Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas in Review (The God who Gives a Damn)

So much brokeness all around.

Can I begin to understand the new air raids between Israel and Palestine?

I can't.

My Tanzanian colleague, Philemon, lost his dad this morning. He was about 58 and riding his bicycle when an out-of-control taxi van hit and killed him.

If hurts me to think about their loss, how do they feel?

Last week, a depressed guy in LA dressed up as Santa and took a handgun to a party at his ex-in-laws and killed 9 people.

Shootings become "common" and that only compounds our sorrow.

The current economic disaster reveals a broken system and a habitual effort to satiate our souls with more.

Money and stuff. They don't actually heal our hearts.

The people of Zimbabwe are starving slowly. They are dying of cholera in the face of a leader who says there is nothing wrong.

We wait and wonder how long it can go on.

Creation is sick.. so sick. God made systems that heal themselves and honestly, she IS trying. The coral reef is showing healthy signs of life after the damage of the big tsunami. But, God bless her, she can't heal herself when we injure her continually and deeply.

Wars drag on. Rape is a weapon. It's not even rare anymore.

I feel like throwing up.

But, in this welling pain, I remember a stable. I remember a baby.

A friend of mine is a hospital chaplain. He recently stood with parents who had just lost their 25 year old daughter to a massive stroke. In the face of the loss, the mom wondered why she felt so torn up inside when it was a simple matter of the universe taking back her daughter. There was oneness. Why should it hurt?

She answered her own question. "Frankly," she said, "I don't think the universe gives a damn."

A baby was born to bridge the divide; to reach out through our pain and lead us home.

This Christmas, I am aware of much pain.

This Christmas, I am thankful for a baby who came to let me know that there is a way through it.

I'm thankful, this Christmas, for Hope. I'm thankful for Joy. I'm thankful for a redeeming, restoring, renewing, celebrating God.

These things are living gifts that come quietly from The God Who Gives a Damn.


byronovich said...

Good one Lees :-)

lisa said...

Dang, you're fast!

dana said...

yes...a good one :)

in a world of darkness and despair there is only gratitude for offerings of love and healing...

Twas a sad christmas, the-whole-world-is-hurting-christmas...

I'm waiting for the light...

janice said...

i think we were drawn together, so long ago, because we are both so optomistic amongst the caos.

lisa said...

Dana, I think what I love most about the light is that the darkness cannot extinguish it.

I think you're right, Jan. We are hopers :-) And BTW, you are exactly as beautiful as you were in high school. No, more so, actually. xx

nelly said...

this one sits near the top of my favorite posts written by you. wow.

brooke sellers said...

so here is something that may seem a little unexpected: i wish we could be pen pals. you don't even know me, but i found my way to your blog via a poem of yours featured on 24-7 Prayer's website. and i have been reading it, even the backlogs, because your words are beautiful and your stories resonate. and i am a 28 year-old woman who dreams of living, praying, working, and raising a family in africa one day... and i wish i could sit down with you over a cup of tea or coffee and learn from you.

lisa said...

Hi Brooke. Nice to meet you :-)

Yes, cup of tea and a chat would be a nice thing. In the mean time, I'll email you.

I love your movie picks, by the way. Those are all some of my favorites but I've not seen Monsoon Wedding. Benny and Joon... yes!

nelly who stays up late said...

and. you MUST see Monsoon Wedding. good night!

lisa said...

OK and you and Brooke must see WATER, (if you haven't) though hurts.

nelly said...

haven't seen it. adding it to my list.

Jenelle said...

am re-reading this and it occurs to me that Philemon lost his daddy....makes me sad

lisa said...

Yes, Philemon lost his dad. And as we waited at the burial, a woman walked past our gathering on her way home with her little one who had died in her arms. (No, I didn't see her but I heard she had just walked by.) 2 days later, Josefina's neighbor's teen daughter died. I think it was AIDS that took her.

So much death in Africa.

Carolyn said...

Lisa: I know this might be long past for you right now, but my first response was, "Thank God, Lisa, that you, too, are trying; and, Thank God, that you, too, give a Damn." Amen.