Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Madness and a Red Moon Rising

What shall I write? Shall I write about how I think Earl Palmer's Commentary, The Book John Wrote, is shaping and reshaping my view of Jesus and the gospel according to John? I've heard his book on Revelation is a great read.

Shall I write to say that I'm still disappointed that Kevin Covais is still on American Idol? www.votefortheworst.com is supporting him. It's funny. Sad.

Shall I write to express my appreciation for the work that Jack Bauer has done once again in helping thwart plots against our country?

Shall I write to say that I just haven't been in a blogging mood as of late. I don't think it's because I'm not motivated. I think I'm putting on my winter fat. I'm hibernating.

Or shall I simply write a few quotes? Yes, I shall do that and do that well.

Elie Wiesel writes in Zalmen, or the Madness of God, when giving the response of the doctor, "I don't hear well when I'm shouted at."

In Zalmen, the Rabbi is arguing with his son-in-law, Alexey. Alexey, though Jewish, doesn't hold to the tradition and thinks the past is a burden, a dead wieght that stops the Rabbi from moving forward. The Rabbi responds, "...Alexey, I move forward--just like you and others like you--though a little more slowly. There are advantages to that. It enables me to look about me, to admire twilight as it draws closer, and also, with a little luck, to befriend others who like myself are looking for th source and know where it can be found no matter how inaccessible it seems."

And this quote from Red Moon Rising, by Pete Greig, "When we get our minds around the character of God prayer, devotion, and discipleship cease being techniques and become instinct."

Hope this was worth the pixel power.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Constant Blogger

Last week Barb and I went to visit friends and family. It was a great visit and perhaps I will talk about that later on, but that is not the point of this post.

Did I ever tell you that I am on a government list that keeps track of me--when I fly and when I change anything with my flight? Did I tell you that at one time I had a beard that reached down to my chest and that an Indian Muslim thought that I was Muslim? Did I ever tell you that? Well, it seems like I've got some 'splain' to do.

A few years ago I grew my beard out and it was long and it was gorgeous. I cared for it with the finest conditioner and stroked it ponderously as I contemplated the deep things of life. It was a source of pride dripping in strands down my face. It also altered my appearance, well, that and my freshly scorn cranium. I looked, shall I say, beautifully different.

During that time Barb and I were in India. We haggled a rickshaw driver down enough for a ride across Delhi. At one point he asked me mover the high scream of his two-stroke engine, "You Muslim?" as he stroked his beard. His face wore a smile and something like hope, hope of meeting an American who believes in Allah. I responded, shaking my head, "Jesu baktah."

After India we visited my family in Mississippi. I was tan (rare occurance) and had the long beard. I was stopped by TSA when they were doing the random searches. I was pulled aside after the first metal detector and then I was pulled aside and searched at the gate when they were searching there also. This happened in multiple airports. After I shaved my beard I have no longer been stopped or pulled aside . . . until yesterday.

So, after I shaved (I think) I had visited my family and we had put our bags into the trunk of my dad's car. When TSA took the bags they swabbed it really nicely and questioned me. They said a ______ substance was found on my bags and that they had to search them. They then wrote my name down in this notebook. Now, if I was in a very playful mood I could talk more about the notebook (was it a notebook that the writer kept close by when he saw someone with striking features, such as my angular face?). So, I hypothesized all the way home, which was longer since my detaining allowed me to miss the flight.

Then it came to me--I bet Dad had bought some fertilizer for the lawn and had laid it in the trunk of the car. I put our bags in the trunk and BOOM!!! the residue made its way onto my bags. I don't think it was residue from my power bars or dried apricots. The ingredients in the fertilizer, which are sometimes used in explosives, set the machine off.

Well, yesterday I made a simple change (actually, Barb and I both made the change) and my ticket was flagged. I suppose it was because my name made it into that notebook. I took my shoes off as usual (what was that guy's name who tried to explode his shoes--I think I might hate him for that inconvenience) and the guy took my ticket and said, "I'm going to need you to step over here with me. Your ticket has an "s" on it here." So, I gather my self, take a look at Barb and smile (she's seen me pulled from line multiple times before). They baton me up and down, left and right. They look through my stuff and say, "You may go." And then I walk down the ramp to my gate sometimes perturbed and sometimes gaily. What are you going to do?

But as I reflect upon what I just wrote and what I've been reading and watching lately I have this to say--there are thousands, perhpas millions of people who have been marched in lines unjustly, have been interogated brutally, and have suffered the most grievious things imagineable as their loved ones watched on helplessly as tears dropped from their eyes and all hope fled. God help them.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I think it is interesting how a tone in a picture, a sunset, or even the countenance of a city can express one's mood and even impact it. I took this picture about six weeks ago when a friend of ours was visiting. This is one of the best views of the city. It's from "our side," Marin County. The financial district, Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz, Angel Island, Berkeley, Oakland and everything east is to the left. And to the right there is the always chilly north coast and the ocean with three thousand miles separating us and Hawaii.
Posted by Picasa