Saturday, June 23, 2007

china moments

Once you've lived overseas two new phrases are bound to enter your speech. (insert country name here) days and (insert country name here) moments. For me china days are days that NOTHING seems to go right, appropriately named in that in china, most days doing even the smallest mundane tasks seemed to take all sorts of energy and paitence. Thankfully i don't have very many of these days.

now china moments, on the other hand, are definately increasing in frequency. especially with smells. I was in a rose garden a couple of weeks ago with a friend and the breeze shifted and it smelled like china. i just stopped and breathed as deep and long as i could, trying to make that smell/feeling last. On the flip side i was walking around the plaza one night with friends and we were at an intersection and again i could have closed my eyes and been in china...funny enough the smell that time was a sewer drain mixed with car exhaust-china smelled like this more often than not.

The question i've really been wresting with lately is if i want to go back to china. you'd think it would be a given, as much as i talk about it, but it really trips me up. I LOVE china. i love chinese people. i love *some* chinese food. I love the fact that it smells like a sewer-good grief. but am i supposed to spend the rest of my life there? i don't know. I don't know if the love is familarity or God. i look at pictures, i see people, i smell smells, i have china moments and my heart practly explodes. but does it do that because i know life there, i know what it feels like or is that where God has placed my heart? but really, how could you not want to spend forever there?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

and then i laughed

Tonight some friends and i went down to the plaza to celbrate Jessica's 25th birthday. After an amazing dinner at bucca di beppo we wandered out to mill creek park and played all sorts of childhood games (when was the last time any of us had played red rover?). After the games we were standing around and this VERY drunk woman wearing a dress that was barely decent staggers by us, maybe 20 yards away. I turn to look at her right as she bends over to pick something up off the ground. And then i laughed. A really obnixous loud laugh. i wish i could say that it was an embarassed don't know what to do in that situation laugh, but i don't think it was...i think it was more along the lines of an "are you kidding me????" laugh.

and then she staggers off along the path and i kind of watch her as one would watch a car accident, but quickly return to the conversation.

about 20 min later i notice one of my friends is sitting off by herself so i go sit with her to see what was up. She looks at me with tears in her eyes and said "i can't stop thinking about that woman. we saw Christ in the flesh and we laughed at him". it was like a kick in the stomach. .

it reminded me of this quote by Gerard Manley Hopkins.
"For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his..."

what a beautiful (and humbling) way to think about that moment. to think that that woman was fearfully and wonderfully made by the king of the universe and he delights in who she is and just is longing to draw her close. it brings me to my knees in repentence, drenched with HIs grace. the grace that allows me to live above satan's lies and believe that this moment will be redeemed.

"Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison and did not take care of you? Then he will answer them "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me" matt 25:44-45

give me eyes to better see...