Tag: Christian


Dorienne vs. the devil

August 22nd, 2011 — 1:36am

Re-posted from my WordPress.com blog:

Every Sunday for the past three or four years, I’ve had a personal ritual that took me close to a year to recognize. Each Sunday following church, I require a three to five-hour nap. The nap by itself is nothing remarkable as many people take naps on weekends because the time is available, but I am not a nap person. The only time I end up sleeping during the day is when I’ve gone the last 28 hours without sleep and I have to go to sleep; I don’t nap. Every Sunday, however, I require a nap following church.

This Sunday nap only occurs on Sundays when I go to church. After going the entire month of July without setting foot in my church, I’ve tested this empirically and came to a conclusion I suspected long ago, but never had the opportunity to truly examine.

What’s fascinating is that I’m not doing anything that would require sleep on a Sunday afternoon. I usually get a full-night’s sleep Saturday evenings, the drive to the church doesn’t take any longer than the drive to first-job , I don’t wake any earlier than I do during the week and most weeks I don’t do much more than clap a little, sing with the choir a bit and take notes from the sermon. Logically, there’s no need for this Sunday nap, but when I sit down and really consider what is happening to me each Sunday morning, it makes perfect sense.

My current schedule with first-job makes it virtually impossible to visit my church throughout the week, so the only time when I have an opportunity to enter God’s house with the specific purpose of praise is Sunday morning. Every Sunday, however, I run into a gamut of emotions and “whisperings” in my ear that would prevent me from attending church.

First comes sheer laziness, as my bed is never as warm and comfortable as it is when I have to leave it to go to church in the morning. Adding onto that laziness comes procrastination which comes in the form of everything from checking all my e-mail accounts to perusing every single Facebook update from the past sixteen hours, even those I’d read the previous day, and on occasion even finding my way to StumbleUpon or Twitter to really waste the morning.

On Sundays when I make it to church, I must actually battle through all the negative, lazy thoughts and the onslaught of procrastination thrown in my direction just to get myself to the shower. Even after that, I’ve got the slow haul of getting dressed and putting on my makeup and, in that time, all these thoughts of “Wow, you’re already going to be late. You probably should just give up for now.” flow through my head. Some weeks, I give in to this line of thinking and don’t get to church, but when I pray about it the previous night and I set my mind to it, I can usually push through all of this and can get out the door.

Once out the door, a hunger, that I never usually meet so early in the morning, can often set in and all these desires to make pit stops along the way to church come to mind. Perhaps a stop at McDonald’s first? Maybe I’ll just stop at the Walgreen’s real quick to get something? Still, if I focus on the task at hand, I can get to the highway and finally get to the neighborhood where my church is.

My church’s neighborhood is not in the best of places, but that is where God put me and despite my best efforts to go elsewhere…that is where He put me. That said, when I come close to that neighborhood, thoughts of safety sometimes spark. “It’s really not safe for me to be out here” is most common, but even within three minutes of the church I can still get thoughts of all the million other things I’ve got to do that day and given that I’m already late…well, perhaps I can just get there next week when I’ll be on time?

After I push through all of this, I get to the church parking lot and on most days, I’m usually fine once I can see the finish line, but even there, I can still be tempted. Some weeks, I’m almost an hour late for service and the desire to not appear to be one of “those” Christians is deep and on one disastrous occasion, even caused me to just drive home, even though I was already there! With that memory in the back of my mind, thoughts of “You’ve done it before” and “You can always go next week” continually filter into my mind. God is good though and it is rare that I’ll turn away once I get within thirty seconds of the church doors, but still…it takes quite a bit of effort just to get out of the car.

Phew…

All I do on a Sunday morning is get up, get dressed and go to church, but the act of doing all of this is a battle. It’s a weekly battle that gets no easier as time continues; in fact, it gets more difficult the longer I try to walk in line with Christ and, after a morning of stepping around the mental boxing ring with the devil, by Sunday afternoon, I’m completely exhausted and I just need a nap.

I wrote 714 words today (window popped on the screen from “himebrit”) and, while I had to battle to write them, that fight is nothing compared to the one I’ll face next when it’s time to go to church again.

