Friday, February 02, 2007

Humanity

Since I'm up odd hours nursing/burping/medicating, I am afforded the unique opportunity of viewing some very interesting things on television. When E was tiny, colicky, and up in the middle of the night, I watched parts of Bill Moyers' Genesis series on PBS--conversations with various clergy about the first book of the Bible. I've had similar experiences with each child when they were newborns, but Q's patterns or lack thereof have extended this phase of rocking, patting, watching late night tv for me by quite a bit this time around.

The other night, I watched with my heart in my throat. Ed Artis is part of Knightsbridge, a sort of human force of nature. I don't really understand how they came to be, or frankly, how they can do what they do, but these men are truly determined to make a difference. God help them, they seem to be making a serious impact. Watching this film made me want to do something. (If you can find and view the film online, do so. It's worth it.) (Side note: Apparently, he is not without his detractors. However, nothing I read while researching him led me to believe the projects he and his buddies undertake are anything other than what they appear to be.)

On Thursday, I mailed 50 Valentines to Iraq, 50 to Afghanistan, with the help of this site. On her way home from work the other day, my mom had heard some guys on the radio noting the fact that 70% of our deployed troops never get any mail. Well, that's not okay.

We've been looking for something to do for a service project with the Cottage School. 'Twould seem God dropped one in our laps. Each month, for the rest of the year, we'll be putting together care packages, writing letters, making cards for men and women who are alone, in need, and in the service of our country. Whatever one may think/feel about what's going on in the Middle East, our military people could use some blankets, pillows, socks, jerky, conditioner. We're going to drip our drops into the bucket here, and, along with some other nice people, we hope to fill a whole five gallon bucket and alleviate a little of the nagging concerns of some men and women in uniform.

One of the striking things about looking at the soldier's needs listed on the site is that some of them mention that their groups would like to do something for the people where they're serving. Yeah. People who are being fired on want to collect clothes for the kids of the people they work with. Pretty high contrast to the self-absorbed, impatient children of God found in traffic here. (Deep breaths, calming down. Ahhhhh. . .)

I find myself challenged; if those in the middle of war can be cognizant of the needs of the people around them, perhaps I could raise the bar for myself just a wee bit.

I believe that simply observing these kinds of acts change who we are at our core. I believe we have a God given mandate to then sit up, take notice, be changed, and go out of our way to do something. I put effort into raising my children with this philosophy central to their very identity. I suppose it goes to the idea of faith without works being dead? But it feels like so much more than that.

If, as a Christian, I cannot (or will not) extend myself past my comfort zone to pause, be inconvenienced, reach out to a fellow human being, what kind of grace do I dare expect from heaven? What business do I have claiming to be a follower of Christ's teachings?

I could go on all night, but seeing that it took me three hours to get this much down between the Q burping and patting sessions, and he's down for the third time--this one looking like it'll stick--I'm going to bed.

After you read, come back and tell me what you think.

4 comments:

Old Dominion Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Old Dominion Heather said...

Good Morning from VA, Tough Mother! This post was well timed. I was just wallowing in my quagmire of self-absorption and pity. Perhaps we will pack a care package or write some military letters today. I hope Q. went back to sleep for you. My little guy is sleeping fairly well, but I am not.

Under the Sky said...

Thank you, thank you for the Any Soldier information! That is just a wonderful organization! You are, as always, an inspiration.

Warmly,
Kate

Paul said...

Hello C - sobering reading. Makes my A's troubles seem small. Thanks for the nice note on my blog. A prayer for you and family.
-P (A fellow ::dura:mater:: writer)