Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Virtual Coffee: Eight

So glad we could meet up today at someplace other than my house!

I'm sipping a frappucino today -- a treat for sure.

Drink

And, also, if I'm being honest -- My drink choice is reflective of pure determination ... and a bit of naivety; I whole-heartedly wish to believe that I can convince spring to emerge quickly if I abandon ordering piping hot drinks.

It's the power of suggestion ... I insist as my hands shake, clearly chilled and goosebumps spread up my arms.

What are you having? Something more reasonable for 40-degree weather, I wonder?

Oh, and don't mind that little carrot cupcake there.
Sugar
Actually, do mind it. And take home for your kids or hubby. Please. So far I've resisted taking a bite.

Aside from freezing hands and sugar overload, Tuesday has been good.

Especially in light of what's happening to the people in Japan.

My heart has been heavy for the Japanese, and it grows heavier with every news report detailing the damage caused by last week's earthquake and tsunami.

Often, while watching disaster coverage from my pretty place in the universe, I feel, um, guilty ... which I used to confuse with empathy.

Like if I refuse to enjoy some of the blessings in my life that I'm somehow coming along side those suffering in a powerful way.

I was in one of those truly deep and dark moments of despair Sunday night after reading more news stories about new tsunami warnings and radiation leaks.

My hands snapped the computer screen closed and I ventured instead into a book I've been reading, 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp, to gain some sort of clarity.

And, oh, my word, did Ann bring it:
"I know there is poor and hideous suffering, and I've seen the hungry and the guns that go to war. I have lived pain, and my life can tell: I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives... Rejecting joy to stand in solitary with the suffering doesn't rescue the suffering. The converse does. The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world."
This survivor guilt of sorts isn't the product of empathy -- it's the product of evil. And it's robbing the day of joy when joy is most needed, because instead it's settling my heart into fear and drudgery and listlessness.

That's not where I want to reside.

So I've been mulling Ann's words, and adding to my own list, detailing the gifts in my own life.

Gratitude

Of course, this listing of my blessings doesn't replace the deep need for prayer. I fully believe we're meant to come to Jesus' feet on behalf of those who are suffering and help in small ways.

Speaking of which, I learned about a few opportunities for doing so this afternoon.

One is sponsored by my beautiful and talented friend Maegan and the other is being hosted by Sakura Bloom, the maker of one of my favorite baby slings.

Maegan is donating all proceeds from prints purchased at her shop to relief efforts. And Sakura Bloom is selling raffle tickets and raffling off three Sakura Bloom slings, with all proceeds from the raffle benefit ting rebuilding efforts.

What about you? How's your week going? Can you relate to that survivor guilt type of feeling? What's been speaking to your heart lately?

Thank for being here today, listening to my scattered thoughts, the things that have been swelling in my heart.

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For more virtual coffee conversations, visit Amy.

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