Sunday, December 15, 2013

Two Worlds

It's the middle of December and I find myself on the ride that has no working brakes. Careening along from one festive event to the next harried shopping trip with no time to reflect in between. 

I do my best thinking while driving. While logistically it's a pain in the behind, I'm happy that we chose to move Bogdan's care to the much farther away Peyton Manning Children's Hospital if for no other reason than the chance to reflect during the drive. Earlier in the week was an appointment day to follow up on his recent ear surgery. Once we received a good report, my mind was able to wander peacefully on the drive home.

When did we allow ourselves to become so busy with things that don't really matter? Better question: At what point does a country become so affluent it convinces its citizens that wants are really needs? 

I thought about the things I need to do in the next few days. One of the things on my list is, "buy tape." I need to spend my time and gas going to a store to pick up some tape so that I can then take that tape and use it to wrap up gifts in paper, paper I already spent money on specifically so it can be ripped up and thrown away. 

Does anyone else see the lunacy in that? Or are we all so brainwashed by the norm that we fail to see the folly in our daily routine?

They made a mistake on the radio, this morning. They played this song twice within minutes of each other. 

Once was enough to punch me in the gut. Twice was my undoing. So again, I find myself caught between two worlds. 

There is the world I live in here, in the land of plenty and pretend, where tape and wrapping paper are needs and I must battle crowds and traffic, dip into my bank account to purchase them, and keep myself away from my family while doing so. 

And then there is the world that seems to be a universe apart from this one, but is actually so close I can almost touch it. 

The world in which children are alone. 

The world in which they have no mamas and no papas to keep them safe from the older kids in the institution who abuse them as they themselves were once abused. The world in which it is thought, no assumed, that children with cognitive disabilities cannot feel pain so they are slung around by one arm and thrown into their cribs, if they leave their cribs, at all. The world in which children can be so starved and so neglected they can weigh a measly ten pounds at nine-years-old.

The fact that I cannot reconcile these worlds may one day drive me mad. 

I choose to believe that the latter world is closer to the heart of Christmas than the former. The glimmering world of tinsel and bows, where tape is a need, seems far removed from the humble stable where my Savior was born. He cares about these orphans, too. 
But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14
So on my trip to buy the oh-so-necessary tape, I cry. I cry and I pray that He will draw near to them and keep them safe. I pray that He will open eyes and move hearts in this land of pretend and plenty; that others will see with His eyes and let the children come. And I pray that I will find a way to meld my worlds; that while my feet must stay in this one, my heart will stay soft and very much connected to the other, that has nothing whatsoever to do with tape and tinsel, but so much more to do with Christmas.

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