Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I happened upon this on Facebook and thought I'd. I really like it.

"Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

love languages

A couple summers back I read The Five Love Languages: Singles Edition, by Gary Chapman. Although I had been hearing of these for a while and already knew what mine are, I wanted to read the book for myself.

The book was very enlightening and I often think of it when interacting with people.  In it, Chapman talks of five primary love languages: words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, quality time, and gifts.  It is through these that we recieve love and give it.  Having read the book, I see people, their words and actions, with more understanding of their motive.  I am also better at expressing my needs as well as trying to meet theirs.

Something that quite fastinates me is that God did this.  God made it so that we all love and feel loved in different capacities, yet He loves each of us perfectly.  When people give me gifts, I have a hard time knowing what to do/how to respond; but when people who feel most loved through gifts get them, they feel appreciated and loved.  When I get some quality time with someone, I feel loved and affirmed; but others may feel suffocated or violated.  I think it's great how God has set this up, it brings a great dynamic to the Kingdom.

Reading this has also made me work harder to love people based on their contengencies.  This has served to be harder than I had originally anticipated.  Sometimes I feel awkward speaking words of affirmation to others because I don't primarily feel loved that way (although, I do enjoy words of affirmation); I feel silly stating the obvious, like "I appreciate you when you cook me a separate vegetarian dish."  The key isn't saying 'appreciate', it's saying 'you'; that's what snags me.  I want them to know I appreciate them, not just their action.  But really, it's not obvious to the person until I say it outloud, which is very hard for me.

With physical touch, comes an interesting balance.  Not everyone likes to be  touched (appropriately, of course).  I have a friend (who reads this blog, HEY!), that prefers words over touch, so when I want to show her I love her, I try not to violate her by hugs and sitting (too) close, I try to find the words to affirm my love for her.  Touch is a touchy subject when it comes to males and females.  I have male friends whom I non-romatically love, but, because they are men, it's not necessarily appropriate to: front hug them (that's based off of their preference, not mine, I like front hugs, but some guys don't feel comfortable hugging ladies front to front), sit/stand close, non-flirtasiously touch them, etc.  I am always careful with this because I don't want any confusion as to what my intentions/feelings are, and I don't want to cause them any discomfort.

I think, also, our receiving language can become a problem if not kept in check.  It's important to be careful not try and have people fullfill you.  When we do that, we will always be disappointed. Someone, like me, who prioritizes quality time can become clingy if they are not careful; and when one clings to imperfection, they're always disappointed.  Or perhaps someone who feels loved through recieving gifts can turn into someone who is greedy and hoards, stuff becomes their idol.  Learning this balance is a constant journey, as we meet new people, we have to learn to love them in a language they understand.

I am exhausted, talk to you later!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

rant concerning people who act like they've never had home training

Have you ever met/known someone that you wondered "how have they made it this far in life being that way?"  I have classrooms full of them, kids who: can't spell their middle/last name, don't know where they live (address/city), can't read an analog clock, can't tie their shoe, don't know their parents' full name, don't know their phone number, have never heard of allergy medicine, can't read/write in cursive, pick their noses in class, pass gas in class, can't color in the lines.  I mean come on!  When I interact with these children, I am first worried, then I'm offended.  I'm offended that they would even be able to progress any further in life and end up in my classroom not being able to do these basics in life.  How am I supposed to trust them with a school instrument when they can't recite their address to even bring the instrument home?  How can they read music well when they can't spell, and capitalize, their name properly?  I want every child to be legitimately exposed to music, everyone deserves that opportinuty; but everyone also needs to know some basics of life and many of these children don't.  I realize a lot (if not all) of this stuff is the parents' responsibility, but then that makes me wonder about what's going on at home.  It makes me worry.  My parents were far from perfect when raising me, but they sure as heck made sure I could spell my name, spell and recite theirs, knew my address and home number (to this day I still know it), read an analog clock, knew how to act in public (no nose picking or passing gas, etc), and all else that comes with growing up.  It bothers me when I see children who have made it to the eighth grade who don't know where they live; they're old enough to get a job, but they won't be able to fill out the application because they don't know their full name, address, number, and likely their social security number.  Do you see the urgency?

