C'est La Vie
What a beautiful piece of heartache this has all turned out to be. Lord knows we've learned the hard way all about healthy apathy. And I use these words pretty loosely. There's so much more to life than words..
Things I love
Monday, December 24, 2007
One of the funny side-bars was that I was sitting with my Captain and her husband, because we'd gotten there at the same time. And everyone kept asking her if I was her daughter. I know I look really different out of uniform, with my hair down, and actually *gasp* wearing makeup, but you see me every day!!! I took it as a compliment anyway, of course. I very much like my Captain and her husband, and each of them commented to the other how dangerous it was having me with the one (that is, she first said that her husband and I made too many corny jokes together, and then her husband said that she and I made too many wisecracks together)... And since my own mother and I aren't together tonight, my Captain made as decent a substitute as could be found, I do believe.
The sermon was about people celebrating Christmas and not celebrating Christ. It was, somewhat ironically, about a foreigner visiting the States and coming away with the impression that much of December is a great big party, and learning about Santa and trees and snow, but not ever having an understanding of what Christmas is really all about. He even threw in the whole idea that people now say Season's Greetings and Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. He also told a particularly morbid story (which I will not repeat here, because I really don't feel it should have been told in the first place) as an analogy of this, trying to drive home the idea of not forgetting about the Baby for whom we are joyful.
Now, I personally disagree with the idea that we should only say Merry Christmas. Granted, I'm really not the outward Evanglistic type, the one who will walk up to strangers and start telling them about Jesus. I believe in getting to know people, accepting them for who they are and being honest about who I am... and if they open the door to interest in hearing about my faith, I will gladly share it. I am in no way ashamed of Jesus, and everyone who knows me for long at all knows that I am a Christian, but I am also sensitive to the heartbreaks and heartaches of this world an the way that Evangelism can be perceived as shoving it down people's throats rather than a genuine interest in their welfare. Care for the welfare they're aware of first, and if they see Jesus in you in the process, they will want to know more naturally... That's what I feel. So because of that, I am a strong supporter of the diversity (religious, cultural, and otherwise) in this world, and a strong supporter of saying Merry Christmas to those you know are Christians and/or are celebrators of some form of Christmas. Happy Holidays or Season's Greetings is a great way to sum up both Christmas and New Year's being only a week apart, as well as the great mix of other holidays that exist in this timeframe. When you don't know what a person celebrates, or when you know they celebrate holidays other than Christmas, it's more than appropriate to wish that their holidays are happy as well. To say Merry Christmas to everyone you meet (except perhaps on Christmas Eve and Christmas itself, or at least to those dressed in festive colors which would lead a reasonable person to deduce they may be celebrating) is just furthering the commericalized, watered-down version of Christmas anyway. If you're not going to stop and have a twenty minute conversation with people about what you believe, why should you believe those two words are going to express to them anything about your true faith and the reason for celebration? Saying Merry Christmas at this point is little different than saying Happy Holidays or putting a Santa Claus lawn ornament in front of your house. To those in a community of believers, it is a sign of common faith and a deeper greeting, but to say it to every passing stranger, it holds no extra significance.
In a similar way, the only reasons a foreigner would come away with the impression about the big party are because 1) no one welcomed them into their midst in a religious context, assuming this foreigner were open to that, and it is the lack of welcome rather than the lack of religious ceremony that is the problem, and 2) because most of Western Culture celebrates Christmas as a cultural holiday, and every decoration we buy or container of red-and-green sprinkles we put on our sugar cookies continues this. Should we stop decorating? Why would we go so far as that? Some have, and that's certainly their choice to make, and one I will support if ever in the situation to do so in their lives. But those who have not so chosen need not be encouraged to stop with the decorations, the candies, the parties.. just recognize that it is one aspect of Christmastime that is very important, and anyone who has been away for December can really attest to how important. A natural consequence of the togetherness and community, of the common colors and decorations that we find in Christmas is that a person not indoctrinated will not necessarily be aware of why we have that togetherness. Likewise, a visitor to a Muslim country may not be aware of why they fast during the day for Rhamadhan and then get together with all their friends and family and party all night long, but this visitor may very well enjoy the party. This visitor could easily leave with a box of gourmet dates in hand and never know anything about the Qu'ran and devotion. Especially if this visitor comes during the Eid that follows, and the people aren't fasting during the day anymore, and it's just three days worth of partying. If this visitor is not invited to a Qu'ran reading or talked to directly by a Muslim explaining their beliefs and practices, the visitor may just think he's had a really wild visit to the Arabian Gulf (or other Muslim area) and never have a clue what was really going on. It's the nature of the beast, Chaps, and it's really not that bad of a thing. Let's diagnose the problem instead of the symptoms, if a problem indeed exists.