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The Potter’s House

March 20th, 2011 — 11:57pm

I wasn’t actually listening to the song tonight as I wrote but I thought the title fitting for this post. I’ve always adored the song because the lyrics just help me see that there’s always “someone” to help me in dire matters:

Verse 1:
In case you have fallen by the wayside of life;
dreams and visions shattered, You’re all broken inside.
You don’t have to stay in the shape that you’re in;
the potter wants to put you back together again,
oh, the potter wants to put you back together again.

Verse 2:
In case your situation has turned upside down,
and all that you’ve accomplished, is now on the ground.
You don’t have to stay in the shape that you’re in;
the potter wants to put you back together again,
oh, the potter wants to put you back together again.

Chorus:
You who are broken, stop by the potter’s house.
You who need mending, stop by the potter’s house;
give Him the fragments of your broken life,
my friend, the potter wants to put you back together again,
oh, the potter wants to put you back together again

Vamp:
Joy in the potter’s house.
Peace in the potter’s house.
Love in the potter’s house.
There is salvation in the potter’s house.
There is healing in the potter’s house.
There is deliverance in the potter’s house.
You’ll find everything you need in the potter’s house.

Ending:
The potter wants to put you back together again,
oh, the potter wants to put you back together again.

I went to church today and even got there a little earlier than I have in the past and I realized that when I’m struggling and depressed, for some reason the last thing I ever think of is turning to prayer to help “put me back together again.” I have my little prayers throughout the day or if I’m ever contemplating that one day, I’m going to die and transform into another state of energy and existence, but when I’m in most need of real, focused prayer, my mind is on everything else. I can never sit down and really think things through and have a full “conversation” with God to guide me through the frustration.

However, this is really just a personality flaw in that I hate asking for help…from anyone and this is the reason why it is important that I always attend church and make Sundays a day of rest. It’s only by going to “the potter’s house” that I feel complete again and can see everyone of my struggles and troubles in the proper light. I’m not sensible enough to pray the way I need to when I need to, so I need to go somewhere specific to forcibly give my thoughts the clarity needed to make strong decisions and still remain a child of God.

My struggles with first-job: totally insignificant. My priorities true priorities have not changed since before my career began to make these upward strides and I know I can’t allow first-job to deter me from them. I need to get back into the Word and read like I want to learn again and I need to shift my focus on being the writer I want to be. I’ve got too many distractions swimming around me and as hard as it is to say it, I’ve got too many “worldly” people in who I turn to instead of turning to prayer.

I wrote 305 words today (last words:then it’s one less thing you have to worry about) and every one of them was made only by the grace of God. I need to remember this every time I write and I need to renew my focus on not just getting through this era of my life as I march onward to my life goals, but to march onward as a Christian. So, I’m going to take the fragments of my broken life and hand them to the Potter because only He can put me back together again and make me Dorienne I’m meant to be.

1 comment » | Jesus, On Me, Writing

In vain

February 28th, 2011 — 2:29am

Pasted from my wordpress.com (since I’m not talented enough to create for two blogs right now):

One of the more fascinating things about writing a novel is crafting the personalities and voices of the many characters that appear on the page. What I find simultaneously enjoyable and frustrating is the physical act of creating dialogue that I could never even imagine myself saying.

In Damen, this comes about most often while writing Corey. Corey is crass, blunt and curses like the proverbial sailor, yet when I write dialogue, I often need to whisper the words back to myself to make sure they make sense, and when a character is so unlike myself that it’s rather sickening, I feel dirty even writing what he would say. That is to say, I used to feel dirty when writing Corey’s dialogue. I’ve now grown accustomed to it and can easily separate my own voice from Corey’s. Damen, however, is far different.

To make him a character all on his own, I gave him “life” by giving him small pieces of my own personality. Since Damen is not an autobiography, however, he is a completely different person with a voice and history all his own. I go to church often (not as often as I could and should, but we’re all Christ’s works-in-progress) and I try to thank God for all His gifts every day of my life. Damen, on the other hand, rests somewhere on the line between agnostic and plain atheist. So much has happened in his life that make him doubt that a creator could have any hand in the machinations of his world and the fact that he has had none of the religious reinforcement that many others his age would experience, has tainted him even further against God and all religion. And so, he when he swears (and when he’s still reeling in Corey’s influence, it’s very often), Damen will often use the Lord’s name in vain.

