Am i There Yet – Pretend Worlds

Posted: July 15, 2011 in Am i There Yet?

i wrote yesterday that brokenness is the way to humility, and humility opens my life to the Creator. i used the wrong words. brokeness is one way to humility. The tree in the middle of the garden was another way to humility as it was a reminder to Adam and Eve of their dependence on God.

In church i heard that God is on my side and He’s rooting for me and He is, but, perhaps God has not asked everyone, more specifically me, to make great contributions. And by that i mean i may not be a Moses, a Noah, an Abraham, a Jonah or anyone who will be remembered in that way. Then the question is, am i satisfied to live the simple life of a creature of God?

There is a place called Juarez, Mexico which is just across the border from El Paso, Texas. These two towns are separated by a narrow river yet are different in almost every way. Juarez, Mexico is a society of people who are literally dying for good water. Infant mortality for infants is estimated to be conc=servatively at 30 per cent. The cause is simply diarrhea that babies get from drinking bacteria in their water.

In El Paso, just across the narrow river the American mall uses water for decoration. The mall is a pretend world of comfort. Like most malls it is designed to make me feel as though i am outdoors, only eliminating the harsh conditions that i would experience outdoors. There are trees, artificial cobblestone walkways, large skylights filtering the sun and air conditioning. All this and yet we find less than five miles away a people who have nothing but hard realities. i am not suggesting that we do not build nor go to malls. i am sharing the reality that as a creature i love to create pretend worlds. i do not live in a poor community, in fact i don’t even drive through one.

i am sitting inside a sort of pretend world as i write this post. i call it a prayer center, yet less than 5 per cent of my time is spent praying. i tell the story of how we started the center and right now it brings a smile to my face. i wanted a place that was without distraction to pray. No refrigerator ice cubes dropping to disrupt my concentration. No unfinished tasks that would catch my attention, thus taking my prayer time away. No temptation to stop and go to the cupboard for a quick snack… funny because we created a cafe at the prayer center. my pretend worlds slash gum-trees seem to take away the frailness of the world around me. With the frailty removed i seem to be unaffected by the sorrow of the world.

Don Murdoch had battled leukemia for many years and no one really knew how much longer he would live. The process of dying was a long and exhausting journey. When asked what he was learning through this experience, Don’s favorite response was, “Don’t get leukemia.” Don embraced his death with the same vigor with which he greeted life. The story of Don reminds me of the times when i take life for granted. As i am aging i do less of it but why waste a moment. i have this idea that when my time comes my children and my grandchildren will be there with me so that we can have a last kiss and a few words of encouragement for each of them. Most of all i “require” that Ann Marie be by my side. This is why.

On the morning that Don died with his wife, holding his hand, there was a deep sense and a vivid portrait of intimacy. i want to believe that there will be someone to hold my hand when i die. In fact i want to believe that there is someone to hold my hand today while i am still alive. If i really believe that life is a gift then shouldn’t i embrace it more? If i really believe that life is short then shouldn’t i spend more times in the relationships that have been put before me? More phone calls, cards, yes even text and emails. Holding hand as a… simply creature. It won’t ever make the headlines, it won’t be made into a movie, the story may never be told, but for a few moments i can experience intimacy and all else disappears. This is one Achilpa pole that i choose to hang onto yet i know that if one day that pole breaks i will not fall to the ground and wait for the sky to fall. Yes this is a creation much like the malls. When i am with Ann Marie the world is good and life will be okay. BUT… but… all this is in the perspective of God’s grace. i could not feel these things nor trust any individual or love in any way a person this much without the deep understanding of Gods’ love for me. No, it’s not perfect but i would not like to speculate where i would be and who i would be without this amazing woman who is my best friend, my lover and my wife. She holds my hand.

Priest Alan Jones said that, “A human being is by definition a longing for God.”

  1. hemp says:

    I believe that there are certain things in this life that are untouchable. Furthermore I believe that there are specific times when a little tact is called for. Simple logic should dictate to anyone with a heart that these are moments when supreme respect and the utmost regard for our fellow man need to be observed.

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