I know what you're thinking: "Gee, Patty, tell me how you really feel... and I'd like that in essay form." I know, I know. I'm a little opinionated on this matter. It also has a lot to do with the fact that I would never be comfortable attending this particular church service regularly, partly because of the style, and their own lack of welcoming, and partly because of other issues I'd rather not go into detail about at this time. And so I have so far been more of a C&E Christian than ever I was before, though I still routinely search for other local church services and watch the base Chaplain news for any change in the lineup. And there are so many other factors involved. These thoughts are thoughts I've had for years and have been having especially this month anyway, but sitting through the sermon tonight pushed them over the edge to where I had to get them outta my system.
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Hippie: (after hearing Max wants to avoid the draft)You still have options man.
"So how do i do normal
"It's been known for a train to jump its track. It's ok, so you'll know, most times they come back. It's ok to lose your life, when you finally see your birth. It's ok to say, "I love you," and figure sometimes it's gonna hurt.
"As a comedian, you have to start the show strong and you have end the show strong. Those are the two key elements. You can't be like pancakes, all exciting at first, but then by the end you're sick of 'em!"
"Hey, this is weird! I ordered one frozen yogurt and they gave me two. You don't happen to like frozen yogurt, do you?" "I love it!" "You're kidding! What a crazy random happenstance!"
"Only one more trip," said a gallant seaman,
"It was Flannery O'Connor who said that 'grace must wound before it heals.' Her words help me to separate what is most true about life from the things we want to be true. We want life to be painless. True grace is a hard sell because in order for the human heart to understand forgiveness and love, it must first experience darkness and isolation. A life lived under the rule of grace is a life of need which allows us to receive an appreciate the gift of the giver of grace. This is why we will always have the poor with us; this is why God will not allow us to ignore injustice; this is why we are called to a life we cannot handle alone, which can and will break us in the effort to live it -- because grace must wound before it heals."
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
I thought Christmas Day would never come. But it's here at last, so Mom and Dad, the waiting's finally done. And you gotta get up, you gotta get up, you gotta get up, it's Christmas morning.
O little town of Bethlehem,
Walk humbly, son
Strings of lights above the bed
"In a little while I'll feel better
"Please tell me once again that You love me. That You love me. Please tell me once again that I matter to You and You really care. Please tell me once again that You're with me, forever. It's not that I could ever doubt you, I just love the way it sounds. I just love the way it sounds."
"Every once in a while, a bannerzen posts."
"7:30. What kind of people have to be at work at 7:30?"
have you seen my love
Traveling is significant because it takes so much effort. Either you're going to some place you love, or you're leaving some place you love. Usually it's both.
I think I have Bond's ability to get into trouble but not his ability to get out of it. Someday I'll be in some foreign country with 5 thugs with automatic rifles pointed at me, and I'll just.... fart
"You had no alternative .. We must work in the world. The world is thus." --- "No .. Thus have we made the world."
The summer ends and we wonder where we are And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car And you both look so young And last night was hard, you said You packed up every room And then you cried and went to bed But today you closed the door and said "We have to get a move on. It's just that time of year when we push ourselves ahead, We push ourselves ahead."
Looking out the bedroom at this snowy TV.. ever since commencement, no one's asking 'bout me. But I bet before the night falls, I could catch the late bus.. take small provisions and this Beethoven bust. I could find work in the outskirts of the city, eat some fish on the way.. befriend an old dog for a roadside pal, find a nice couch to stay -- a pull-out sofa, if you please!"
Ooh! Get me away from here I'm dying
"The trouble with folks like Brownie is they hold their life in like a bakebean fart at a Baptist cookout and only let it slip out sideways a little at a time when they think there's nobody noticing. Now that's the last thing on earth the Almighty intended. He intended all the life a man's got inside him, he should live it out just as free and strong and natural as a bird."
"Life is a phantasmagoria .. It is a pell-mell of confused and tumultuous scenes. We try in vain to find a purpose - to bring an order, a unity to life. I suppose that is the appeal of art. Art is the blending of the real and the unreal, the conquering of nature. It is real enough for it to reflect life, but has the unity that life lacks."
"in time memories fade.
I've always had this feeling about Patty that she's complex and intriguing...I like Patty alot. She's got a good heart and tells terrible squirrel jokes.
"Try to remember that world-weariness isn't necessarily a bad thing. In the book of Mark, I think its Mark, Jesus looks at a blind man and sighs. Jesus sighed before even telling the man he would be healed. He sighed, and I'm not sure that there's a much more human expression of frustration than this. Faced with the horrid picture of a cursed earth and looking into the white eyes of a man blind from the day he was born, He sighed. The Creator of the universe in human form was sad "of the evils of this world," the world He created. Your Creator sighed for you in the same way before He healed you and made you His."