And what of adults?  Yesterday, I was walking my colorguard class down the hall to go outside and a teacher, well old enough to be my father, burped in my face.  I almost snatched him up by the collar and asked why he was so nasty!  How has he made it this far in life being so nasty?  I was offended and embarrassed.  But mostly I was disgusted and baffled.  Here he is a grown man (with a son in his 20's) burping in people's faces and not saying excuse me!  Unacceptable!

The teacher in me rises up when I see anyone acting in a manner that isn't appropriate for their age, surroundings, or time.  I want them to not just do better, I want them to be better.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

disappointment in truth

Well, as you've likely noticed, we're all still here...no rapture.  Harold Camping, and his followers, were eagerly awaiting the return of Christ yesterday.  He, Camping, had believed he had calculated the exact day and time of the return of Christ.  But, alas, tis the day after and there is a great deal of disappointment coming from Camping's followers; Camping, in fact, is missing.  I was certain that Jesus wasn't going to return yesterday because I believe the Bible when it says that none shall know the hour of His return.  But I empathize with their disappointment and their dejection.

We are created to feel homesick, our home being Heaven with the Father.  So that sense of longing they have for the return of the Messiah is more than okay, it's to be expected from any and all believers.  Unfortunately, they took it a step further and tried to predict and possibly expedite His return.  I know what it feels like to be down to the moment of truth only to be disappointed by the lack of arrival of God (literally or figuratively).  When I was raising support to STINT in Argentina, I was working up until days before I was supposed to leave, but God didn't (figuratively) show up.  I'm still in the USA with no prospects of ever going to Argentina, or anywhere else.  They, Camping and his followers, believed down to the hour that Jesus was returning yesterday at 6pm.  They are still here.  We both wanted and believed these deep desires and life-long dreams so badly we told everyone in happy exhilaration and anticipation.  "Finally", "at last" we thought!   But nope, nothing but egg on our faces.

I know how badly they're hurting, how foolish they're feeling, how disillusioned they are, how confused they feel.  We've both been disappointed in the truth of things not happening.  So while the rest of society mocks their lie of a prophesy, they retreat with their tail between their legs while picking up the shards of the life they must continue to spend here on Earth, their home away from Home.  There are those who had no stock in the future, no job, no home, no monetary security; they believed to their very core that yesterday was the day.  I know how they feel.

My heart truly goes out to those disappointed in His not returning.  I am in tears for you and want you to know that it's okay to miss Him, to long for His return with every ounce of your being...I do as well.  I want you to pick yourself up and move forward.  Life goes on, and this season of disappointment can have one of two results: 1)losing hope and faith in the Lord because He didn't show up when thought to be appropriate or 2) trusting in the Lord to use you to your utmost for Him while still here on Earth and choosing not to feel trapped.  The decision is yours, but remember that just because He didn't return when you had anticipated doesn't mean He won't ever, so continue to live life as someone who firmly believes in His future return.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

so is there a line or something?

As I'm sure you may have heard, the world is ending tomorrow; and I'm positive that you wanna know my deepest feelings about it.  Well here it goes:  I don't care about eschatology (the study of the end of the world).

Growing up, I was almost too aware of the end times, I was quite frightened of what all was going to go down.  I heard/read/learned snippets of what the Bible says about the end times and people's interpretations; and, as most children do, I took the scraps I had learned and fabricated what it all would look and be like for me.  Unfortunately what I heard/read/learned wasn't very delightful sounding so my imagination expounded upon that and I essentially ended up with a plot-less horror movie in my head.  A lot of the scenes I pictured were directly drawn from infamous Left Behind books and movies.  My mom was really into them and she tried to get me into the children's versions but I was at the everything-she-wanted-from-me-was-super-lame-because-she-doesn't-understand-that-I'm-my-own-person age, so I didn't read them (and plus they were super confusing and boring to me).

