Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the essentials

From my journal, fourteen months ago. Two weeks before I left for Kolkata.

I read Voice of the Martyrs magazine, and I wonder: What kind of alternate universe are we living in? A world where we play cards and buy lunches and dinners out and spend four dollars on mochas, no thought to it, and there is very little dissonance in our world, and perhaps, perhaps there should be more. Your people are having their heads cut off in places like Indonesia, and I am worried about my weight and whether I exercised enough today to counteract the calories I know I consumed. What is wrong with me? Why is my view so skewed?

Persecution should bother me. Poverty should bother me. Ignorance and want should bother me. Injustice should rile me. Instead, I turn my head away and think about other things. I don’t remember You or Your Kingdom. I don’t remember or have a strong enough vision of what You want to do for this world. Show me Your grace, Jesus! Show me Your wild and unending love. Show me how great You are. Show me that You are more than my biggest dream, and that the edges of the things I hope for can be true.

I need You to conquer
my apathy
and my demons
and my bondage
and all the things that keep me from loving,
aiming high and holy.

I have been thinking about disaster recently. In times of disaster, we find that our lives are reduced down to the essentials. All the frivolity evaporates. I want my life pared down to the essentials in times of plenty as much as in times of famine. Then when the darkness comes, there is less between me and the light.

What is Your Kingdom? How am I bringing Your Kingdom?

I touched the edge of the land of famine last year. Barely grazed it with my hip. Here I am, surrounded by bounty again, and again, I forget.

Written last year. But could have been written today.


  1. Hey, we got your note today. It was good to hear from you guys. Getting a late note is definitely better than no note, and probably even better than an immediate one, too becaquse it was a nice reminder of your trip. We love you guys!
    Dan, Amy, Titus, and One who is yet to come. ;)

  2. I love reading your thoughts on life. You do such a great job of capturing what you are thinking with words. Thank you for sharing that.

  3. Keep writing, Lara. I miss you. Nye time, yes?

  4. Lara... stumbled back across your blog today. I love your deepness. I love that you hunger and thirst for more... more of Jesus. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope teaching is going well.

  5. I couldn't agree more. So many times I feel guilty we have it so nice and it seems so hard and the problems for others too huge! It makes me just want to forget them, but know that's not the answer. Thanks for your thoughts on this.