Saturday, October 14, 2006
A Moment of Silence
Most people, myself included, do not come to God because out of joy, but rather the butt of a gun. The gun for me wasn't some horrible illness or financial crisis -- it was middle school gym class. I wasn't a total outcast in school -- I had a small group of friends who at lunch together, found places to roost to hide from everyone else while we downed Munchos and Dr. Pepper. But in gym class I was on my own. The sadistic ritual of having beautiful athletic children pick teams still prevailed, and I competed for last spot every time with a very large girl named Toni who smoked by the sixth grade, was pregnant with her uncle's child by the eighth. So I doubt Toni gave a rat's ass about being the last one out of the bleachers, but I did. We'd sit while the team leaders debated about how not to get stuck with losers, meaning me, Toni, or the boy on crutches suffering from muscular dystrophy.
I continued to hate gym, but I started to pray that I could accept whatever happened, whatever taunts and bullshit came my way. It amazes me that I knew enough not to pray for a change in the situation but a change in me -- it was a lesson I would have to relearn for years and years, but I had it down at that moment. During this time there was much debate about prayer in the schools -- during my high school years, we had a moment of silence as a nod to the separation of church and state. You could do anything with your moment. By high school I had come into my own and hold much of the same opinions I do today which includes a very firm separation of church and state. But I used my moment to thank God that I had survived middle school (Robert E. Lee Middle School no less!) and that I didn't have to take gym now. There was a lot to be thankful for if you looked.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Suffering is God's bullhorn to a deaf world." C.S. Lewis
Drinking movie suggestion: Breaking the Waves (if you want to be really, really depressed)
Benedictions and Maledictions
He didn’t die fast enough, she said,
when I asked her why she left her
HIV-positive husband. She’d grown
thin and beautiful, no longer the chubby
girl who’d married Kevin even
though he wasn’t expected to live much
longer. Nights, he worked at Waffle House,
serving drunks who’d come to the only
open place in town, hoping to waste
time before sleep, ordering much more than they
ever ate, trying to sober up before morning.