Something that's always stuck with me, even to this day, are the scenes of confusion and darkness from the Left Behind material.  That is what scared me the most.  I didn't understand the order of events and it seemed the characters in the movies/books didn't either.  I was scared of getting left behind when Jesus came back, not because I wasn't a Christian, but because I missed the memo, got lost, slept in, stood in the wrong line, was taking a shower (for a glimpse of time, I was scared the rapture would happen while I was in the shower and everyone would see me naked), couldn't get out of class, couldn't find a ride (can't ride with strangers even if the world is ending), any number of reasons.  I would always wonder "so is there a line or something?".  I had heard that God would judge us one by one, that we would each have to stand before Him and answer for our lives, and I just figured the most efficient way was for us to form a single file line.  But what if I was just standing in the wrong line, what if I was instead standing in line to get 666 on my forehead and didn't know it?!  I would get myself all in a tizzy freaking out about the world ending and then I would get upset because I was gonna miss hot dogs and ice cream in Heaven (I remember having this conversation with my Momma).  I really pondered on these things.  I mean, I wanted to get it right, there are no second chances!

Last Summer I had to do this online doctrine study in preparation to STINT with Campus Crusade for Christ, it was just basic 'this is what Christians believe' type stuff.  One of the units was on eschatology.  Campus Crusade for Christ isn't affiliated with any particular denomination, therefore it doesn't attach itself to anything but the Gospel and Bible; everything else they don't really take a stance on.  For the eschatology unit, they shared many different theories on it.  It was very enlightening as I had never read/learned anything so clear and objective about the different theories, terms, and order of events for the return of Jesus and things surrounding it.  Now, admittedly, it was a crash course in the basic, but it was just thorough enough to help me realize this: ultimately, Jesus is coming back for His Bride, His Church, we just don't know how it's all going to go down.

I am now not afraid of being in the wrong line or in the shower when Jesus returns, whether tomorrow (which I highly doubt) or outside my lifetime.  I take great comfort in know that He is returning for His Bride, for me, and I don't care how He goes about doing it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Your best life now

I'm in a very transitory state right now.  Temporary job, temporary residence...it's cool.  There's something very distinct about this age I'm in:  everyone is doing their own thing.

Up until adulthood (we'll say 18 years), everyone's doing the same thing, after 9th grade we go to 10 grade.  Getting one's license, going to the prom, playing school sports, going through puberty.  Really the life and times of school age kids isn't that unpredictable.

But now, now everything's different.  Today I was on Facebook checking out a friend's, from Daytona Beach Summer Project '08, profile and noticed that she had her baby.  It didn't surprise me, but did concern me that the boy appeared to be born unhealthy.  It was another reminder that everything is different now.  I have friends overseas, in Charlotte, in Greensboro, and in all other places.  Some friends are single like me, some friends are still in college, some are in the workforce, some have children, some are married, some are engaged...I mean the list goes on.

I often think "why am I not in that life stage right now?  I'm around the same age."  Then it occures to me that I am where God wants me; right now is where God wants me to be.  And right there is where God has them.  It may not always feel like it's right, but ultimately God has you there/here because it's what's best for you now.  Everytime I think why me or why not me, I remind myself that God has a plan and I am where He has purposed me.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

snob

Do you ever feel yourself becoming/acting like a snob?  Lately I have in regards to the school/county I work for.

Demografically, I am very different from the people in this place, we'll call it Pettyville.  I grew up in the suburbs of the biggest city of North Carolina, I am a minority, I did not go to a Title One school (a school which 50% or more of the students are on the free/reduced lunch program), I never hunted or lived on a farm.  I'm from a whole different type of life.  Well, it'd be an understatement to say that I often feel baffled by the ways of Pettyville.

I'm new in town and am only here for a short time, so it's not like I'm trying to change it, but there are often times that I think "there's a better, more efficient way" or something along the lines of disapproving how something is being done.

