29 agosto 2006

"It is true, I never assisted the sun materially in his rising; but, doubt not, it was of the last importance only to be present at it"

thought one:
the other day i was praying, "Lord, please show me what i should do in the spring."

and i thought, "Gee, what would i do if someday God answered back, 'Rebekkah, I couldn't care less what you do with your spring.'"

thank You, Lord, for caring. [seeee?! what arrogance!! i even assume You read my blog!]

thought two:
Having spent the past three months with some "little ones"... "hermanitos"... kids hanging around the kingdom but not hung up on it... i've got some theologizing to do.

for instance, it's 6:30 a.m. My darlings want to sleep. They want to bathe themselves. They want to fix their hair or cook breakfast or anything besides kneel on a hard floor. if they don't "feel" it, should they still be "forced" to pray?

so i'm far away from cold floors and my reluctant angels, and i now have time to think again. from the dusty crevices of my theology file, i encounter a term: "means of grace." now, don't quote me on this, but from what i understand, it refers to "spiritual" stuff you do to show God you're serious about wanting to receive His grace.

maybe you might not feel all 100% excited about it, maybe you're not even "feeling" like you've been regenerate, but in humility you do what you know and ask God to make it real. God, who has been know to resist the proud but give grace to the humble, is supposed to respond to the genuine invested seeker by more grace, ie: the desire and power to do His will, often refering to repentance and regeneration. [my more sagacious readers, feel free to correct me or tweak my words on any of this.]

so i'm hmmming over whether one can "force" others into means of grace when i read something interesting. Known as "the Parable of the Sower" (Mttw. 13:18-23), i honestly thought i had heard it analyzed to death. (Forgive my arrogance.) But juxtaposed against my mental landscape, here's what i got.

Some seed falls on "stony ground" because the hearer has no root in himself, but endures only for a little while.

Now this hearer received the word with "joy" and lovely emotion, but didn't have no roots! I pray more than i knew i could that my girls and the little ones i know will get a whole soul-full of emotion socked to them someday and will come weeping and leaping and downright excited into the Kingdom. but that's God's work. what can be done before is to get these "hermanitos" used to sticking it to the flesh. used to getting up early. used to looking different. used to saying "no" to conformity. used to having reverence before God. when the love comes, ALRIGHT! but until then, there's the soil of their soul that needs a shovel and a strong hand.

ay mis hermanitos....

thought three:
everybody complains about how social security isn't enough to live on, right?

well, per my gov't teacher, SS was never meant to be lived on. when the concept was developed back in the day, where did old folks go when they couldn't work anymore?

To their families. SS was meant to "add more stew to the pot" of the family economy, not to make condo rent and car payments and pay for cable. Hmmmmm...

23 agosto 2006

The Last Ones.

that's what i always said...
Originally uploaded by larebe87.

18 agosto 2006

"We get stones in our shoes on the way of holiness."

thought one:
i never cease to be amazed... (life is so interesting!)

no matter how low-paying or unglamorous a job is, one can still find individuals who do good work... effort, attention, detail. like it was their own house or their own creation... and stuff that no one will ever notice! with absolutely no extrinsic reward for doing so....

such marvels are humans...

words of the day:
chulo: (adj.) good-looking
mugre: (n) filth
mugroso: (adj.) filthy; gross
chido: (adj.) cool, good
huerco: (n) kid, boy

16 agosto 2006

"Sed, pues, prudentes como serpientes y sencillos como palomas"

Peruvian thought of the day: (i know i should be all well adjusted and pretend i'm not so obsessed with this country, but...)

When I first went, i was amazed: wow, God created a whole country custom-fit (perfect!) for me!

now, in my overwhelming maturity i think: wow, God created me for that country...

thought one:
being around a lot of people is wonderful because of how often our fellow creatures make us uncomfortable. the "wonderful" part is emphasized by "often," not "uncomfortable." explain?

when we are alone, we fear discomfort. when we are continually mentally/emotionally/ whatever-ally abrased [is that a word? "afflicted?" "rubbed the wrong way?" "invaded?"] we get used to it. our thoughts and emotions lose their fragile, defensive characteristics, and we can learn to simply live... unprotected, undefensive, sincerely.

tonight: go find a bunch of people and be with them. it's good for your ("one's") soul.

thought two:
family defines one more than ethnicity.
community defines one more than ethnicity.
media/brain-food defines one more than ethnicity [jury's still out on that one.]

really, ethnicity defines one not at all; what defines is one's [psychological] response to ethnicity, and one's response to the responses of others to one's ethnicity.

make sense?

thought three:

orderly, efficient, dependable. scheduled, and well modulated.
the mirrors are clearer, less forgiving; the watches are more exact and exacting.
the minutes are shorter. (how do they do that?!)
the days longer.
the lighting: constant and unromantic. not given to making art. shadows are muted. (notice!)
the seats are comfortable and the wait apologetic.

even the air is processed.

smells range from "nice" to "neutral."
sounds from hums to beeps to rustling.
voices are polite... the northern-definition-of-southern.
kids have credit cards at twenty... not laugh-lines.
there's nothing to complain about.
(about which to complain)

so artless... mass produced...
oh, remember, though, actually, this is a good thing!
because"mass-produced" means "industry."
"industry" means "developed"
"developed" means "capital-rich"
just remember geography.

