Friday, February 20, 2009

Random Things

Spending time listening to The Choir's "Flap Your Wings" album. It just feels like that kind of morning. The album came out abut nine years ago and still gets an awful lot of play from me. Members of the band have also put together the 'City On A Hill' albums which you can sometimes find in a box set for a very good price. I would normally not mention this but these albums are so good and if you're in a space where reflection is necessary "Flap Your Wings" is often the album I turn to. Unlike the 'City...' series it is not a collection of praise music. The songs are really about the human experience flaws and all. It's somehow comforting without being fluff. Painful with a sense of strength/healing.

Many don't seem to want to experience the pain of life and it seems to be a general trend among Christians that God is a good feeling. God is financial success, a nice house, a spouse and kids, a safe neighborhood, two cars, a garage and a fenced in yard. Fences may make good neighbors but they also give warning, force distance, offer false security, close people off. Perhaps the current financial crisis will force the opening of those fences, the tearing down of walls, cause each of us too look around and see just who and how we can help. It really does begin right in our own neighborhoods. I've often said if I only had my finances completely taken care of I'd probably do mission work in other countries but that thought can be a distraction from the so many things that can be done right where we are. It's something to guard against and think about. I don't like all my neighbors but how simple is it really to wave as I pass, to say hello and ask simply how they are? It's called community and our communities may be getting much closer as our financial state becomes more desperate. I think that's a good thing really. Perhaps if we won't go willingly our calling will brought to us. Sort of like Jonah.

I have a niece who will not read a book unless she knows it's going to have a happy ending. It's the same with movies. She hated "The Kite Runner" which is a very difficult movie to watch but it's so good. She watched it with her in-laws from Saskatoon and she tried everything she could to get out of the experience but wound up watching it. The story bothered her but she had to admit it was a very good movie. It's beyond her comprehension that people will do things that are damaging and irreversible. This movie is especially difficult to watch because the decisions that need to be made are by children and there is only one opportunity to choose what to do. Then the moment has passed. What a painful and difficult thing to have to learn at such a young age. And to see how decisions made, even as children, can follow through to adulthood is sometimes a very painful thing. It bothers me sometimes that my niece chooses to not meet the challenge but then I know that she would be there to help her neighbors, to help someone broken down on the road, to stop and help someone who has fallen on sidewalk. She doesn't have to go to her dark places in the books and movies she watches. When I think about it like that I kind of envy her. In the words of Mark Heard: "She don't have a clue...". In fact she does. I like the challenge, what I refer to as meat on the bones of the books I read, the movies I watch. I force myself to go there. I don't know could say more about me than what my niece choosing to avoid these things says about her.

Take a listen to 'Flap Your Wings'. Find it on i-Tunes or from the Choir's website and heal, take comfort, cry a little, love a little more. And remember that 'mercy lives here, at home with the saints and the sinners...' Thank God for that.

Maybe next I'll be listening to some Mark Heard. For now I've moved on to Charlie Peacock-The Secret of Time. 'I like a love that keeps no record of wrongs, loves me when I'm good, loves me when I'm not...This is the way of love.'