Life 103

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

where i live

Some people say that the state of worldly things is getting better but frankly, I don’t see it. If you ask me, now is a time of enormous unrest, monumental turbulence and more worrisome world events than ever before. But then, so said my parent’s generation and my grandparent’s before them.

As a member of the majority, I quietly question the answers of majority rules. Speak softly and carry a big stick has accomplished little more than the becoming of a bigger target. All eyes are now drawn to the real live monster that takes without giving, consumes without consideration, crushes, destroys, and devours the weak and the foreign, and justifies thievery and murder by striking terror in the hearts and minds of its own people. As I write tonight, leviathans stand poised to strike at each other. Along with a billion ordinary people I pray that someone will have the courage to stand down. That someone will come to understand that going at each other with bigger and more deadly sticks is not our salvation.

This is a time when the sordid side of the human condition, from the ingenious creation of weapons of mass destruction, pandemic viruses leaving droves of orphans across continents, and child sexual abuse as a daily occurrence, is flashed in rapid succession across my TV screen, blares from my car radio and glares at me in four color print on the front page of the daily newspaper. It is hard to imagine a more frightening time than this, not because these are the worst of times, but because I can no longer keep the mad and frightened world out of my living room. There is no sanctuary.

I too often stand immobile, drowned by waves of despair. All around me the dark waters of human suffering threaten to suck me under and, sometimes standing on the edge of panic, I fear more than anything that in the end my life will have been wasted. So I do what I must to drag my flagging spirit back out into the light of day where I can breathe again.

By sheer force of will I take my eyes off of the world as often as I can and look instead to my own little community, the one small place where I know I can ring the bell and someone will come running to join me in saving the world; our world called Hometown, Oregon. For this I have been accused of being complacent about world issues. Small minded, cold hearted, selfish and ignorant. But I am only one person and God forgive me but I have a heart that is easily overwhelmed; a heart that literally feels the human need and suffering I see everywhere. I am also plagued with a driven-ness to fix things that would surely make me crazy if I were to follow every whim I’ve ever had to rescue the whole world. I have to ask, what good would I be standing catatonic in the hallway?

Day by day, I have to be able to live with myself. And my family has to be able to live with me. Neither is easy.

To live with myself, I must be able to say, “I made a difference to that one,” at the end of every single day. For my family to live with me, I need to be able to look them each in the eyes and tell them that I love them more than anyone else, every single day. I don’t always succeed but aspiring to anything less would mean I am just wasting the space where I live.


  • Today I will travel over the mountains to the memorial service of my dear friend, Audrey. This sweet sister in Christ made a difference. She made a difference in my life. She made a difference in the lives of the young couples she led in a Bible study group, even near the end of her battle with cancer. She made a difference in the lives of staff and guest groups at the conference center where she was employed. She made a difference in her extended family. She made a difference in her church. She made a difference in her community.

    God didn't call Audrey away from her corner of the world to minister to a different group of people, though I'm certain her heart would have been completely willing if He had. I do feel assured, however, that she prayed for many individuals and groups outside of her corner of the world; even outside of her country.

    Audrey is gone now. Who will carry on for her? God will call someone to pick up her banner and move ahead...and may that person or persons be as willing and obedient as Audrey was to carry out His ministry of love among that group of coastal people.

    Audrey made a difference. Eternal destinies were changed. My life was changed.

    Today, my daughter will travel with me to the coast. She is grateful to Audrey for the fervent prayer offered on her behalf during a tumultuous and, at times terrifying, period of time in her high school years. She knows that Audrey's prayers and love made a difference for her.

    Kathy is making a difference.

    By Blogger denise, at 8:26 AM, May 11, 2006  

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