March 9, 2008

Peace that helps me live...

Lately I have been thinking about the culture that surrounds my faith system. It seems terribly off at times, which makes me question whether I too am off. Most people turn to their faith or religion when hard times come. But it has also been said that "religion kills". Ironic that what should be a source of help, hurts. The most noticed will always be the fundamentalist groups that brag of their "pure religion" They strictly follow creeds, codes, rules, or books that are to be the guide. On every front, those are the people we know, see or read about in the media, the people that scare us. But in today's world, religion has become quite electic, something you create for yourself, a faith that works just for you. Like a menu, you pick and choose, to make it work for yourself.

"How about you Ginny?" I ask myself. "Is your faith eclectic or are you a fundamentalist of sorts? Both sound really scary to me. Fundamentalist?.... I don't read enough, pray enough, mediate enough or believe enough to be a fundamentalist. Maybe eclectic then? You know, a lot like the girls' favorite sixth grade project "Create your own country, or as the fast food slogan goes "have it your way" Choose your own book of choice and figure out what you like? But who wants faith system where you call the shots, I am not that smart. I am a just a little tiny girl in my moments of darkness, or even in my moments of bravery...I am looking for an incomprehensible Presence standing behind me. A hand that draws me to a Holy heart, that beats on my behalf. A God who knows me intimately and loves me, even when I cannot figure out what I am. I need a God I do not understand, who is too big to explain, but a God who visits me and invites me to His presence, whose face I see everywhere I go.

I read the following phrase in a Taize email, I like it...I will stop wondering about my religious label and that of others and just follow that PEACE.

Jesus our peace, through the Holy Spirit you come to us always.
Our prayer can be quite poor, but you pray within us even in the silence of our hearts.

March 5, 2008

I Still Believe

Luis is a great young man who grew up in the foster care system. He's the kind of kid you want to hug every time you see him, his smile warms your heart. The road has not been easy for him but he is working hard to carve out a future for himself while still making every effort to support his family. But he has no health insurance yet. When he stopped by to tell me he was feeling really sick, I immediately headed for Walgreens, filling my basket with Ziacam, EmergenC and of course Airborne! Back at the 7th floor office, co-workers sceptically watched as I unloaded my purchases on to the desk. A watchful drooping Luis, carefully took in all my instructions about symptomatic treatment.
"Luis, if you don't believe in all I'm telling you, give this stuff to a friend without insurance! But it really does work." A week later a very excited Luis came running up the street. We hugged and he thanked me profusely, relating how quickly he had recovered, and how he continued to use the products when not feeling well. Now he was frustrated because everyone in the office was sick but refused to take his advice! I reminded him it is in the believing.
As we walked, my supervisor, watching the encounter asked me if I know there was a class-action suit against Airborne. Not missing a beat, I told her I didn't care, I reminded her that I haven't gotten sick on my trips since I started taking Arborne before flying, I traveled to India and Sudan and didn't become ill once due to my daily EmergenC-Airborne cocktail. And while others have lingering colds they nurse for weeks...Treating myself symtomaticaly my colds are gone in days! And then I remind her maybe it's in the believing, she smiled...but that's OK with me....I DO BELIEVE!

It is only right that people should get their money back in the class-action suit, but I am sorry they have to be sick, they should just have believed like Luis and me.