The other night I was at he high school band concert, I know most of the kids because I interned there a few years ago and helped with the marching band last Fall.  Sitting there, in the auditorium, I felt indignation rising up in me.  I was aggravated that so many people were talking, messing on their phones (one literally answered his phone during a beautiful quiet part in a piece), walking around, clapping at all the wrong times, and essentially breaking all the rules of concert etiquette.  Two seats down was one of my students, whose brother is a senior in band and whose dad was sitting next to him, who was playing some game on his phone during the first third of the concert.  As the next group was setting up I told him to put his phone away, like in his pocket...why did I have to do that, why didn't his dad say something?  Now I admit that I am a stickler for proper concert etiquette and dress (what the performers wear), but that's because it not only looks and sounds good, but it makes for less of a distraction for the performers.  It's about the performers.  But, in this case, the performers didn't know any better, so it likely bothered me more than anyone else there.

There are plenty of other examples where that come from, but my point isn't to bash Pettyville;  I'm quite grateful that I am employed and that I am learning about so much more than teaching, but how smaller towns run and the mentality behind it.  Although, I know not every small town is like this.

It's my hope that since I've realized my up and coming snobbery, that I will correct my mentality of thinking "I know better than that, why don't they, what is the deal?" and just choose to love and learn.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Good Hair

I just finished watching a documentary by Chris Rock called Good Hair.  It was a sincere look into the world of 'black hair'; it looked into relaxers (sodium hydroxide used to straighten hair) and weave (hair sewn/glued in), primarily, but also talked about other types of hair treatment and sources.  The film was very informative for me as I have never gotten a lot of that stuff figured out, there's a lot of stuff out there.  The documentary's sole purpose wasn't to inform the public of the extents black women go to to have their hair look good, it was more about the thought, heart, behind it.

The term 'good hair' is something I've heard my whole life, it essentially means that the hair looks healthy straightened and is 'easy' to style like a white person's hair. Not "nappy".   Growing up I had 'bad' hair because it wasn't relaxed/straitened.  I wore braids and cornrows (see below) from the time I was 3 until I was 15.  I can't tell you how many times I got picked on because my hair wasn't 'smooth', straight, or 'out'.  I remember begging my mom to leave my hair out, not braid it, because I thought braiding was what made my hair kinky.  To me, my kinky hair is what made me different, ugly, not my skin (although I wasn't a fan of that either).  I used to cry, put t-shirts over my hair to pretend I had straight, 'manageable' hair, ask for a perm (it's really a relaxer, but we call it a perm) so that I wouldn't get picked on by my peers and teachers. Sad right?  When I was 15, at the end of my 9th grade year, I got my first perm.  What you must understand about sodium hydroxide, the chemical used to straighten hair, is that it is seriously harsh.  If left on for too long, it will chemically burn you and can damage your hair follicles forever.  If breathed in it damages one's lungs.  AND PEOPLE PUT THIS ON THEIR SCALP AND HAIR!!!  MADNESS!  But, suddenly after several hours, I had 'good hair'.  That was easy.  At school, people treated me differently, nicer, boys started liking me and approaching me, people noticed me and would actually pay me mind, some people would ask me if I was half white/hispanic.  Overnight, I mattered.  That's damaging to a person, because that told me that I was insignificant before my hair was straightened, that I was ugly.



Chris Rock and his camera crew went to India, the source of the best type of weave, to find out where this hair is coming from.  I was stunned, and saddened.  Some (Hindu) Indian people participate in what is called tonsure.  This is the sacrificing of their hair to appease one or more of their gods.  They have their hair shaved for free (for their god), and it is collected, processed and sold to companies for very high prices for women who don't like their hair enough to use someone else's. Chris Rock and I were a little disgusted, and not just because that kind of hair kinda gives me the heeby jeebies.  When interviewing men and women on weave, he asked how it felt under there.  There were some men who had never touched their womens' hair because of the weave.  Rock said it felt like 'surgery' under there.  There were some who were flat broke because weave is expensive, we're talking $1000+ to have it put in not to mention maintenance.  That's dumb, there I said it.  Rock interviewed one 19 year old man who admitted that he's looked at black girls' hair (with weave) and thought 'I can't be with her because she's too good (expensive) for me'.  Women wouldn't let their lovers touch their hair and certainly not their scalp.  Chris Rock asked if that impeded intimacy, they said they found ways around it.  Now, I don't have weave (and I never will), so I can honestly say someone has run their fingers through my hair and massaged my scalp (pure magic) and I wouldn't give that up for fake hair.  It feels too good.

