Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 3

January Week 3
Jan. 15-21
 This was a rough week.

Sunday we had a babysitter while we went to Bible study...
when we came home, she told us he had cried the whole time!!
(Yikes!!  Now she also knows she can call us--she didn't that night because she didn't want to interrupt us!)

Monday-Wednesday were fine and uneventful.  Wednesday night, Noah got sick.  Thursday early morning Pete flew to Sacramento for a gig in Napa Valley.  I stayed home with Noah, but Em went to Kathy's, who later called to say 3 kids got sick during the day and started throwing up at daycare.  I picked her up and brought her home as soon as Noah woke up.  No one slept well at our house that night.  (Well, maybe Pete at his hotel.)

Early Friday morning, around 5am, Em came and crawled into bed with me.  She said she couldn't sleep because she was sick.  Then she puked.  ON ME and all over our bed.
Not my favorite way to start a day.

I'll spare you the details, but it was BAD.  She and Noah were definitely very sick with the stomach flu.  I wasn't feeling well.  I was hoping that Pete would get home and save the day and take care of us... and he came home... but he was sick too!  I had to go to school to teach for the last 2 hours of the day because my kids had a concert on Saturday and I had to rehearse them since I had missed the day before.  After school I came home... took care of my poor sick little family... and in the middle of the night...  I fell victim to the same flu. :(  (Needless to say I couldn't conduct a concert or even sit up, so one of my colleagues had to sub for me.)

Despite all of this illness, we have a lot to be thankful for.  While stuck in bed on Saturday I caught up on my reading of Richard Stearns' "The Hole in Our Gospel".  As I was lying in bed bemoaning the fact that I was sick and I had 'lost my weekend' I realized how good I have it, and how much I have to be thankful for.  For a warm, safe, comfortable home... for clean, running water.... for doctors and medicine... for Lysol, antibacterial sanitizers, laundry machines and dishwashers to clean with and disinfect... for a job that allows me paid sick days to care for my family... for money to pay for the things we need to take care of ourselves when we're sick.
By comparison...
2.6 billion people (40% of the world's people) live on less than $2 a day.
1.0 billion people (15% of the world's people) live on less than $1 a day.

...and here's the statistic (from the same book) that I can't get over:
"26,500 children died yesterday of preventable causes related to their poverty, and it will happen again today and tomorrow and the day after that.  Almost 10 million children will be dead in the course of a year."  Later I read that 26% of those deaths in children under the age of 5 were due to diarrheal diseases and/or pneumonia.  Illness not that different from what we're dealing with.  Illnesses that are a bummer, but far from life threatening in our situation.

Since Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. day, it seems fitting to read what he has to say about injustice:
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." (Martin Luther King Jr.)
"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people." (Martin Luther King Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail")

If Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today, I wonder what he would have to say about this injustice.

Back in "The Hole in Our Gospel", Stearns writes about King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail and says:
""More cautious than courageous." "Silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows."  Are these things still true of us today?  King then went on to conclude that a Church that has lost its voice for justice is a Church that has lost its relevance in the world.  "The contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound.  So often it is an archdefender of the status quo.  Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent and often even vocal sanction of things as they are.  But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before.  If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.  Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust."  
Perhaps you're like me, wondering how my parents and grandparents sat by and tolerated the hateful discrimination against African-Americans in their generation.  How had they missed something that in hindsight seems so clear?  Were they just "frogs in the kettle" of a culture that had gotten comfortable in the waters of racism and segregation?  Is it really their fault that they didn't challenge the prevailing values?  Listen to what Jesus said in Mark 7, as He challenged the Pharisees, another set of people who clearly "missed it": "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'  You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men" (vv. 6-8)  Holding on to the traditions of men is exactly the problem we struggle with when we are called to challenge our culture instead of being absorbed by it.  If nothing else, these lessons from history should cause us to ask where our justice 'blind spots' are today.  What will our grandchildren as us when they look back twenty-five or fifty years from now and wonder how we could have just sat by and watched when justice was demanded?"

I don't share that to preach at anyone.  Just to share what I'm wrestling with and learning.  May God give us wisdom and courage to 'act justly, love mercy and walk humbly' with Him.

With everything going on this week and all of the illness I only took one (poor) photo.
This one.
 Of her beautiful curls.  :)

So, I 'stole' some photos from next week--ah the luxury of posting a week late.  :)  
 (I took 367 photos 'next' week.)

(My first attempt at french braiding!) 

Just a few more points to keep pondering...

"Mankind wants glory.  We want health.  We want wealth.  We want happiness.  We want all our felt needs met, all our little human itches scratched.  We want a painless life.  We want the crown without the cross.  We want the gain without the pain.  We want the words of Christ's salvation to be easy." (John Macarthur)

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.
Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
(Mohandas Gandhi)

"Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car."
(Billy Sunday)

"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
(Matthew 5:16)

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
(Margaret Mead)

"Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility."
(Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

"But seek ye first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
(Matthew 6:33)

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