Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Going green

On Monday, I spent most of the day (again) at Stoney Creek. This time of year is always great for hiking because life is just starting to return to nature. Everywhere you look, colors break the brown and grey monotony of winter.
There's no shortage of "Christian-ese" metaphors between the new birth of Spring and the new birth we have in Christ. But my mind goes there anyway.
There is always new life. There's always a return to Spring, to new things; new hopes, new dreams, new awakenings. If I stop long enough to dwell on the promise we have through Jesus, it leaves me all but speechless. God - all-powerful, perfect and holy - has given us the promise of forever. Winter might come, but it never stays. It never wins.

My grandpa passed away just this past November. It was sudden and shocking. As I was driving back to Nebraska to be with my family, I got this overwhelming sense of God's assurance of forever. Grandpa never talked much about God or Jesus, so I never quite new where he was at. But I remember driving through the cornfields of Iowa feeling absolutely certain that my grandpa's ok. I still remember the warm, peaceful sensation that came over me as I sensed God telling me not to worry. "Grandpa's with me" He seemed to be saying.

Who are we that we get such promises from God? Promises that death doesn't win.
Anyway... Spring always reminds me of that.. that God has promised forever. And it amazes me... everytime...

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Good Earth

I recently finished reading "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck. Such an intriguing story. I think I could write an entire book review.
One of my favorite lines happens early on in the story. The main character, Wang, has brought his new wife home to live with him. He's out working in the fields and she, after finishing whatever needed finishing in the house, comes out to help him hoe the field, preparing it for planting. The scene is described like this:

"Moving together in perfect rhythm, without a word, hour after hour, he fell into a union with her which took the pain from his labor."

The imagery here is beautiful - of husband and wife working together - easing the burden for one another simply by sharing it.

If God ever blesses me with a family of my own, I hope to be this kind of wife and mom. The kind that makes her husbands life easier, taking the pain from his labor by joining him in it.
In the meantime, this is the kind of friend I want to be. The kind of daughter. The kind who joins people in their work, not for accolades or thank yous, but for the pleasure of knowing that I've helped ease someone's burden.

And isn't that why we're here? To take the pain of labor from one another and, when it can't be taken away, to share it. Our culture makes it easy to be separate and isolated. We applaud "self-made" men and women. Yet none of us, if we're willing to be totally honest, is truly self-made. We are who we are, first and foremost, because it's how we were created. Any talent, intelligence or ability anyone has they only have by the grace of God. And then of course there are people. A person can only succeed in business, as a parent, spouse, or friend if others are helping him or her get there. It's really quite sad that we've become so oblivious to the valuable contributions other people make into our lives.

We're not meant to go it alone. And Pearl S. Buck communicates that elegantly throughout "The Good Earth", and especially in this one simple sentence.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

It could happen...

To Whom It May Concern:

It has come to our attention that an unfortunate paring of street signs in your county has led to gross misinformation about our institution. While we are certain this was not intentional, you'll understand our wish for this oversight to be corrected immediately.

Our institution prides itself on being a launchpad for countless educational and vocational opportunities, and as such, we cannot allow even accidental claims to the contrary.

We thank you in advance for giving this matter the swift and diligent attention it is due.

Warmest Regards,
Public Relations Department
Princeton University