My mind and heart make great conflict over this. The mind says that words on a page are simply that and as long as I don’t go around screaming “Godd***t!” all the time, I remain clean. On the other hand, the heart that helped me walk out into the church aisle years ago, crying as I went to the altar to join the church, knows that it is wrong to use the Lord’s name in vain in any context. If I’m writing it, I’m saying it, even if I do skip over those words and phrases as I whisper dialogue back to myself and thus the battle continues.

This reminds of when my 16 century Brit-Lit class was studying “Faustus” and the effect of being an actor in the play during a time when folks were far more religious than they are now. The actor playing the titular character would have to call upon the devil to make Mephistophilis appear and whether one is acting or not, there is still that innate worry of “calling upon the devil.” While I have stopped blatantly swearing and using God’s name in vain years ago, the mere acting of writing such dialogue is difficult to the point that I go through four or five waves of typing and backspacing as I decide whether or not to have Damen think “Jesus Christ!” in a moment where he is clearly not praying. Even typing that last sentence used to get across my point gave me pause.

I can’t say that I’m completely indoctrinated as I have only come to the church in the last five years and had written off myself as an agnostic prior to that, but I must say, each time I’ve got a choice between staying true to my character and saying what I know to be wrong to say, I struggle…a lot.

I wrote 626 words tonight (his first extracurricular conversation about a novel since his father had passed) and when a moment called for Damen using God’s name in vain, somehow my heart took control and I’m glad I found a better way to say I wanted. That said, I’ve still a lot of Damen’s character to unleash and eventually, I’ll be pressed with the same battle again.

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Why is there suffering?

October 29th, 2010 — 1:54pm

Everyday I get up and read about some new catastrophe that has befallen the world. Cholera, tsunamis, murder, rape, war…It gets to the point where I become apathetic about it. With all the evil that exists in this world, people (mostly Christians) get asked where God is amongst all this tragedy. A question long asked of me by agnostics and atheists is, if God is loving, merciful and just, why is there so much pain and suffering in the world?

I return this with a separate question: Where in the bible do you read that this world would not have suffering or pain?

God is merciful and loving, but He is also just.

This world is full of evil things and sinful people; as people are on the whole evil (think of what you would do if you knew you would never get caught and never had to deal with any comeuppance).

Since this world is evil and sinful, there will be pestilence and pain, suffering, heartache, rain. The strong will prey upon the weak and the rich ignore the poor. The unsaved will gallivant around in Porsche’s and limousines while the saved watch their children die because they cannot afford the health care needed to give them a simple shot. That is the nature of this world because this world is filled with sin.

So, if one were to look only about this Earth and try to find God’s goodness and greatness and mercy, one would be sorely displeased. That is not to say there is not grace and beauty in this world, but it is often overshadowed by the dark, dark sin.

God’s mercy and love, does not come from Earthly goods and desires. You are thinking and speaking of a being that exists outside the confines of space, time, matter and energy. How can you equate all of His wonder to that which you can see and touch? God’s mercy and love comes from the fact that, though we are sinful and evil creatures amongst whom even the holiest of holy are conceived in sin and bear the sins of Adam, God still loves us enough to allow us to come home into his heaven.

He loves us enough to allow His Son to bear the penalty of our sins (which is death), and allow us to be at peace. What we deserve is eternal damnation, but we have the opportunity to receive life everlasting.

He is merciful enough to leave us with a Comforter on this Earth. As we walk about and live in this sinful world, the catastrophes and the discord can leave us weak and weary and unwilling to go forward, but…

God leaves us with the Comforter, who gives us strength and keeps us calm throughout the stormy sins of ourselves and our brethren.

God is just. The sinful can and will flourish on this Earth, but everyone dies and at death begins the judgment. “For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

God is!

God is loving, merciful and just in more ways than we deserve…He simply is.

This is not to say that when you see catastrophe in the world that you should turn a blind eye and say everything will be sorted in the next life. Good people should still seek to do all the good they can do in the world. My point is that God’s existence should not be questioned simply because bad things happen in this world.

When you look at the blessings of the beautiful things that thrive despite the evil of this world: children laughing, dawn, births and weddings, smiles and hugs and love, you can find it fascinating that anyone could doubt that God not only exists, but that He touches each of our lives, regardless if we heed His word.

Fun reading: http://www.old-wizard.com/ten-dumb-things-people-say-about-religion

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I feel blessed

July 28th, 2010 — 10:14pm

I got promoted again today…that’s not why I feel blessed though.

