Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Three Teeth

I'm on a temp job assignment in the middle of industrial-land, where Starbucks are scarce and McDonald's coffee is the beverage of choice. My boss declared it BETTER and CHEAPER than Starbucks, and sent me on down the street to pay only $1.20 for a large. I sauntered right on in, and about 5 seconds later realized I'd accidentally cut in line in front of 2 men. While I'm stammering an apology and motioning them ahead of me, they both smile happily and insist I stay where I am. They couldn't have been older than their late 40's, but one, the happiest of the two, had only three teeth. That's right. Three. And that includes a top and bottom count. His smiling face woke me up and I started peering around with different eyes.

Happy. Faces. In factory-darkened overalls and worn shoes. Laughing, chatting noises. Black faces, white faces, brown faces. And some of them...some with only three teeth.

I got my coffee and went back to the car to munch on a peanut butter sandwich (sans jelly, which went bad in the fridge the other day), feeling comfortably at one with Industrial-land. It reminded me of St. Therese, the movie of whose life Lizzie and I subjected ourselves to several nights ago. I can't recommend the flick at all, but I can recommend her thoughts on life and God: Littleness is no obstacle to love. (Charlie Dodrill has a great song about it, too.) Industrial, factory, and general blue-collar areas may seem big on cavernous buildings and little on importance, but even so (and it's definitely debatable), that is no obstacle to love or joy. I'm glad a joyful, three-toothed man smiled at me today. It has sort of made the hours seem worthwhile.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Look at my dad! AND Prayer and Missions Marry.

I love this photo of my dad watching us, his daughters. We were all dolled up for Anna Brinkmann's wedding to Jim.

My mom took the photo, and included my dad in it. We, of course, couldn't see him at the time. Every time I look at this I get warm fuzzies. I'm LOVED!

Last Saturday, the day that Annie B. (the long-time ihop worship/prayer woman) married Jim (the 15-year YWAM missionary), the prayer movement and the missions movement formally united forces at a conference in Orlando (Call2All). The CEOs of 170 missions organizations (including YWAM and Campus Crusade) were in attendance, as well as the major leaders of prayer organizations in the US. As I heard about the unprecedented event--with the missions movement making specific projections and commitments, and the prayer movement pledging targeted prayer support--I realized that God had given a token in the natural (in Annie and Jim's marriage) of the essential marriage in the spiritual between these two movements (these two are really one in God's heart and plan, though we have seen them as two separate movements). Hooray for Annie and Jim!! And hooray for the marriage of prayer and missions! And hooray for reaching all the world within a few decades!


A few weeks ago Lizzie, Kim and I met some girls at a movie as a last-minute treat. We were seeing Juno, the story of a teenage pregnancy that ends in adoption not abortion. I knew its creators were not attempting to weigh in on the pro-life side of things, unlike the recent Bella, but I was still surprised by what I encountered, both in the theater and on the screen. I went home and wrote a blog post on Radiant about it that night.

Interestingly, it seems that being controversial (the furthest thing from my mind at the time I wrote the post) is the best way to get people to comment. (Take note, all you bloggers.) The next time I looked, there were 4 comments (compared to the usual 0-1) and all of them disagreed with me--some politely, some rantingly. Not one of them seems to have actually understood (or read?) what I was saying. (Which, by the way, I have found to be not so unusual among those whose habit it is to address controversial subjects in online forums and what-not. This in itself is worthy of an entire, musing post.) I'll leave that for a later date, and put here a link to the blog on Juno and the comments it generated. Oh, and if you get worried that the comments hurt my feelings, put yourself at ease. By the time I finished reading the accusations that...

I think it's more "godly" to "treat women as peripheral characters"

and that

I "keep decrying feminism without an actual understanding of the term"

and that

I "live in bubbles of only Christian friends"

and that

I "think I'm so holy because I don't laugh" at certain things

and that

I "sit around judging them because of the movies they watch"

...yes, by the time I finished reading all that stuff about myself (it was news to me), I was laughing.

Enjoy! Juno