Matthew 5:44 is hard.

I’m working on praying for people I don’t like and, especially, those I know don’t like me. It’s been a really big challenge for me. At first, it was like I had my mama standing over my shoulder telling me to “say something nice.” At least, in prayer, I’ve come to realize God knows my heart and sometimes I just have to put out there what I can.  I can’t pretend it’s with a joyful heart if it’s not. Prayer isn’t “fake it ’til you make it” business.

I’ve found a big theme for me has been to just pray that these people are overwhelmed with the experience of Jesus this week (or that day). I don’t have to say I like them, or expect that we will ever get along, but it’s one way of loving them. I hope they’re praying the same thing for me.

I’m also working on trying not to characterize people by what they do, but to view it as being caught in sinful habits. I have my own, for sure.

It’s all a work in progress, but I guess that’s kind of the point.

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Glint

It’s been my theory, for a long time, that officers are…human, which breaks the rules society

Underneath the Kevlar, lies an impeding unrest. The kind you get from hearing the cries of abused wives and children, holding the hand of the dying while they’re unable to be pulled from the wreck and the biting of tongues while being lashed by the public. The kind of stress most people will never understand, past what they “witness” in the movies. One person’s hell gilds an officer’s existence, encountering the worst of humanity through the eyes of the Badge. Not only do they breathe it, the weight of being a Saint is crowned upon their shoulders. A small crack, wherein a glint of humanity shines, is blinding to those who expect our officers to be living incarnates of St. Michael.

Coming home means being who they’re expected to be; not by the public, but by those who know them by their first name.

To leave the hell they’ve trudged in the hands of Cerberus, like a jacket they hang on a hook when they punch out by the gates.

It doesn’t work that way. Not always. Not really.

Entering the doors of their home means that the calls are perhaps done (unless…), though they can’t scrub clean the soot of the flames that crawled beneath their uniforms. Questions of how they’ll afford to keep this life in the budget (while their pay is often less than they could be making at the factory down the street or at a department store), ring so loudly that suddenly the pool of peace from which they draw to be a Peacemaker seems barren.

The ringing of this reality reminds them of the lack of blood they’d witness at the department store. Quickly, their inner calling sings of how it would never let them do anything but be a cop.

And, still, they smile. They help with homework. They love.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Tomorrow is a new day but, again, not really.

The determination of seeing justice served, and perhaps being the answer to hope, will bring them back to the gates tomorrow. Picking up their sword, and finding the courage to face the flames for one more day.

-B.G., 2016

1989

In my quest to find out who, exactly, Jerry Hall is (as she’s trending for her engagement to Rupert Murdoch), I found myself watching an episode of David Letterman from 1989 and, subsequently, 1989 commercials.

While I believe I’ve got Jerry Hall figured out, here are a few notes I took about life when I was 3 (from a very small sampling of additional commercials and this ONE episode of Letterman):

-Norm Abram was a legit celebrity. If you ask my dad, he still is.
-Cocaine specific commercials were as commonplace as the marijuana commercials we see today.
-Declaring a city as “nuclear free” was newsworthy.
-Almost every ad had that 80’s glow around it.
-The word “sensible” in advertisements
-6 packs of soda = $.59
-Sealy Mattress= $300-$800 depending on where you buy it.
-You don’t see as many department store ads anymore. Thanks, Walmart.
– I was very surprised at the lack of cosmetic commercials.
-Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
-Food ads. So. Many. Food. Ads. (specifically junk food, and how they’re really healthy for you)
-Bill Cosby
-Hardees commercials were about food, and not sex appeal.
-Not McDonald’s. There was no mention of food on the commercials, but focused on their characters and toys.
-Robocop’s gun had caps, and you assembled it all (including the car) yourself..
-Disney Double- A VHS and Chip or Dale stuffed toy- $2.99
-What ever happened to cereal sweepstakes?!
-Ford Ranger- advertised to be (new) $6,766
-Join the US Armed Forces to get high tech training (also, as a whole, rather than individualized branch ads)
-Kid mullets on Hot Wheels Commercials
– “I am Batman”
-Bottled water. I was a little surprised to see bottled water in 1989. It wasn’t individual bottles but, rather, the kind you see in the fountains at offices.
-Show hosts actually hosted. Now, it seems, the guests dictate the direction of the interview. That wasn’t the case here. Letterman would cut guests off in the middle of a story, and they wouldn’t finish it when they came back. I won’t touch on my thoughts about the ratio between that happening with female vs. male guests. I’ll leave that alone for now. However, I felt there was a stark difference (maybe it was just the specific guests).

Well, that’s all. I have a sudden craving for Hi-C and Poptarts. Gonna go add some volume to my hair, and dig out my brightest lipstick.

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