Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Who lives in a Pineapple under the Sea?

The library is empty except for this one kid I see EVERYWHERE. I wish we were on speaking terms; I would feel a lot less awkward, I think. I might need to fix that. I did that to a junior at a party last weekend; I walked up to him and introduced myself because we saw each other everywhere. He didn't even act awkward, he just smiled and laughed a little and introduced himself as well because he recognized me as well. Now when I see him, I wave my hello. He smiles and lets me know he appreciates it.

I just love people. Talking to them, getting to know them and really seeking God's face in each and every one, especially the ones it would be easier to push aside and forget about. Today at noon prayer, someone prayed for all the Christians on campus, which I think is very important, but isn't it just as important to pray for the people who perhaps know of Him but do not seek a relationship? They stand in a cultural crack and we should be fighting just as hard for their souls as modernity is, if not harder.

It is also amazing to me how treating people like the decent human beings that they are makes such a profound effect on people. In Kappa, for instance, talking and teasing my housemom is easy and it always makes her smile. I love seeing her smile widen when I come by to say hello or make a funny face when she's talking to Sally, one of our advisors. It sounds like an elementry lesson ("love your neighbor as yourself" and so on), but I am continually reminded of people's smallness, whether I'm jolting myself out of it or seeing it in others. When I leave Hillsdale, the one question I will leave still answering if what it means to be human. I think society has turned away from the importance and dignity of the human person, which is why we're in so many of predicaments that we're in right now. I want to stand against that tide of impersonality, help people remember their life is worth living because one person all ready sacrificed His life for theirs; His blood redeemed their unworthiness. I think it's important to make that tangible in people's lives.

Take today, for me. I definitely was falling into the "life stinks" mode of thinking which the Devil entices us into so that we can't see the bigger, more glorious picture. I got back to Kappa after Birzer's Founding of the American Republic feeling slightly crabby (sleep depravity also brings on crabbiness) because it was a long day in the library and then it started raining on me, so by the time I reached Kappa, I was tired and wet and cold and feeling sorry for myself like a sad puppy. I saw Ashlee running towards the house with her hood thrown over head, and even though I didn't really feel like staying exposed to the weather, I waited to let her in because I love her and it's the small kindnesses that make a difference. I couldn't help but smile at how silly she looked. A smile led to a hug, which led to another hug since Anna was walking by and wanted in on the action.

About a half-hour later, I was in the kitchen helping Laura, our cook; I asked her about her weekend and shared mine as well (hers sounded much more fun: paper dolls with the granddaughter!). I usually work with Jayme, but Vivian was subbing for her, which was fabulous. The two hours we spent working in the kitchen were therapeutic. Helping Laura with dinner, preparing the dining room for my sisters to enjoy their meal, talking to Vivy about her day, cleaning and washing dishes--except for eating, none of it was about me. It was wonderful. I cracked jokes to the new members, hugged my Betsy, exchanged smiles and words with my sisters and sang along to the radio with the much-more musically talented Vivy as we scrubbed dishes and cleaned up the kitchen.

I've come to the opinion that serving Kappa in this way is another way for me to serve God. It's another opportunity God presents me for putting myself last, putting my self-pity into a tiny jar and keeping a smile on my face and a laugh ready. I've had to deal with people taking themselves too seriously of late and I think life is just too short to be so serious. Not that serious is bad; I take my education and faith very seriously, for example. But in the every day? Not being able to laugh at life when it goes astray because it's following God's way and not yours? It helps me keep perspective. I won't always be serving Kappa, and Kappa is certainly not the only way to serve, but it's what I'm working with right now. The future will hold more, I am sure.

The gang is supposed to play soccer tomorrow, but weather.com predicts showers all day. Disappointed, but rain is God's way of renewing the Earth. I just wish it didn't make me so cold and sniffly. Tomorrow should be a balmy 56 degrees, so I wouldn't be surprised if the wellies or sperrys were worn.

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