Contrasts.

I just finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, the story of two women living in Afghanistan from the 1950′s until current day. What an eye opener. The way the women were (and are) treated, the male-centric society, the corruption, the unrest, the constant war, the loss, the families, the lives…it was a fascinating read which I highly recommend.

Contrast that with my life just today alone, 10 years after our two worlds collided so violently. There is so much to say about that day, but I really can’t figure out how to say any of it. What I can say is that we celebrate the fact that we continue to have the freedom to live the lives we want to live.

And I can say how we spent this day, exactly 10 years after 9/11:

  1. Waking up to two warm, safe boys climbing into our beds and Tyler asking when we can go downstairs and get breakfast.
  2. Making french toast and orange juice for breakfast.
  3. Taking Tyler to get his soccer pictures taken before church.
  4. A wonderful church full of God-seeking people, celebrating our first Sunday in our newly finished sanctuary. Worshipping freely and loudly, albeit to a very off-sounding worship band (kinks still being worked out in the new space, I guess.) Being reminded that events like 9/11 only make us realize the world’s need for Jesus.
  5. Food trucks with delicious sliders and bounce houses in the parking lot after church. Our baby girl, safe and happy from the unrest she has known in her short life. Falling asleep in her stroller after lunch, somehow still sucking her bottle. She’s wearing a patriotic dress and the boys wear red, white and blue.
  6. Driving home with Tyler and a friend who will spend the afternoon with us, listening to kindergarteners discuss The Chronicles of Narnia in the most entertaining and inaccurate ways.
  7. Kids playing upstairs, parents and baby downstairs. Seeing tributes and footage all day long and feeling somber and proud and emotionally overwhelmed all at the same time.
  8. Family coming over.
  9. Football, sewing, tri-tip & watermelon & mashed potatoes & pizookies, water balloon fight, playing a few games of BANG!, snuggling nieces and foster daughters and little spindly legged boys, then putting them to bed.
  10. Night. It is quiet. I am free to sit here at the computer and type what I want to type. Tomorrow I am free to take my boys to school wherever I want them to go, even if that’s different from what my neighbors or friends do. Our fridge is full as I make sandwiches for tomorrow’s lunches. I can leave the house without certain fear of war or tragedy or oppression because of my gender or religion.
I am FREE. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. And on the days when I don’t feel my best, I know that I have a God who stands beside me as my protective shade. He Himself watches over me. He directs my steps and delights in every detail of my life. Not only does He hold my hand, but He holds the whole world in His hands. The tragedies and the foster kids and the judges and the uncertain future and the suffering ones whom He comforts…He is good, even when nothing else is.┬áHe is a big, big God.
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