I was running through my notebook today and ran across a page I started last April after I returned from Haiti. It’s titled ‘Stuff to Blog’, and the cold hard fact is that I pretty much forgot it was there and never blogged any of the ideas on it after my initial post-mission trip blog. So here are three mini-posts that have been floating around in my subconscious since… April 23rd of last year, apparently.
4-23-09 – I was totally humbled in an after school middle school club on this day. We were having a discussion about salvation and how Jesus works, and this little imp of a girl made (in her own way) a very clear exposition of what would be called in academic circles Liberation Theology. Liberation Theology is a thought process in which the salvation brought by Jesus is understood in terms of a liberation from unjust political, economic, or social conditions. Liberation theologians see structural and systematic sin as the root cause for oppression, and consider the Church’s primary responsibility to be relieving the oppression and unjustice faced by the disadvantaged and outcast. Heady stuff, to be sure. And this girl had probably never even heard of liberation theology. But she still explained it in her own words as well as anyone could have.
What was so humbling for me was the fact that a middle school student explained it better than I could have when I had a class on it in college. I don’t want to sound prideful (especially since the moral of this story is about me being humbled) but God has gifted me intellectually. And sometimes it’s easy for me to rest pridefully in my God-given intelligence. On this day, a middle school student put me to shame.
5-30-09 – On this day I was walking around downtown Charleston with my wife and her family. As we were walking into a little candy shop at the Market, a lady was walking out with her family. Then she saw my t-shirt. It was a t-shirt for “30 Hour Famine”, the program from WorldVision where they get youth groups to not eat for 30 hours and raise money to send overseas for food, as well as awareness of the global hunger problem. The shirt featured a stick figure holding a sign that says, “Will starve for food.” The message is that I will willingly starve myself for 30 hours in order to procure food for someone who routinely goes that long without food out of necessity.
This lady never even asked me what the shirt was about. She just saw it, pointed, laughed, and kept walking. I was too dumbfounded to do anything other than continue to hold the door for her family and watch them walk away. Looking back on it, I still can’t believe, for starters, that someone would be that rude to a total stranger. Secondly, I can’t believe that someone could see that shirt, read the slogan, and not be curious about it. I must have been asked 50 times since then to explain what “Will starve for food” means. But not her. She just laughed and walked away.
6-1-09 – Over the summer, ESPN ran a commercial that I absolutely loved. Sports guys get a bad rap as good-for-nothings that do nothing other than watch ESPN, drink beer, and eat potato chips. This commercial challenged that stereotype directly by directly challenging the sports guys themselves. The commercial features two ESPN SportsCenter anchors doing highlights for home videos of fathers playing with their kids. The intent is to show that playing outside with your kids is every bit as exciting and important as a major sporting event. I thought the commercial was pure gold. Kudos to ESPN, and I hope we’ll see more of this kind of stuff in the future.
I am repeatedly impressed with ESPN. I almost wrote a post during “Jimmy V Week” a couple of months ago about ESPN as a church. (‘Church’ in the sense of a group of people united by one common interest and striving towards one common goal.) Jimmy V Week honors Jim Valvano, a much-beloved college basketball coach who lost a long battle with cancer. Each year, ESPN runs Jimmy V Week on their networks to raise cancer awareness, gives huge sums of money to cancer research, and encourages their viewers to do the same. What amazes me is that all of this comes a) from a secular business, and b) in honor of one man, Jim Valvano. I wonder what the Church could do if we were completely united (i.e. not Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, etc., and were just Christians), and if we truly lived our lives in honor of one god-man, Jesus Christ. Food for thought, at least…
So that’s it. The notebook is cleansed of blog ideas. Time to start a new page.