After the last secret's told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that's just too hard
There is love
-- Andrew Peterson, After the Last Tear Falls
"when you most need people, you don't need perfection - just to know someone gives a damn"
"My brother's always [telling me], 'You should be more mysterious--boys like that.' But I'm not good at that. It would just make me more uncomfortable."
"Loners want to kill you, but not for any particular reason, and they'd probably like you if they weren't being guided by the violent voices in their head."
"No one wants to oil a snake these days!"
Her mom: "We're all safe."
-- Jamie Bevill and her mother during Christmas-Decorating dinner, December 20, 2002
i'd throw out all my shoes
i'd set up cans for friends
to dump their shoes senseless shoes
a pioneer of callouses
lordy-be and bless my soul
i'd be a barefoot spaceman
the first you'd ever know"
"The best way to have God's will for your life is to have no will of your own!"
"Generations circle and each one atones. The sins of the father are seperate from my own. In Pilgrim's Progress, it's forgiveness that makes whole, and as time levels and consoles, I place the daisies in your bowl."
"For a moment he just stared at her. Then, with an urf-urf-urf of laughter, he turned back to the controls."
"It's on the internet.. so, then, it must be true."
"Be at least as interested in what people can become as you are in what they have been."
Blessed be the rock stars!"
Get up for the shower.. wash and scrub and scour every part as if a cleaner man could better bear the shame..
"She was eating gnarly amounts of calcium."
Homeless man to girl trying to give him money: "No, thanks, ma'am. I never work on Sundays."
"Wow! I never thought I'd need a radar-guided spatula!"
"Isn't it great that I articulate? Isn't it grand that you can understand? ... I can talk, I can talk, I can talk!"
I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know... I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: "You've turned up in the right place at the right time. You're doing fine. Don't ever think that you've been forgotten.
When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of "No answer." It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, "Peace, child; you don't understand."
CCM: You've spoken a lot more about crying than I ever thought you would.
"Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste for adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn't grow old because he has lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal. The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul. Preoccuptaions, fears, doubts, and despair are the enemies which slowly bow us toward earth and turn us into dust before death. You will remain young as long as you are open to what is beautiful, good, and great; receptive to the messages of other men and women, of nature and of God. If one day you should become bitter, pessimistic, and gnawed by despair, may God have mercy on your old man's soul."
""Don't go matchmaking for me, Ilse," said Emily wit a faint smile... "I feel in my bones that I shall achieve old-maidenhood, which is an entirely different thing from having old-maidenhood thrust upon you."
"I wish Aunt Elizabeth would let me go to Shrewsbury, but I fear she never will. She feels she can't trust me out of her sight because my mother eloped. But she need not be afraid I will ever elope. I have made up my mind that I will never marry. I shall be wedded to my art"
"Tomorrow seems like a long ways away. But it will come, just like any other day... Deep inside, where the wounded creatures hide, I am afraid. Maybe I got lost somewhere along the way somehow. Please rescue me... Yea, though I walk through the valley of the dark shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me... Though I fear, though I am afraid, You are with me. Though I'm angry, tired, broken down and confused, You are with me. Though I sin like I've never sinned before, lose myself right out an open door, You are with me."
"The invisible people agreed about everything. Indeed most of their remarks were the sort it would not be easy to disagree with: "What I always say is, when a chap's hungry, he likes some victuals," or "Getting dark now; always does at night," or even "Ah, you've come over the water. Powerful wet stuff, ain't it?"" -- C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
"When People object... that if Jesus was God as well as Man, then He had an unfair advantage which deprives Him for them of all value, it seems to me as if a man struggling in the water should refuse a rope thrown to him by another who had one foot on the bank, saying, "Oh but you had an unfair advantage." It is because of His advantage that He can help."
"But, you know, as a Christian, one of the big questions you always ask yourself is, "So we believe in Jesus, we believe in the teachings of the church, but what does that look like when it's lived out?" Because surely, one of the things that Jesus said that I think we often overlook is, "The person who hears my words and does them is like the wise man who built his house on the rock." He didn't say "the person who hears my words and thinks about 'em" or "whoever hears my words and agrees with it." But he said, "Whoever hears it and does it."
"find that which gives you breath and grants you more to give
"I have packed all my belongings. I don't belong here anymore. This pair of sandles, one pack to carry, this old guitar and this tattered old Bible. And I know I won't be afraid. 'cause I know, I know Home is where You are."
"Open up your weepy eyes, everyone is dancing. Angels peer through sweet disguise, through a fire of cleansing.
"You may be bruised and torn and broken, but
"I don't deserve to speak, and they don't deserve
to hear it. It's makin' me believe that it's not
"Kickin' against these goads sure did cut up my
feet. Didn't your hands get bloody as you washed
"They say God blessed us with plenty. I say
you?re blessed with poverty. ?Cause you never
stop to wonder whether earth is just a little
better than the Land of the Free"
"Computers will know everything in the 21st
century. They'll be like me in the 20th