"i'm not unhappy
i'd take the train today
if you'd let me...."

09 agosto 2006

Home. (it's a lengthy one)

thought one:
it's a wonder of God that our lives go so well that we don't have to manifest the full extent of our selfishness.

thought two:
well, you have to go by the Central Highway past the town center to the area of Huayopampa (segunda entrada.) You will go directly, passing The Stop (el paradero, where one waits for cars going to the Centro) passing the Anexo, passing the Charrapa's store (maybe stop and tell Yimy to buy a phone card; Numero Uno has the most time), passing the Veci, passing the sunflowers, passing Internet #3 and the Dalmatian-that-wants-to-eat-Joel, until, between the morning glories and the curva, where all the trucks and those two addictive motorcycles are parked, you are home.
* * * *
okay, take the state highway until you see the golden arches. take a left on Looney (don't laugh!) keep straight till you get to the stop sign. (wave to Bracy playing in his front yard.) the road kinda takes a swerve but stay on Looney. Pass the empty corner lot and our place is the first one on the left. you can park along the road or wherever's comfortable. welcome. you're home.

thought three:
i can't get used to using ctrl + b for bold. i keep on doing ctrl + n and opening new pages. the stuff to which one becomes accustomed...

thought four:
the first time i left, 16 years old and in the middle of a rather dramatic life/soul transplant (so to speak), i was one very sad girl. talking to God nonstop, assuredly, getting peace like i'd never known, hoping and loving like a real-live human, yeah, but very sad, nonetheless. i was not feeling the whole American- citizenship thing. wasn't quite able to appreciate the North American scenery like i should have... I wanted Peru, but BADLY. it was the best i had known. so passed the next year, until...

i returned. rather happily and just in time to celebrate the completion of my 17th year. (that was nice.) but the funniest thing happened... I land in Huanuco after the 1 hour flight from the capital and i feel almost disappointed. there's no rush of excitement... because i feel like i'd never left Peru. so far away does time and the States feel. i'd never left... maybe just took an over-long siesta. the Way to the house: familiar. the faces: familiar. the house: familiar. the room: my own. hmmmm... [<--north or south american pronunciation on that one. you decide.] eventually i had to go [come] back up North. it was a bit easier that time, though. 2 liters of tears instead of 5. i had school ahead and many things to learn before... i returned Peru-ward again. it took me 2 years, but this time, i got to stay some 3 delicious months. ay, que rrrrico era... visited a hard-hearted but stunning mining town. asked girls younger than me if they were accustomed to motherhood yet. went swimming in a former jungle "red zone." rode standing up in the back of a truck until my arms lost all strength. learned to drive a motorcycle.

was denied Holy Communion. fasted by peer pressure and sometimes out of desperation. burnt cookies. flipped tortillas. ate pineapple and drank drink a day from fermentation. rode smushed in taxis.

sang and was sung to. went to bed late and got up early. taught geography and was taught culture. taught English and was taught relationships. taught history and was taught life. talked to ex-guerrilleros, ex-narcos, and people abandoned by their families because they committed to the Gospel.

my blood was rejected. my color was discussed. my hair was braided. i was vaccinated for yellow fever and drank the water. i said "go with God" and "bienvenidos." i talked politics and listened to propaganda.

i watched Brasil lose.

i filmed and was foto-ed. i gave words and was given some in return. i reñia. i renegaba. i regocijaba and reia to beat the band [if i may borrow the colloquialism.]

then i had to go home.

on the bus ride to Lima, my girls called a nearby celular to tell me of their desolation. let me not be traveling lonely and sad and thinking i was unloved because, assuredly, listen, i was missed. already? yes. they were sad. (hear their voices!)

that night, i finished my chifa and Inca-Kola [i love you.] and received a borrowed phone to be reminded of my noticed absence, of the felt lack of my person. of the empty chair at dinner, of the room and even the guitar that mourned my loss. (these people know how to make one feel one's presence is inimitable, let me tell you.)

and how bad are humans...!?! once i heard it put this way, "well, i want you to notice... to notice when i'm not around." and we do, to be honest. we want somebody's day to be (just a smidgen, just a little-itty-bitty-bit) cloudier because we're not there to brighten things up.

we're sick people. (maybe it's just me.)

no, really, what i want is for the emotions to be proportional- ordinate affection, if you will. if i'm sitting staring at a ceiling unblinkingly for a prolonged period of time because i went to sleep to silence instead of snores last night, i want 4 darling adolescents to feel it, ya know what i mean?

but... a weird thing happened. i crossed an equator, a Carribean, Customs and a couple of inconsequential states until the scenery was familiar again. and then i was home... and i thought, "gee, sure kinda feels like i never left..."

we got new furniture. some of my pictures came down from my walls. my car was gone and my room was pristene, but i could scarecely convince myself that i had been gone to a land far away for a while... little flashes remind me... i'll see a foto from before whose composition is the same, but significance is totally different... or i'll say something with such mangled syntax that i have to pause for a second. or i'll remember something tropical or mountainous or mispell a common word phonetically...

but i dunno if i really understand that the reality i visited these past 3 months was not a dream; it's continuing on it's merry way... without me. people are making decisions, conversations are taking place, and maybe there is even laughter and inside jokes i am not privy to. [to which i am not privy] i've shut the book and the plot keeps moving on...

i'm not sure if i understand...