Nine months ago, I found myself wallowing in a depression, the likes of which I had not experienced since before I was saved. In the passing weeks and months, He has blessed me time and time again, but…

I always found myself thinking back to that dark point in my life when I thought nothing would ever go right again and I thought I would simply sink lower and lower until the darkness consumed me. I often wondered why I had to go through all of that, why it had to be me, why I had to be brought so low before I was able to feel so high and, until recently, I had passed it off with the easy reason of knowing that one has to go down before going up, even though I never fully understood it. Today, however, it occurred to me why I had to go through my trial and why I will continue to go through trials as I travel through life.

To go through something is always worth telling or sympathizing, but to go through something, only to come out on top afterward is a testimony and this is what He wants. Not just someone to say, I’ve lived through X and survived, but a true light to the world who can I say I lived through X and triumphed!

Today, I was able to testify to someone, albeit in a more secular fashion than I would have preferred, and it was not until afterward that it occurred to me why I was made to suffer. Without my suffering, my doubt, my pain, I would have had nothing to tell this someone who so clearly was searching for guidance. With no hardship of my own, my advice would have been a lecture, not a testimony.

At nearly 26 years old, I have had a blessed life. I can’t remember ever going hungry a day in my life and, even though my mother tells me we were poor when I was a small child, I never once felt it. As yet, I have yet to miss a rent payment, even though I had gone four months without a job and, while my debt to income ratio is not where I would like it to be, I at least know it exists and can still make plans for the future without worrying about a seven-year black mark on name. I am an American who was raised during the 90s, who never saw life on welfare or drugs in my home or wanton acts by parental figures in my presence; I’ve lived a charmed life.

When I became saved, the first thing I wanted to do was bring someone else to Christ, anyone! But, few willing participants could be found. I won’t go so far as to say that I saved anyone today, but I love simply realizing why Jesus pushes us through trials and uncertainty: so that we can be lights to others wandering in the darkness.

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A three-year accomplishment

May 14th, 2009 — 10:27am

Today marks three years since I joined my church!

I sometimes mention this to some people and they either don’t care or just don’t find it terribly significant. For me, however, May 14th is like a birthday.

Three years ago, on a Mother’s Day Sunday, I decided to come to church with my mother because it seemed like the right thing to do; a gift, of sorts, for Mother’s Day. I had already been coming semi-regularly (because Christ always changes you before you realize it) and each Sunday I faced this inner battle when the pastor was inviting us to join the church. Part of it was my stubbornness saying, “No one is going to tell ME what to do.” Yet, another part, sounding far meeker and calmer, simply asked, “Why not?” It would feel like a burn in my stomach each time and the previous Sunday, it seemed like I had to grab hold of one of the chairs to keep from stepping out into the aisle and giving my life to Christ.

On May 14th, 2006, I didn’t have a response to the “Why not?” and so, I stepped out in the aisle and made my way to the front of the church, ready for a change in my life. I remember quite clearly Pastor saying, “I’ve been waiting for you, my sister.” as I approached and, as I sat down in the front row, I tried so hard not to cry. It wasn’t until I really “let go” that the tears started to come, not unlike they are now as I recall this event and, when I looked back into the congregation and saw my mother nearly sobbing over the fact that I had joined the church on my own free will, I really started to cry.

I can’t say that I changed from all my “evil” ways right there and then, but something was different in me from that day forward. Just reading back through the past entries of this blog can show anyone the difference in the person I was before and after May 14, 2006. Before I had joined the church, my friends and I would laugh at how ignorant all religious people were and how silly they all were to give 10% of their money to their churches and spend half their Sundays listening to “some sermon” every week. Before I had joined the church, Sundays were best spent lounging around, doing nothing and recovering from whatever I had poured down my throat the previous night. Before I had joined my church, Lincoln Park, the last time I had actively pursued a church, I left at the end of their service saying, “I don’t think I’m a Christian anymore.” Before I had joined the church, I was a floundering mess with no direction, no drive and, as sanctimonious and almost trite as it might sound, no future.

