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a new look at myself

I am sitting at my desk, today, wondering how I am so fortunate. How is it that there is so much suffering in the world, so much devastation right in my own country and I still feel numb? My heart breaks a little when I read about Rebekah and poor little Maggie. I start to cry when I look at photos of Hurricane Katrina. I remain holed-up inside my bubble-life and I don't see this stuff up-close and personal. I don't see poverty, I don't see the face of hunger nor the expression of utter loss on my neighbors. My trials seem insignificant. For goodness sake, I am fighting a cause to not shop - a fight unworthy of the least of my attention. I know my life must seem petty to many of you. I feel like nothing I do amounts to anything if I do not experience, first-hand, the horror outside of my little world. I promise you, friends, that I do not turn a blind eye. I just do not physically run into it. I have to make a conscious effort to face it head-on. I live in an affluent area where our biggest problems and cause of distress seems to be over traffic. But I know that not 40 miles from here, in Oakland and Richmond, there is poverty and terrorized people living in fear of their own neighborhood. I know there are hurting people within my grasp, but I do not reach out. At times I just feel like a coward, but I know God did not give us a spirit of fear. So it must be my choice to cower.

Of course, my prayers extend to the victims of this catastrophic event in the South, as well as to the little children and their families suffering with cancer, but today's prayer will also be for a teachable spirit and a willingness to reach out. Too often, I forget to reach beyond myself. I think that I do, but really I feel there is so much more that I could be doing for others. I feel tied down by my life and I have to change that, because I know that God is more concerned about my availability than my ability. In words stolen from Rick Warren: it's not about me.


At 9/02/2005 4:48 AM, Blogger Jen Left a note...

Dearest Bean of the Gigantic Heart: Your life is not petty. You are you, and thank God you are...no one else has the spirit and the class to do it right.

There are two nonprayer things you can do. One is to see if your fast leaves you a little extra money to donate through the Red Cross or some other legit organization. I don't know about out there, but here even the radio stations are taking donations.

The other is to call or write Speaker of the House Hastert and tell him that suggesting we DON'T rebuild New Orleans is not acceptable, and that the refugees are not at fault for living in a place susceptible to hurricanes. Not only is he contradicting the promises of his bosses (the American people...and the president), but he's also applied his theory to San Francisco and LA -- it's "stubbornness" to rebuild on unstable ground after natural disasters. Yeah. That's the guy running the House.

At 9/02/2005 8:48 AM, Blogger Scott Parejo Left a note...

In answer to your lovely and timely blog about what we all feel a bit, I have this:

Last night I read in my Devotional that we are to channel the love given to us from above to those around. Marla, you do that job well. Just keep spreading the love and if you feel the calling to help on a higher level, do so. Otherwise prayer and asking the right questions is always a nice option. I tend to be good at the questions part.

Much love to the fam.

At 9/03/2005 3:53 PM, Blogger Nettie Left a note...

Timely reminder to get our of ourselves a bit, definitely.

At 9/05/2005 3:41 PM, Blogger Nettie Left a note...

That would probably make more sense as 'getting out of ourselves'.


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