Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson.

I sat stunned yesterday as I read my friend DJ's Facebook status saying that the King of Pop had died. It was the kind of event that made me want to call the people I love and make sure they knew. I watched hours of coverage on television and kept refreshing Facebook and Twitter to see if I'd missed any information. I'm not really sure why. Don't get me wrong. The man was a musical genius and a revolutionary icon of pop culture. I loved his music as much as the next person who wasn't alive (or at least wasn't musically cognizant) for most of his best stuff.

Maybe I was stunned because Michael Jackson is a universally shared experience. Maybe I was sobered because his death came so unexpectedly (anyone else thinking of the preacher in Pollyanna right now?). Maybe my emotions were linked to the fact that the first song I ever slow danced to was "You are Not Alone," or because I danced it with a guy I never saw again.

But I think I was mostly sad because this man was miserable. He seemed so torn, so confused. Many people posted comments online that I considered to be rude and inappropriate. Just because people do horribly sinful things does not mean that they don't deserve love, respect, and forgiveness. If anyone needed peace, it was this man. You could see it in his face. He longed for peace of mind, relief from pain. I wish I could have told him that true peace really was available. I hope and pray that he found it in the moments before he passed.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." ~ Philippians 4:6-8

Is anyone out there? I pray that you find peace tonight.

A friend posted this comment on another site, and I wanted to include this dialogue, just in case anyone else misunderstood my point of view on this...

"Did you not have an problem with the kids? I remember doing my freshman research paper on the issue."

You mean did I not have a problem with what he did to the kids? Of course! I think it was horrendous, and it is a truly disturbed person that will hurt a child. But even truly disturbed people are still people, and everyone needs forgiveness, love, and a certain degree of respect, no matter what they have done. God's love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). So I guess my point was that no matter how much wrong he did (or how much genius he left on the worlds of music and dance), he was a miserable man and I hope he found forgiveness and peace in the end, even though there is no evidence to that effect. I hope that explains my position a little better. Anyone that knows me hopefully knows that I believe in the rights of the weak and vulnerable more passionately than almost anything else.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The 12th Thing I Love.

#12 - Kids.

I love children. I keep expecting myself to get to a point where they drain me or where I'm ready to give them back to their parents. But it has yet to come! I'm currently trying to make a career out of babysitting and nannying so that I can go to school this fall.

For those who may not know, I very recently lost my job at the missions organization where I've been working for the past year. They needed someone full time, and because of my decision to go to graduate school, I wasn't able to continue on more than a part time basis. So as I've been trying to figure out what I'm going to do, I have been trying to fill up all my time with hanging out with kids. Not just because I need the money (oh, how I need the money!). But when I'm caring for children, I feel connected to the world in such a unique way. I love seeing little snippets of their personalities and imagining the way that God will shape and form them into people that love him and serve him their whole lives. I love the innocence and excitement that governs all their decisions, and I love to watch revelations wash over their little faces. I love the way they do not hesitate to turn to others when something goes wrong in their lives, unabashedly asking for love and comfort and receiving it wholeheartedly. I love holding the tiny ones, rocking them, watching them fall asleep or laughing when they fight the inevitable yawns and heavy-lidded sighs.

I'm fully aware that mommies don't get to just hang out with their kids all day. There are chores to be done and so many stresses. That's why I love babysitting. I get to simply enjoy these beautiful hearts, putting my own stresses and worries aside, spoiling them with love and attention. I told my sister that I can't believe that I get to hang out with children, rock babies, and get loved on all day, while without fail picking up some new insight into how we as children relate to our Father.

So if you've ever let me watch your children, I'd just like to say thank you for the many blessings they have heaped upon my heart. And if you ever need someone to watch your children, I'd love to!