Like I said, the total change in myself didn’t come overnight. I still slipped up, but I was very aware of my slip-ups and desired to do more with my life instead. What stands out most to me, however, is what happened not even a full week after I had joined. My roommates were throwing a party that upcoming Saturday and, as I had an exam, for which I had not even cracked open a book, I told them that I would just go home to my parents’ house that Saturday so I could study and then get up for church the next morning. I remember quite clearly one of my friends looking at me quizzically and saying, “Well…you can miss one Sunday, can’t you?” Now, the friend who said this to me is not “evil” or someone who was trying to cause my downfall in any way, shape or form. In fact, we are still, in some sense, friends today, but the question she posed seemed simple and obvious. And, I had actually thought about it for a minute and let the words swirl in my head as I struggled with an answer. You can miss once. It’s just once.

The problem was it would not have been “just once.” Just once would have signified that the commitment I desired to make on May 14th meant nothing, that joining the church was no different than saying that I was going to go to the gym every day or put in three hours of studying every night or write more or call my relatives or try to reach out to old friends…when I never did. “Just once” was not just once. It was everything my life had been up to that point and I knew that if I was going to make a commitment to Christ, I did not want to face this particular “just once” on my judgment day. So, I told my friend that I really had to study (which I didn’t really do when I got home) and I didn’t want to be a downer for their party. They had their party and I went to church that Sunday and have felt like I was at least walking towards the path God had lain out for me ever since.

In many ways, May 14th really is like another birthday. I sometimes detest the term “born again” because I had known so many people who were “born again” and were the most mean-spirited, antagonistic and amoral people I had ever witnessed, but sometimes the term is fitting. On May 14th, I was born again in Christ. While I know I will still have struggles and countless slip-ups between now and the time my journey is over, my goal in this life is to never need to be “born again” again. My goal is to just stay on the path and to let May 14th be the only “born again” day I’ll ever need.

1 comment » | Deep Thought, Jesus, On Me

Oh…this is rich.

February 27th, 2009 — 10:59am

My disgust for China has been mounting over the past few years, culminating to near outrage in August 2008 and has been teetering there ever since. What riles me this morning is China’s obvious mudslinging in a report drafted just two days after we (the US) published a report that stated the obvious: China’s human rights conditions have worsened. However, China feels it appropriate to claim that violent crime is so sweeping in the US that we are terrified every day that we will be murdered on our way to work.

Crime, unfortunately, is a part of civilization and humanity and I find utterly laughable that China of all places would have the gall to publish a report condemning violence in the US when China refuses to make available the same kinds of statistics. Are they honestly going to produce a report saying the US is drowning in its own violence when its own country is even larger and far, FAR more of its citizens (if we even dare call those with no voice in their government and no venue for dissent such) are living under a poverty so great that few others could stomach it? But, take this into consideration, it is not only the US who finds China’s human rights record to be lacking; the UN on whole says the same.

There is an old saying about no ailments afflicting communist nations…because they simply refuse to report them. Who says that the level of crime in China is not equivalent to that of, or even greater than that found in the US? Regardless of a few signs allowed to appear in front of the cameras here or there, China does not allow its people the right or the ability to disagree with the government and it crushes any attempts to do so time and time again. It also sees its people gathering under the name of God to be likened to some kind of treason and Christians suffer in China almost as much as they would in Muslim countries. The government refuses to allow its own people unfettered access to the world’s greatest invention, the Internet, lest its people get some “crazy ideas” about democracy and dissent and it invites other countries to see its “progress,” only to mask the true pain and suffering of its people to paint as rosy a picture as possible for itself, but we are to believe that a country, who only twenty years ago would murder its own people in the streets to keep them from outpouring any discontent, is so devoid of violence that they can condemn the US for its issues with race and violence? Someone other than me has to see this as madness!

Their claims that racism is gripping the US to the point that we are pulled to our knees was the only part of their “he said/she said” that caused me to laugh. Of course we are going to have issues with race in our country. Few others were established in the manner that we were, few others manage the demographics that we do and the few that do resemble the US in establishment and demographics suffer from the same problems. People will find any reason to discriminate each other, just look at the UK where in some places there are simply not enough “different” people around so they poke fun at redheads. Discrimination is a human plight that effects all nations. I will take this moment to drag up Yang Peiyi’s brush-off again and ask if China really thinks that their government’s open preference for “whiter” Chinese over more “yellow” or even brown Chinese is somehow different from general racism in the US.