I understand that hair, not just on black women but on anyone, gives off a certain impression to everyone.  Like a smile, it's part of the first impression people use to judge others.  That doesn't bother me.  What does bother me is what happens to the psyche when it comes to a person's hair, what happens to the heart.  The extent that black women go through to be 'beautiful', or anyone for that matter, bothers me.  The chemicals, the money, the sacrifices (some literally won't pay their rent and get their hair done instead), the pain (a lot of that stuff hurts and is dangerous), the constant striving to obtain the mold of beauty society has set.  It's painful to see that all that is so heavily manifested in hair.

This isn't me trying to start a rally against hair that isn't o'natural, I personally don't care what you do with your hair, it's none of my business.  I have a perm in my hair and will continue to perm it for however long I want to.  I like my hair straight, it's more manageable to me (I'm no good at hair and hate spending time on it); it's super thick and grows quickly and this is how I can take care of it and style it.  I often envy women who can rock the natural  look, I find them to be brave and beautiful.  I hope to never again have my identity wrapped up in my hair, and I hope this for anyone who does.

Friday, May 6, 2011

God's Impeccable Timing

"His timing is always perfect, though it seldom seems so to me, for my temperament longs for previews of coming attractions."  Elisabeth Elliot in Discipline: The Glad Surrender

In said book, I read the chapter on "The Discipline of Time" right in the midst of being uber broke and living from generosity to generosity.  The above quote perfectly describes me: I always wanna know 'when' and 'if'.  A little before this quote she pointed out that "It is wonderfully stabalizing and quieting to recall some of the ways in which God's timing is seen in the great Bible stories. Events the world would dismiss as mere coincedence turn out to have been syncronized with utmost precision by the Ruler of time."  She procedes to expose instances of perfect timing throughout the Bible, it's no coincedence: that Ruth went to glean in Boaz's (her kinsman-redeemer) field, or that David arrived as Goliath was challenging the troops, or that Philip was transported to a road where an Ethiopian eunich was searching for answers.  As I read these different instances, different times came to mind that could only be explained my His timing.  All the times I've had no money for the next day and food/money/encouragement were provided just when I was turning to hopelessness/desperation, when I had been praying fervently for a change and found out my prayers have been answered just when I felt unheard and neglected.  So many times in my life have I been worried about God's timing, thinking He's getting everything wrong and messing up my well baked plan, but have later learned that His plan is infinitely better baked than mine.  His plan has herbs, spices, and the best ingredients that are perfectly mixed, baked, cooked, and, most importantly, served right at the exact instant necessary. My plans are burnt, moldy toast compared to His.  Learning to trust in His timing is a challenge for me, I grow frustrated and can become listless in protest of His timing, but I want to be better at being patient with Him.  I mean, I screw up on a pretty frequent basis and He is still slow to anger.

When I was all panicky about money and such, He constantly reminded me of all the times He's provided well for me and others around me.  Then I would think, "I know, but when?"  So silly of me.  It's a waste of my time to worry knowing that He has and will always provide for every need I have...and I know that as I'm worrying.  So so silly.  I'm glad His love is unconditional, because my attitude isn't.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

