Wednesday, May 26

Fads or Phases?

As many of you know, I am deeply moved by the suffering of women caught in human trafficking or living in societies that marginalize women. We are beginning to see a lot on news casts, from non-profits, and religious organizations with these themes. CNN Video and article Iranian women in jeopardy

I am moved to the point of it impacting my life and what I strive to do, but I remember other times when the church or society has gotten behind things and then, well, lost interest. It's not that the issue goes away or is miraculously cured, but I wonder if it is that we wear out our collective consciousness on a certain theme or subject. Am I wrong? Can you see this?

In the 1980s, as a teenager the issue was abortion. Obviously a painful topic for those who have experienced and a sensitive one for those against it. There were conferences and marches and legislation limiting who could get what, where, and where the protesters could stand and so on.

AIDS also arose a bit later in the 80s and through the 90s we heard much about it. Movie stars took up the cause and did fund raisers and raised awareness. Africa has suffered hugely under this burdensome disease. Still no cure, medications to help things, but are we still deeply embedded with the message?

I am not saying, please don't get me wrong, that these example issues are not still important they are. But that's my point, we don't shout as loud as we once did. I'm already concerned about the day we move on from the victims of trafficking. Not that they will all be freed but our consciousness will be called away.

Am I imagining these "fads" of interest or is this real?

Wednesday, May 12

Ring of Fire

A couple weeks ago, I got to witness the spectacular prairie fires of the Flint Hills. During the day, these were marked by giant plumes of smoke billowing in the distance and then as we drew nearer we would see pockets of fire gnawing it's way across cattle country in thin lines. But then we saw them at night. Incredible - one of the new wonders of the world in my opinion. I'm so glad we saw them.

It was other worldly and surreal. Rings of orange fire burning on a totally black background and gray smoke differentiating the sky. The fire burns in small lines and uses up the dried winter wisps of prairie grass. It isn't a raging fire but pockets, lines, and rings. When it meets a damp spot or a gulley, it just dies out.

Prairie Fire 1

We read at the truck stop that the fires are set and also occur naturally as lightening strikes with the spring storms. Also the Native American's used to set the fires to have better grazing lands that would attract buffalo herds.

It also said that the fires are good for the vegatation. Apparently a variety of grasses and wildflowers are rooted 10-15 feet deep in the rolling hills and without the fires, the full scope of vegatation won't happen. A couple weeks later driving through the same section, it was already getting green and the parts that had not burned were still a tangle of brown winter grass.

I was thinking how as people it is so hard to change. We don't want the challenges and the suffering that life brings. I was thinking about the economic fire that is burning in the world today. What if we need the surface scorched off in a brief prairie fire in order to let the good, deeper things emerge? Will we know what is important and what our priorities are because we've had to go through this economic fire? God can use the scorched earth of these hard times to bring out the better and deeper things in us. Something beautiful, full, rich and green. If only I can see past the fire, to the wildflowers and bounty beyond.