Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Peace

As I strolled through Anthropologie with some friends, I picked up a coffee table book. It was about African art. I only looked at it for a few minutes but one piece stuck out to me.


It's by an artist named Kester.








I read that African artists have collected 600,000 weapons in nine years. People exchange them for things such as sewing machines, building materials, and tools.


This reminds me of the verse


"They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." Isaiah 2:4, Micah 4:3



It's beautiful.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Naive

I am so na├»ve to the world around me. I was talking to Dane about this yesterday and then it was brought up again when I was looking at the news online this morning. This weekend there was crazy flooding in Tennessee. And I had no idea it was even raining there. No idea. I know it’s not possible to know what is happening constantly all over the world. And that disconnect was much worse years ago when there was no such thing as a car, phone, tv, internet. I guess God made us to focus on those around us. To love our neighbors. Love them like we love ourselves. Which is a lot. I don’t think God intended us to know what is happening across the globe each day. He knew we would one day. But He created us to live in community. Together. Close knit. Sharing life with only the people whose homes you could walk to. Technology is great and useful but it’s not a necessity. For thousands of years people have lived without the daily technologies we depend on.

In Mexico, it was more like that. They depend on their neighbors when they don’t have transportation, food, money, childcare. Almost the entire church was made up of those who could walk there. Who lived in the community. But this tight group of people can also lead to a lot of drama. A lot of stress. Disagreements. Because when we have a disagreement with a friend or co-worker, we can go home. We can get away. They live right down the street and there is no way to escape. To let things air out and get a little breathing space.

I can’t say which is better. There is not one that is better. We are just different. With different lives. And cultures. But when I hear of the famine, genocide, disease, abuse, neglect all over the world I can’t help but feel guilty. Guilty that I don’t do more. That I don’t want to do more. I say a quick prayer, maybe even shed a tear, and then I get up and go to dinner with friends and forget all about it. But it’s not that I just don’t care about people hurting across the globe. I don’t care about my neighbors. About people living a short drive from my home. Because there is disease, hunger, murder, abuse, neglect right here in Vegas. And a lot of it.

Maybe if I start loving my neighbor like I love myself, I’ll start caring about that person so far away. Step by step.