Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cheap and Easy...

What is the source of your holy discontent? You know what I mean… That topic that makes your blood boil every time it gets mentioned.  That image that makes you cringe and look away when you see it.  Is it pornography? Is it child abuse?  Lack of prison reform? AIDS orphans?  Corporate greed? Poverty? Sexual slavery? Illiteracy? Religious persecution?  Addiction?  Lack of school funding? Mental illness? Incurable disease? Religious persecution?  Homeless veterans? Any form of slavery? So what is it? What makes your blood boil? Now tell me what you do about it.

Do you post graphics on Facebook? Do you quote alleged scholars? Do you share your opinion on every issue that comes along?  Do you judge others for their opinion?  Do you scoff when someone disagrees with you?  We live in a free country so you have the right to do any of those things - they're cheap and they’re easy so I can see the appeal. But that's just it. They're cheap and easy. "There we go," we say to ourselves after we hit post before closing down our Facebook app.  "Now they know how I feel about XYZ."  Great. Thank you. You're right. Now I know how you feel. Now tell me what you really did that might affect the issue.

Did you help free a ten year old girl from wondering not if she’s going to be violated in the wee hours of the night but how many times?  Did you save a five-year-old little boy from being thrown over the side of a boat and told to swim or die?  Did you help a child who has never hugged his/her father due to incarnation get to spend an afternoon visiting his dad?  Did you put a hot meal in the tummy of a child that’s gone without food for several days?  Did you go to the hospital and lay an abandoned baby across your chest so they could feel the joy of skin-to-skin contact before they took their last breath?  Did you drop off that bag of unwanted craft supplies and that bundle of box tops to your local elementary school because you don’t need them but you know kids in a nearby district can’t afford crayons?  Did you snag an extra package of underwear when you were doing your back to school shopping to donate to the homeless veterans drop box? I could go on and on but I think you get the point and you're not going to like the next thing I have to say so buckle up.

I've heard it said that if you look at a man's checkbook, it doesn’t take long to see what he values and while part of me wants to push back against that because there are bills to pay, another part of me knows it’s true.  Many of us are all in when it's cheap and easy. In fact, the human race has proven that we have an incredible propensity for destruction largely because it’s cheap and easy. 

Spray painting a sacred monument doesn’t cost much to the person holding the can. Tearing down a statue doesn’t cost much for the person that brought the rope. Spewing hate via pithy graphics on Facebook doesn’t cost much to the sender of the post. While these displays of holy discontent seem active in the moment, the truth is they’re largely passive because save for the participant who might snag fifteen minutes of fame or feel better for a second in time, they really don’t help anyone else.  I mean seriously, what do you say to the person who thinks they’re helping the cause by acting in such a cheap and easy way?  “Way to kick the crap out of a piece of bronze?”  Or maybe something like, “You really know how to use a spray can?”

When you’re talking about affecting real change, cheap and easy rarely gets the job done because the sad truth about the world we live in is that action and advocacy come at a cost.  Whether it’s your time or your money or your energy, fighting your holy discontent can stretch the limits of your resources.

We’re so quick to toss out an opinion and take a side regarding the things that bother us to the core, yet many of us are so slow in acting in a way that has any chance of making a real difference.  Sharing your opinion may make you feel like you’re doing something and it may gain you some attention, but who is it really helping?  The world won’t become a better place until the day arrives when we’re as quick to leverage our resources toward the cause of our holy discontent as we are to share our opinion about it.  

What really makes your blood boil?  I hope you have an answer because there’s something you can do about it…

Do you really want to help end slavery?  Check out International Justice Mission: 

Want to help Aids orphans?  Check out Horizon International (right here in Indy):

Want to help incarcerated men and women?  Check out God Behind Bars:

Want to help those in the chains of sexual slavery?  Check out Red Umbrella:

Want to stand against religious persecution?  Check out Samaritan’s Purse:

Want to help with addiction recovery?  Check out Lighthouse Recovery Center (right here in Indy):

Want to help the homeless?  Check out Circle City Relief (right here in Indy):

Want to help active duty men and women?  Check out Adopt A Soldier:

Want to honor Veterans?  Check out Indy Honor Flight:

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Tears Didn't Attack Until...

Everyone that knows me guessed I’d cry on Wednesday as I stood in the driveway waving furiously while the kiddo smiled and pulled away.  Driving himself to school for his first day of junior year.  Alone.  Without me.  Without our legendary morning commutes filled with jam sessions and debates and history lectures and mom lectures and planning and strategizing whatever needed to be worked over at the time.  Gone was the old routine and with it went the traditions we’d spent years honing.  And while I teared up a bit, I’ll have you know I didn’t cry.  Instead I waited patiently for him to text me that he was at school safely then I went to breakfast and spent an hour laughing with my bestie. 

And I didn’t cry yesterday as we repeatedly the process.  Safely to school.  Safely back home.  Everything flowing according to plan.

And I didn’t cry this morning, either.  The kiddo and I had a terrific summer that included the start of new routines for he and I so yes, our mornings are forever changed, but we’ve got new things to share and look forward to.  When my bestie called today to check on me, I think she was proud that I was holding it together.

It wasn’t until this afternoon that the tears attacked and I didn’t even see it coming.  When the kiddo got home today, we talked and tackled chores and I made brownies while he started his homework.  All in all it was a normal afternoon right up until the kiddo asked if he could go out tonight.

“Sure!”  I said without missing a beat.  “Where are you going and what time do you need to be there?”

“The crew is getting together from seven until eleven,” he offered then he stopped and gave me an odd smile.

“That’s fine, babe.  Does anyone need a ride there or do we need to take anyone home?”  I went on, utterly clueless.

“Hey, mom?  I don’t want to hurt your feelings but I was planning to drive myself.  Is that okay?”

Right.  He’s driving himself.  Which means the downsizing is real and it’s not just back and forth to school he goes.  Of course it isn’t.  It’s everywhere he goes now.  And while it’s exactly as it should be, the adjustment is real.