Readers – there’s too much to share to keep silent this week. A heat wave in Boston has kept us indoors with ice, fans, and the occasional air conditioning. So there is time to read.
On Joy: This piece by Rachel Pieh Jones at She Loves Magazine will make you laugh and cry. I read while at a cubicle at work and my cubicle neighbors wondered what was going on. I then read it aloud at home and we all laughed and teared up. Here is a taste of this lovely ‘must read’ article:
“Who wants to pray?” Grandpa Pieh said.
“I will,” Lucy said. She kept her eyes open and took a deep breath. “Thank you, God, for Christmas. Thank you for my family and for this food. Thank you for Jesus. And now,” she sighed long and deep, “now, I will play a song for Jesus on my new harmonica.”
Her face was solemn, her eyes heavy. She ducked her head and slid the harmonica from her pocket. She cupped it, tenderly, with reverence. She inhaled and blew slow puffs. She swayed her head back and forth in time with the soulful notes. She put her shoulders and elbows into the music and I squeezed my eyes shut tight to keep from laughing or from springing tears.
Lucy stopped, looked around the table at each of us in turn. “Amen,” she whispered and slipped the harmonica back into the pocket of her blue jeans. ~ From God, Giver of Harmonicas in SheLoves Magazine
On vaccinations and drones: In 2011 the CIA ran a covert operation in Abbotabad, Pakistan disguised as a vaccination program. The long-term results have been disastrous for those who care about public health in Pakistan and set up vaccination programs. In particular the concern is polio and the 8th reported polio case this month because people are not getting vaccinated. The Taliban targets vaccination programs brutally and ruthlessly as foreign intervention designed to hurt Pakistanis, not help them. While I do not agree with everything in this article I believe it is an important piece, not least because I care about both Pakistan and public health. To date over 30 vaccination workers have been killed by the Taliban. You can read the article “Prescription Strike” here. And stay tuned for a blog post on this next week. An excerpt from the article:
“At a recent conference on “Polio eradication in the light of Islam” hosted by the International Islamic University, Islamabad, and designed to dispel anxiety over the vaccine, scholar Samiul Haq told the crowd, “People of Pakistan, especially in the KP [Khyber Pakhtunkhwa] and tribal areas, assume that there must be some hidden interest of the West in the polio campaign because it is killing us through the drones and … giving us the vaccine on the pretext of eradicating polio.” ~ From Prescription Strike in The New Inquiry
On Faith: A few weeks ago I read an article in New York Magazine called “Saved” about Mariano Rivera. For 17 years he has been the Yankees ‘closer’. I’m not an athlete but I found out that means he is “the specialist who arrives in the ninth inning to protect a tight lead”. Evidently Rivera is top of his game, better than any one who’s ever played the game. But he’s so much more. His real love? God and his faith. Read “Saved” and be encouraged and challenged to love God with heart, soul, mind, and talent.
Favorite quote from the article: “Sportswriters often discount athletes’ religiosity as a sideshow…but the full story of Rivera’s career is unmistakably a story about faith. On the mound, Rivera is implacable, a warrior with the Buddha’s face. But talking about faith with Rivera is like opening a bottle; years of feeling come out. He speaks less like a theologian than like an enthusiastic believer, channeling all his considerable charisma, curiosity, and preternatural seriousness into the conveyance of passion. His is not a questioning faith but a conviction, invulnerable to attacks from skeptics and doubters, and so his answers to existentially vexing questions can sound to some uncomfortably neat. But Rivera isn’t worried about rationalist complaints because it is in certitude that he finds his strength.”
On Racism: I had to stop myself from reading things about the Martin/Zimmerman case this week. There were way too many words uttered from far too many sources. Instead I did some soul-searching and thought about how I contribute to our fallen world – it wasn’t a pretty picture. I would recommend this article by a woman who identifies as African-American. You may not agree with all of it but it will get you reaching deep into your own heart and soul. Here is a quote to bring you into the article Meet the Racists – you won’t be disappointed!
“We are not post-racist. We will never be post-racist until every last one of us mugs is in heaven. That is when all of us can kick up our holy feet on a giant global ottoman and rejoice that white and black Americans have finally reconciled. But until then, I wouldn’t mind us ALL setting down our grandiose ideas that white Americans and black Americans are going to cease from racism.
I personally know of many blacks who hate whites, many whites who demean blacks, many Arabs who are repulsed by blacks, many blacks who want to kill Arabs, many Latinos who take issue with Asians, and on and on and on. That’s just my Michigan peeps! Of course, I need not go on when we expand it out globally. The Hutu’s & the Tutsi’s still got beef. There wouldn’t be wars in the Middle East if the Jews and Arabs were bosom buddies.
I hope we can all admit, (please God?!) the entire globe is a big ball of racist mugs. Pretty much, we hate each other.”~ From Meet the Racists in A Deeper Story
On my Bedside Stand: Let me tell you about my book! I am reading an epic journey called Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernières. The setting is a small village in Anatolia at the end of the Ottoman empire and the characters are now my best friends. It is 700 pages of an excellent read. The perfect summer book. So if you want to have more best friends I urge you to pick up this book!
On the blog: We delved into anniversaries, roots, injustice, confessions, and my favorite – An Open Letter to a Young TCK.
Thanks for reading!
- Khyber records eighth polio case this year (dawn.com)
2 thoughts on “Wrapping up the Week – 7.20.13”
what a delight Lucy’s story was to read. I love the allegory for us to take away too.
For once I have looked at all your links! And such great reading in all of them. But I love Rachel Pieh Jones’s story about Lucy and the harmonica. And it’s so true, so often I ask, but don’t really expect God to answer. When He does, I’m not sure what to do with it! Oh, the wonder of the faith of a child. Thank you so much