places that make me wanna cry: airports

For some odd reason, on my way to work this morning, I was thinking about how airports make me feel.  They make me wanna cry and panic.  I think it's a sensory overload, so many: signs, people, smells, sounds, lines, entrances/exits, escalators, those moving sidewalk things, you name it.  And I don't like going through security, because I'm always nervous that: a bottle will be too big, or my bra underwire will set off an alarm, or they'll just randomly decide to physically search my person (which feels like a complete violation), or they'll open up a bag and all my underwear will fall out, or they'll make me unpack everything in front of everyone.  Since every airport is different, I'm always scared that I'm at the wrong gate, or that I miss my flight because of some amend to flight plans that I didn't know about (that's happened).  Since the terrorist attacks, they've upped the anty for security which makes everyone feel like there's a terrorist in every corner waiting to steal or frame their luggage if they just look the other way, so that makes me nervous (not the terrorist part, just the luggage part).  Then I'm always nervous that I'll loose something necessary to board the plane like my boarding pass or id (that's happened).  The whole experience is unnerving.  If ever you're in an airport with me, please hold my hand and forgive any upsetting word or deed from me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bones

There's a show I enjoy called Bones; it's about a forensic anthropoligist, her FBI partner, and her team of various scientist that solve murders.  She looks at the bones of a victim and can deduce what they did with their lives (dancer, farmer, athlete in younger years, etc), what was their cause of death, and who killed them (weight and height of a person).  There are several reasons that I enjoy this show, one of them being that it's based off of a real forensic anthropoligist that solves murders in this manner.  When she says what the person did with their lives, is one of my favorite parts of the show.

It always gets me thinking:  what would my bones say about me?  Would they say that I was a musician, non-athletic with an athletic build, stood a lot, vegetarian, mostly wore flat shoes, conducted a lot?  What would my bones say about me?  On the show, she comes to these concluscions of what this person did, but she can never deduce who this person was.  Did they have a lot of friends, what did they value, what were their dreams?  In pursuit of the victim's killer, they come in contact with people who knew the victim, they learn about the person, not just what they physically did.  It's through these physical markers on the bones and the interactions with the victim's people that they solve the murder.  Fascinating!

When I die, I don't want just my bones to do the speaking as to who I was, I want people to be able to say that I was someone worth knowing.  I wanna matter.

Monday, May 2, 2011

In regards to Osama bin Laden's death

Last night President Obama spoke to the USA telling, I guess, of bin Laden's death.  I didn't watch/listen, I was in bed, but I did hear the reporters share that info beforehand.  I, surprisingly, don't know how I feel about his death.  There are some that're rejoicing, there are some that feel justified, and there are my students who are taking their cues from the adults and others around them.  This morning, some of my students asked me how I felt about his death, I didn't answer.  I had/have no answer.  I've never felt threatened by him and just under ten years ago, I still didn't feel threatened by his orchestrated attack on the World Trade Center.

Initially, when I heard the news I felt shocked, in the same way I feel when anyone dies unexpectantly.  Then I felt disbelief, 'how do we know this isn't a fraud?'  Then I wondered what that would look like for those more directly effected by his life.  Then I asked myself, 'how do you feel about this?'  I don't know.

I can certainly understand why people are happy, I mean he was a terrible man; but all I keep thinking is that we're all that terrible, that evil.  Sure, we're not all terrorists, but we're all sinners.  In the eye's of God, sin is sin, whether terrorizing nations or lying about eating the last cookie.  The only difference between me and bin Laden is that I have been forgiven and redeemed.  To me, that's sobering.

I don't think I'm happy that he's been killed, but I'm not supposed to be.  This morning, on my way to work, I was listening to the radio.  The station I was listening to pointed out two verses, one in Psalms and the other in Ecclesiastes, both saying that we're not to rejoice when our enemies die.  I'd say bin Laden was an enemy, not just to the US, but to many other nations.  Yes, it's super that he's no longer a threat to anyone, but (and maybe I'm crazy) he's in hell right now, and that's not a pleasant place.  Just imagine what he could have done for the actual Living God; someone with that much intelligence, ambition, and influence could accomplish great things for the Lord.  But, instead, he terrorized people.

Honestly, I have no conclusion.  And I haven't arrived at a decision on how I feel about all this.  All these thoughts keep running through my head.  I feel numb.  I'll continue living my life the same way I have been.  But to those who felt unsafe, endangered, by his time here on earth, I'm glad you can finally rest.