Previously, I kept my mouth shut when China had the nerve to “instruct” the US to stabilize its economy since they were at least giving the appearance that they were doing something about the companies that had intentionally added melamine to powdered milk (although, the fact that these companies even thought they could get away with outright deception and murder is a slam for China’s improved human rights claim) and also because they were, in some sense, correct; the world economy is dependent on the strength of the United States. If we fall, everyone falls. If we suffer, everyone suffers, so it is our duty as Americans to keep the world from falling into a depression. Now, however, I am convinced China has proved itself incapable of truly becoming the world leader it wants to be and, as I am an American who can do or say what she wants because of the rights guaranteed to me (in writing!), I can see no reason to speak with the proverbial kid gloves when it comes to China. It claims that the US should “stop acting as a human rights guardian,” but enlighten us China: If not us, then who? You?

I cannot say that China has not made any improvements in the last twenty years. They have and I am sure they have experienced more progress than deterioration of their citizens’ rights, but for them to even consider asking the US to look our “human rights issues” instead when the US is, more or less, an open book in regards to history and our current social climate…well, I find that to be a bit rich.

2 comments » | Politics, Rant

Oy! This day…

March 15th, 2007 — 9:55pm

This day has just been crap. I can’t believe I’m doing so badly. I can only hope that things go better the next time around, but still it irks me.

What angers me is that people continuously pretend that things are “okay” and “no big deal,” but things never are. Why can’t people just be straight with you. I irritates me to no end. I had far more to say, but…..

************************************

Okay, now that more than 24 hours has passed since I first started writing this same post, and I am still too drained to say anything.

People always tell me everything probably because I have the ability to keep my mouth shut…I don’t have much to add on that except that’s its happened so many times in just so many days, so I’m not real sure what I should do….Oh well.

I’m just so disgusted by what I see in the world. Only the most perfect of persons get the opportunities and the second chances. I hate that I’m party to it even though I’m not in it. I hate that I somehow benefit from all of it. It makes me sick and makes me hate myself and makes me hate the world. I just taught a lesson last Sunday about loving everyone, but a question arises in me: If I hate this world so much, this world over which reigns the evil one, does that make me less a Christian? Does having hate for this evil world yield hate in my heart? I don’t specifically hate any one person, it is simply the system. How people, in general, behave. The fact that they lie, the fact that it seems every man is out for himself, the fact that it seems that the more Christian, that is Christ-like, I attempt to make my life, the less I see of Him in others. The entire thing makes me sick. If I was outside of everything and saw what was happening, I’d hate me. I would make myself sick. It’s just times like these that I really don’t know what to do except pray about it and hope it works out on its own….

1 comment » | Jesus, On Me

Why…

November 22nd, 2006 — 3:31pm

We, my generation, we are Generation Y. Rather than a voiceless, aimless group, we ask the questions and demand answers. We are the first generation to grow up with computers, and one day the history books will reflect how this electronic intrusion has manipulated all of human thought. I find it ironic that I say this as I write in an online blog, but today all I ask is Why.

Why do people pass away? I know the chemical and physiological and evolutionary explanations, but these just tell me how; they never answer why. Why is that I can see one person on a Sunday afternoon, say hello to them, give them a hug, talk to them and wish them a happy, blessed week, and then seven days later learn that I will never speak to them again? Yes, she looked slightly paler than usual and she did have a bit of a limp, but I knew she was sick and just assumed that this was a part of it. Never had I imagined that I would never talk to her, attend meetings with her or hold hands during altar call ever again. There’s a part of me that still struggles to understand it. It doesn’t quite make sense in the grand scheme of things. There are so many cruel, terrible people in this world that never deserved to make it to the ages that they have, but they keep on laughing and living and being their cruel selves. Why should this Christian just slip away before another Sunday’s service?

In my heart, my only comfort at that thought was that I know she was saved and now she is at peace, but in my mind I am still confused. Who’s name did the pastor just say? No, that couldn’t possibly be her. It must have been another Kimm; someone I don’t know. Then, the realization hits and further questions are asked. Anger and wonder endures. Is this what will happen to me when I pass from this world? A mention during the announcements? But, what was I expecting the pastor to do?

I haven’t cried yet, though I do feel like the tears are just underneath my thoughtful facade. The service is Friday; she passed on Sunday. I feel almost robbed; like someone should have told me that there was a chance. It just seemed like she was sick, not fighting for her life. It’s not fair that people should die.

