Well, That Was Unexpected

Real life is stranger than fiction...depending on which authors you read, of course.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

in a mirror darkly

I am sitting on a gold couch in the Blackstone hotel in Chicago. Design-wise this hotel is the Singapore airlines of hotels. I am in love with it. Not the pimp gold couch necessarily, but definitely my incredible room and bathroom. if it was just a little larger and had a terry cloth robe it would be nearly taj like.

argh, so i get this email from the International Justice Mission today: Beginning this week, 300 new IJM Freedom Partners will have their first year’s giving matched dollar-for-dollar – enabling IJM to rescue more victims of slavery, sex trafficking, sexual violence and illegal land seizure.

as if i needed to have more shit(aka wonderful, lifegiving organizations) to tithe to. you know what i have realized? i am not cheap. i thought i was cheap, because see, there is something about the matching aspect of this opportunity that really speaks to me. the two-for-oneness of it. but actually, and if you have met me for any length you will recognize this: i am not that concerned about saving money. but i am very concerned with cheating the system. and if there is a chance to do twice the amount of good with my money and cheat this poor matching donor sap out of his/her money, well, i find that VERY compelling. at first i was like, wow, why is it THIS that is pushing me over the edge to reorganize my budget for IJM? and i was thinking, i bet it's because i like a good deal. but not really. it's because i want to steal something that isnt mine.

that reminds me of a story from when i lived in taiwan. melissa needed help with something and since i was virtually taskless, i told her i would help. but i wasnt supposed to. and i told melissa that by pretending this was a highly illicit and secret activity i would be much more excited about it. she indulged me by passing it to me quickly and referring to it in euphemisms. and it was one of the highlights of my work life. well, the intrigue. clearly i cant remember what it was i actually did for her.

corinne and i leave for india on friday. we are so excited. the only non-exciting thing is that we will be away from owen for so long. and trying to explain such things is just futile. for example, he came with corinne to drop me off at the airport. he wanted to come on the plane with me, and i said i wished he could and that i wish i could put him in my suitcase. and when he kept insisting, i told him (because i don't speak 4 year old, okay) "going on plane trips is very special and expensive and would cost a lot of money and i can't take you this time, but i would like to someday, let's plan on it" the concepts of "i wish i could" and someday and plan are totally lost on him. and he kept crying and so corinne gave him a penny at which point he said that now we had money to pay for him. and i said no, honey i can't. at which point he was bawling uncontrollably and i said "i'm sorry owen, i can't...it's not my fault" and he said "yes yes, it IS your fault, it is ALL your fault". which is hilarious but sort of true. i mean, if i REALLY wanted to take him on my trip, i suppose i could have paid for a ticket for him and babysitters while i am training. well, now that i think about it..i probably would have needed ID for him, right? anyway, i love the freedom and honesty of the four year old. yes, it is your fault. it is YOUR fault that i am sad and YOUR fault i cant go on the airplane. it reminded me uncomfortably of some accusations i may or may not have thrown at one God of the universe perhaps in the not so distant past. i'm not sure if i hope God sympathetically laughs at/with me like i laughed at owen. oh, how adorable she is with her limited perspective and understanding, awwwwwwwwww. there is also the question if god tries (like a particular auntie) to forcibly kiss the julie while crying and if, in my way, i am like "noooo kisses, noooo kisses! it is all YOUR FAULT."(like a particular four year old). perhaaaaaaapppppssss?


Blogger Naomi said...

There's a book by Miroslav Volf called "Exclusion and Embrace" that basically says (though this may be my paraphrase) that this is EXACTLY what God does with us; pretty much just hugs and kisses us until we quit whining and fighting and finally give in.

2:04 AM  
Blogger Marcia said...

This is a sad and sweet story. I like it. Oh, the Julie. I am still so sad that we missed seeing you in MN.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Melissa Chia Mei said...

Ok yeah... I remember the passing you work to do, and us having fun with the secretiveness of it, but I also cannot remember what the exact task was... lol That is good that you know that about yourself. :)

12:14 AM  

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