Thursday, July 19, 2007

Re-Entry

Ok, so when I got back from vacation, I felt like I needed to post about the vacation, but I thought it would be awfully dull without pictures, so I waited. Well, I still don't have the pictures on my computer, and we've been back from vacation for 9 days now, so I'm just moving on.

My wife's recap of our vacation is pretty good, so read her posts here and here. (Sorry to those of you who don't have xanga, as you will likely not be able to view the pages).

We saw fireworks at Plymouth (it seemed quite historical), spent a wonderful day in Boston walking the Freedom Trail, took in the beauty of Cape Cod, celebrated Jake and Karen's beautiful rehearsal dinner, wedding and reception, enjoyed New York City with the Gustines, rode on an Amish buggy in Pennsylvania and got to visit Chocolate World in Hershey, PA. Addison was great throughout the trip, traveling well, and even sleeping in a tent through the rain. She's a trooper, just like her mommy. It was a wonderful first vacation for the three of us.

Since coming back, I've been settling into the fact that my time left here is so short. Just over two weeks left now, and each day goes faster than the last. Marcie has begun her job at Calvin College in G-Rap, so I've been home alone all week, and will be for the next two weeks as well...thank God for weekends. Her first day on the job, Marcie found out about a house that was recently made available for rental, owned by Calvin. She took a look at it on Tuesday, took some pictures, and it looks like we're going to be signing a lease on it soon.

It amazes me. When I juxtapose the events of my life with some of the events occurring around me, I feel simultaneously blessed, confused, overjoyed, embarrassed and pissed.

In the last two days, at least four people have either called or visited the church seeking assistance. Help with bills, groceries, finding a job, etc. One woman was 52 years old and had a masters degree (in music), but couldn't even find a job as a receptionist in the area. She wondered if she could sing a solo at our church or do some secretarial work in exchange for payment.

I drove downtown with a couple guys from the youth group yesterday to bring some groceries to a man in need. I wasn't sure what to think about this man who seemed so desperate over the phone (but that's how you'd want to sound, right?), but when he opened the door to his apartment and I looked into his eyes, I knew that we had done the right thing. This man was truly in need. Would this food change the course of his life? No, but it might just interject a little nutrition and a bit of hope into his situation.

In the midst of all this, I look at our life. Marcie got the first job she applied for up in Michigan. It is an ideal fit for her, and exactly within her college major emphases. On the first day of said job, she finds out about this amazing housing opportunity which we couldn't have even imagined.

I sat there looking at the resume of the 52 year old woman who came to the church door, and I felt so weird. As I mentioned earlier, I felt blessed, but embarassed that things seem to be coming so easy to us right now. I certainly am grateful to God for all this, but I want it to come to these other people as well. I became angry about how difficult it is for so many to get from one day to the next while I'm enjoying a charmed life. I don't want to be that guy - the charmed one to whom everything comes easy.

So I consider my role in all this. I start to realize that there might be some truth to the fact that I am blessed in order to bless others. It's not much, but I give a man in need a Kroger gift card. I give my neighbors a ride whenever possible.

And yet others I let walk away with nothing more than a prayer.

It sucks.

Dorothy Day would often say that "Love in practice is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams."

When the rubber meets the road, am I truly able to love in the harsh and dreadful way that changes the world, or do I let it remain in my dreams, parked comfortably next to my ideals?

I don't have an answer to that question right now, but God's giving me plenty of opportunities to find out.

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