As a Christian, I know she’s at peace, but as a human being, this is where I struggle. I’m still in a state of disbelief and I am worried about what’s about to come. Not just the service, but those in future. There are so many more souls in my life now, so many more people I have to love. All I have is the question, how many times will have to endure this over the years? I know there’s no way to discern an exact number, but I know for certain, it is far too many.

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Why didn’t I see that coming?

October 10th, 2006 — 2:29am

I have long since vowed to shut away the shallow, snobby and overall bitchy side of my personality forever. While I do manage to keep that part of myself in the dark, every once in a while the “other” me rears her head and I am left to face the idea that I will never be able to run away from which my primary education has taught. I grew up with rich, snobby, shallow kids and took on their personalities as my own because I simply did not know any better. It wasn’t until college that I decided that the “bitchy” way was not how I was going to live my life. I want to forget and pretend that I never was that way, and then there are days like today, when no matter how hard I try, it always comes back to haunt me.

First I received a call from someone from church asking for help. The bitchy side of me immediately flared up and I wanted to lie and say that I could not be of any assistance, but I didn’t. I decided that the Christian thing to do was to use the abilities given to me and help others anyway that I could. And so I sat waiting for my two-hour Judging Amy zen-block, feeling rather proud of myself for effectively beating back the snobby bitch-monster and doing so in a timely manner.

Now, I can’t really pinpoint why I’m so obsessed with Judging Amy right now, but that is for another day’s analysis. The point is, I am and for the past few episodes, Amy’s mother, Maxine has been hinting towards starting a relationship with her gardener. While the the gardener part didn’t bother me so much, because honestly, only a tried and true spoiled snob would automatically look down on someone because he or she was “the help,” what disturbed me was who was playing this particular gardener, Cheech Marin, as in Cheech and Chong do whatever ridiculous pot-smoking adventure they did back in the day. So for the past few days, all I could think about was, “Oh God No! Not Cheech Marin! She can’t be dating Cheech Marin!” Not because he was playing the gardener or because he’s Spanish, but because everytime I see his name I can only think of some poor, lowly and loaded, dirty, little, old man. And he was back for both of today’s episodes, well yesterday’s…, and in the first one, after I almost wanted to turn the channel from the ridiculous country music playing through the episode (and it wasn’t even fun country, just people screaming into poorly played instruments), Cheech Marin, the gardener asked Maxine if he could “court” her.

Of course, I was just beside myself at the thought. Maxine was supposed to be this respectable and good woman and here she was parading around with….with him! The second episode started and there stood respectable Tyne Daly, playing Maxine, hand-in-hand with not-so-respectable Cheech Marin, the gardener. At this point, I barely remember what else happened throughout the rest of the episode except the end. Toward the end of the episode, Maxine’s son, Peter is basically spying on her and Cheech Marin while they were sitting on the front porch and all Peter is saying is “I can’t believe she’s dating the gardener!” which, surprisingly, did not phase me in the least, because deep down, I now realize, I was really thinking the same thing. Eventually, Maxine comes in the house to tell Peter to stop spying and he starts to say to state the obvious, that she’s dating the gardener, but she cuts him off and tells him that he, the gardener (I think his name is Ignacio), is a good man and that she hopes Peter wasn’t thinking what she thought he could be thinking.

It was only in this moment that I realized that the old monster was just as prevalent in me as it always had been, and what was worst was that I hadn’t even noticed. I didn’t even see the shows message coming. The whole time Cheech Marin is on the screen, I have my eyes partly covered because I couldn’t bare to watch what was happening and, thus, I could not see what was happening. Of course, the show used Cheech Marin for the gardener, because whoever directed these episodes probably figured that the viewers would have some past reservations about Cheech Marin and the reaction to him dating Maxine would be exactly what they wanted. I didn’t even notice until the last moments of the episode that I was no different from Peter thinking his mother shouldn’t be dating “the gardener” in that, even in a fictional show I couldn’t get past my own prejudices and take an actor, a person, on face value.

….

It just gets depressing to think about how long it is going to take for me actually shake all the wrongdoings of my childhood. At any normal point in my day, I would never allow past snobbery (if that’s a word) to have an effect on my thinking. What’s frightening is that when my guard is down and I’m least expecting it, I revert back to the same old me. And that’s exactly where I don’t want to be.

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