Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Give A Man A Fish: True Welfare Reform

Excuse me for a moment while I deter from my normal programming to step up on my soapbox.

As I've spent the summer outside sweating, along with my husband, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and toddler, weeding, watering, and picking the garden so that we can have fresh food on our table and canned goods to supplement us this winter, a thought occurred to me.  Why, when our country is in such a monetary detriment, are we handing out money to able-bodied people?  I'm not talking about the poor in health or physically disabled, but the people with strong back and workable hands?

Instead of enabling the weak of mind and motivationally challenged, how about giving them a community garden? Create a space, perhaps a rooftop garden, renovated vacant lot or people's own back yards, and teach them to garden. Provide them with seeds and instructions and mandate a certain amount of time that each person must work. Then give them canners and cans and have them store up for the winter.  Sort of a don't work/don't eat policy. I figure if its good enough for my family....



Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One Chance to Say Goodbye

Imagine this: you are sitting all alone in the doctor's office. You've just been told that you have a fatal condition and mere moments to live. The doctor hands you a pad of paper and a pen and tells you that he'll deliver a letter for you.

Who would you write to? Your spouse, kids, parent or best friend? What would you say? Would you tell them how much you love them or remind them to always clean behind their ears and wear clean underwear? I pondered on this for a while and decided my letter would probably go something like this:

Dear Chuck,

How do you start a letter like this? There are so many things to say. The most important is for you to always remember how much I love you. I know our separation will be most impossible to bear, but believe it or not each day will get better. You are my best friend, my lover, my gift from God and you and Hila are the hardest things to walk away from.

Tell Hila everyday how much mommy loves her, but don't idolize me. Tell her all my 2% times so she understands that I was far from perfect, except in how much I loved her. Hug her tight on her first day school, tell her how beautiful she looks and smart she is. When she gets her heart broke that first time, hold her tight and let her cry all the while whispering how much you love her. When she becomes a woman DON'T have that conversation with her, neither of y'all really want to go there...take her to Aunt Carla or Aunt Lisa.

At the moments when ya'lls hearts seems unbearable, go outside to a clear night sky and gaze up at the big dipper. Know that it is filled with my love and pours out each night over you both.

You are an amazing man, full of strength and courage and wit. I love you.

Does that sound something like what you would say? It seems crazy to do anything with those last moments but to devote them to letting others know how you feel...until you read 2 Timothy.

When Paul wrote 2 Timothy he was imprisoned in Rome.  He knew he was going to die, but wasn't quite sure when the deed would be done. He writes a letter to Timothy (a letter that turns out to be the last one ever found) beginning it with a plea for Timothy to come to him and and filling the letter with last bits of christian instruction and wisdom.

When I really began to think of this I became quite convicted. How many of my "living" moments do I spend trying to further Christ's kingdom? Paul dedicated even his last moments to Christ, moments where any other person (or at least me) would spend tieing up loose ends and begging for their life. If Paul can go so bravely towards a death for Christ, surely I can do my best to live for Him.