Saturday, January 5

Restoring My Faith in Humanity

Recently while trolling through Facebook I saw a link that a friend had posted - and since I was feeling a little blue, it looked like something worth clicking on: 26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year. Five minutes later I was sniffling and felt a whole lot better about the world. I thought I'd share a couple of the 26 Moments and then maybe add a couple of my own.

I think many of you already saw this one: Police Officer bought shoes for homeless man. A visitor to the city snapped a picture of a scene that probably happens more often than we know...a person seeing another human being without a basic necessity, in this case shoes, and filling that need without any expectation of reward. It reminded me of something from my teenage years. My family occasionally visited Washington DC, to see relatives and tour the city. It was pretty common to see homeless people on the street. I often stopped to give someone a dollar or some loose change. My sisters thought me a pretty easy touch and sometimes would cynically point out that they would probably just use the money for alcohol or drugs. (They are much less cynical now.) Karen would say to look at the person's shoes...if they had nice shoes then they didn't really need the money. I always figured that I would leave their use of my money between them and God. He could tell who was really in need. And I have never regretted that philosophy. (And I think I have rubbed off on my sisters - I have seen both of them open their wallets to a person in need.)

Texas A & M students blocked Westboro Baptist Church protesters by forming a human wall. Yeah. This one really teared me up. I live in a college town and see a lot of students. Some of the students that I come in contact with (not all) are MTV Real World wannabees. They party all night, skip classes, drink a lot and their Facebook statuses are usually about getting wasted. So, sometimes when I think of college students, the initial image is not favorable. Seeing this image of a human wall of students between a grieving family and a hateful protest reminds me to be careful about generalizations.

Which brings me to the next image: Brave kid stands up to hate.

Nothing makes me sadder than watching people who profess to be Christian act in un-Christian ways. It frustrates me when it happens in my church (yep, it happens in churches...don't be shocked, churches are full of human beings...but it is okay to be disappointed and try to keep it from happening) and it astounds me that an entire faith community could dedicate itself to professing hate as a Christian value. I think that the leadership and congregation of Westboro Baptist Church has lost their way. God hates no one. The kid is on the right path.

And the last I will share from the list of 26 is this: Girl who loves her dog unconditionally. This was posted by a vet who had to amputate a dog's leg after it was hit by a car. I know an awesome three-legged dog who lives near the Riva Howse. His name is Spud but we call him Tripod. When that dog's owner rides off on his motorcycle Spud runs after the bike all the way from Red & Dot's to the Riva Howse (about 2/10 mile). That dog is FAST! And then he ambles back to lounge on the porch of the store until his Dad comes back. You never met a nicer dog. He doesn't care how many legs he has...he enjoys the sun on his fur, a pat on the head, a good bone to gnaw on and the companionship of his family. Would that we all could be so content with what we have - and learn to ignore what we lack.

A few thoughts about what lifts my soul when I'm feeling down:
- The smile of any of my nephews or niece...and especially the joyous sound of someone calling excitedly "Aunt Chris"...yep, you can't stay blue then.
- Spicy Scallop Roll at King's Island. It is not spicy...and doesn't resemble the part of the scallop that you usually eat...but I can't be sad when I'm eating one. I often give the last piece a little kiss and tell it how much I love it.
- Relaxing by the fire
- Getting a hug from my favorite person in the whole world. If you think I'm talking about you - you're right!
- Dozing off in the river. Yep, IN the river. Since I am blessed with being a floater (some people sink right to the bottom) then I can swim up river a little ways and then just lay back and float and nap. It is better than any mattress or waterbed that money can buy. But it is too cold for that right now.
- Singing
- Laughing
- Reading
- Writing

Life is good. I am going to try to remember that more often this year.

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