Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tokens, Shoes and Sisters

I was coming back from a pre-employment appointment at Denver Health when I ran into two women at the bus stop. They had both come from the dental clinic and were discussing their teeth. One asked me if she could exchange a dollar with me for her bus tokens. She explained she wanted to get some lunch and needed some cash. I did the exchange and we got to talking. She had a Bible next to her and she and the other woman started to discuss the discontinuation of pennies and whether we were reverting to a non-cash system. The first woman said that it was a sign of the End Times. She cited the clash in the Middle East as further proof. Later the conversation switched to the second woman's shoes she bought on sale.

From their initial conversation about going to the dentist to get low cost dental care, I realized that they lived each day struggling to get by and here I was, a recent graduate starting her medical career. We came from two different worlds. One woman was enrolled in a vocational school while I was looking toward going to medical school. The other rode the busses at night for a safe place to sleep. Yet we were all united as sisters in Christ. I thought about the sisters that lived in yet other parts of society - Marylin Musgrave, Condolezza Rice, unnamed sisters in Christ who ran companies and were already doctors, pharmicists, scientists, and engineers. Sisters in other parts of the world. This thought broke down any barriers I had to talking with them or any prejudgemental thought I had about them. We were just three sisters chatting about the economy, shoes, bus tokens, and the world at large.

One day, all of my and my sisters in Christ's identities as vocational student, graduate, medical student, doctor, pharmacists, engineer, buisnesswoman, politician, etc. will be stripped away. All of us sisters - those I met at the bus today, as well as sisters from all walks of life in all nations will unite with our Beloved, our Father, our Savior in Heaven. We will have that shared identity, and more importantly, an even stronger bond of unity there, because no class or race or nationality will separate us.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Pajama apologetics

Apologetics is great. Sitting in front of your computer, sitting with your 2 inch binder full of notes in a lecture hall, in an office of a Harvard Educated Profesor. God through apologetics can do wonders in those situations But in your pajamas as your first conversation of the day? That happened to me this morning. It happened like this: My non-Christian family member, after saying good morning promptly started grilling me about where God was during this latest Israel versus the terrorists violence. I took a deep breath, trusted God, rubbed my still sleepy face and started talking. I was thankful that in all the three years I've been Christian, this is only about the second or third time I have done this.

It asks the question ARE YOU READY? AAAAAAAAARE YOU READY??? - Ooooooh, who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SPONGE BOB SQUARE PANTS- <-- ok, sorry, I had to start of at least a little bit of the Spongebob Square Pants song... enough is enough, I know... ANYWAY, are we really ready to defend God at any hour of the day? Early in the morning? In the middle of class? During office hours? On the Plaza on your way to the Ramskeller or Cams Corner for a cold beverage of your choice and some discount price candy?

When we share, do we rely on the fact that God is Truth and put faith in Him and that He will give us answers, or do we rely on our brains? That squishy slippery mass of grey (or pinkish) matter in our skulls that is affected by the Fall of Creation? Do you notice a difference when you do? I do. When I debate from my brain, the pressure is on me and I feel like I'm being attacked, and I back down more easily. But if I debate in faith, I can stand up for my God - my Creator and Savior and Father and Lord, and I feel more at peace because I have the faith and the trust and the EVIDENCE that He is true and faithful :)

So, my dear Christian brothers and sisters, whenever the debate, and wherever the debate, you are ready!!! because God readies you!

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Sustaining "Supercoolness" of God

I had two interviews that I didn't deserve. The reason that I didn't deserve them because one was a re-schedule because I wrote down the wrong time. The other one was for this job I have been hankering after only because I would get ridiculous amount of clinical hours while not being a CNA. Anyway, God gave me the "Great Career Shakedown." as I now call it. That He and He alone is in charge of writing my resume for His glory. End of story. And in every job, I was to learn something about Him and share who He is. Because His kingdom has a bit more of an eternal priority than my job, and my job(s) contribute to His kingdom.

I noticed after I got the phone call for the SECOND interview, I was like, "WHOA!!!" Because I had nearly given up on that. Just this morning, I had somewhat of a resigned peace about it like – ok, if God doesn't want me to get it, I won't get it, and there's nothing I can do about it sigh. Anyway, I was really happy and was like, "YAY GOD!" Then a question came to me: Did I still love God and take joy in Him unconditionally, or did my joy come from my own situation? In a more Liz Ewing way of putting it: Is joy in Him contingent solely on His character or is my joy in Him contingent on my present circumstances? When can I recognize truly being happy about a blessing versus saying, "I hate You.... oh wait, I love You now!"

I think God knows our emotions are not static and permits temporary disappointment, grief with underlying hope, sadness, temporary anger, temporary giddiness / giggle fits /rambunctious wild and crazy feelings , but I think He wants to see if our deeper faith and joy are constants. For me, He tests those with the two things that are on my heart quite a bit: my standing in the world as far as my success – academic and career wise, and how much I depend primarily on others to fill the chronic vacancies in my heart or let God do it. God has been working with me for two years on the latter issue. Incidentally, it has made the first issue somewhat easier because I'm letting God in on my life and into my thoughts about things more readily. However, God is always exposing the issue of my wanting to rely on my wits alone. Being organized (unlike my room) and writing a good resume are good for the job search and being a respectable person and nice and everything are good for finding that 'someone', but those themselves have gotten people somewhere, but God is pleased when I choose to rely on Him primarily for my job placement and matching me up with that 'someone' and rely on those other things as secondary resources. Often I switch those two around, and God really has to do a shake down to get them re-arranged properly.

SO (yes, this is really long), that is the logic behind my original question. Finally, I get to my answer: It is yes. I mean, when I have sent in my hundredth resume, when my checking account only has enough to pay the AAMCAS fees and that's it, when I'm alone and no one is there to talk to, when I'm bored, when I feel like life is successive missed opportunities, I can honestly say that my joy comes from God – though I may be crying or dissapointed, my joy that God has not left me, my joy that I still have enough – more than enough with God, that God – the Creator of the Universe will listen to my problems amid broken genes, broken nations, broken other people, etc, that God – the Creator broke Himself so I could have all this – yes, it still makes me joyful in spite of myself and any situation that threatens to make me deny Him.