This is something of a new concept for me. And, not surprisingly. At no other time in my life have I entered a such completely different world. Different in culture, in people, in language.
I've felt like a child. Learning the basics all over again.
And yet, people are still exactly the same. Same frustrations, joys and hopes. Still scrambling to be a part of the social economy that we set for ourselves. Same core desires in relationships. Wanting and hoping to be understood and loved for who we think we are and what we stand for. And often seeking to wrap ourselves in familiarity when surrounded by that which we do not know.
And then green noses were out, and red ones were in. If Only I Had A Green Nose is one of my favourite children's books. In it, a Puppet gets his nose painted green because everyone else is, but then everyone decides that red is the news colour, and then another colour and another. It's hard to keep up and soon he cannot remember what colour his nose actually was. I've thought a lot about outward appearances and the like over the last month. It's almost been a sensory overload to me. All the time I find my thoughts along the lines desiring new things. I see and I want. I could use that. I could need that. And the more I allow myself to think this way, the more unhappy I am with what I have. And, in truth, I am more than happy with what I have. I don't need for anything.
If I start viewing the people and world around me in this way - judging others by what they have and wear, and how they act, then, unwittingly but most definately, I am completely opening myself up to also be judged in this way. Even if it is only in my own mind. And who wants to live life like this? I think it only creates a lack of self-confidence in who we really are and does not encourage truth and goodness.
But yet it is such a challenge to live this way. It requires constant recalling. I crave simplicity, but yet I unconsciously intake messages of materialism. I choose to be content.
It takes transparency to be transparent. And yet, we like to see it before we give it. It takes much courage to turn this process around. It goes against the natural grain of ourselves. But yet it is a truely beautiful thing to be a part of.
Two souls simply being together...involves, requires openness, risks, and the clumsiness of spontaneous words. - Leunig.
When you love somebody, you want to serve them. You want to do everything you can to help them, to make their road easier. You want to. But this love doesn't magically appear in your feelings. I'm not sure how it gets there. Maybe its a slow process. Maybe its a choice. Maybe it is both. I think this is true:
Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it
yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way. - Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz
Faith is a confidence in the things we hope for. I think it is sad when Christians do not do so well at representing what God is actually about - what his heart is. And I fail at this all the time. I'm relieved to remember that God in no way needs me, but yet sometimes still chooses to allow me to show what His love looks like. And that I can see tangible traits of God in people. In people. I'm so glad for this.
I didn't realize how many random thoughts had been going around in my head this past month until I've gone to write them down. Such a clutter floating around upstairs.
This month, I've been glad for:
german phrase books
an endless discovery of new breads