normal* temps. Hmmm…so, what IS normal?

Well, no matter whether this weather is agreeable or not, we gotta take it!