When I was little, I would get lots of diaries and journals for gifts from my parents. It made sense to them: the teachers said their daughter was a good writer, and therefore she must enjoy writing and then we’ll give her these blank notebooks that she can turn into stories and tey can sell as books and make cash money and retire early off their daughter’s genius. Ka-ching! But most of those journals my parents got me, today they sit in their attic only filled in about 10 pages deep, with the last entry starting “Dear diary, Sorry I haven’t written in a while, but…”
My parents are still working.
True story: When I was accepted into seminary, my letter included an addendum informing me of the writing center at VTS, and that I was ‘strongly encouraged’ to seek help from it.
It’s hard to justify coming back into blogging when you could never really justify why you were in it to begin with. Let me try this: I’ve written to be seen and heard before and I’ve also found joy in those times and I’m not sure if it’s correlation or causation. And if it is causation, I’m not sure which is causing which.
So I’m back. Humbly, but not too humbly. Confidently, but not too confidently. Caution be damned.
This morning I sent an e-mail to a good friend. He thought that I was mad at him and while I wasn’t, I could see why he would think that. What I did send him was a laundry list of reasons I was mad about other things. It was long and varied. I was mad that American Airlines was charging me $150 to change a reservation. I was mad that I had to change that reservation for reasons that I felt were unjust. I was mad that NPR might loose their federal funding. I was mad that I had reacted so poorly at a fragile point in our friendship a few months prior. I was mad that Steve Carrel is leaving The Office. I was mad that I’m a college-educated hard-working professional, yet I can only daydream of affording a used Honda Civic.
For some strange reason, this friend hasn’t responded yet.
But for even stranger reasons, sending this e-mail made me feel… good. Cathartic. Why? Do I normally kid myself into thinking that little things don’t bother me? Should I start a better practice of airing my grievances more often?
Or was it because as I was writing my list, I felt a little guilty? Because while I was writing that email, I was eating a delicious lunch that I’d gotten for free because it was leftover from a luncheon held at my church. I got an e-mail confirming my Amazon.com shipment of Tina Fey’s new book Bossypants. I watched a storm pass from the comforts of my office, with a space heater under my desk.
Maybe while there’s an appropriate time to get mad, it doesn’t give me a carte blanche on whining. All it takes is a little perspective for me to realize, hey, it’s okay. In fact, it’s pretty good. God will either find a way to work through this or make me work through this. Quite possibly, both.
But, seriously, American Airlines- $150?
Recently a facebook friend posted a picture of a flyer he found asking the reader to boycott The Home Depot because it is helping advance the homosexual agenda. For this particular facebook friend, I’m sure he saw this as all the more reason to shop at Home Depot. I even indulged my curiosity and checked out the website of the Christian organization and sure enough there are pictures of Home Depot sponsoring and taking part in Gay Pride parades in various cities. (sidenote: no matter where your theology lies, you have to admit that this is a genius marketing strategy. How can I buy stock in Home Depot?)
I also have Christian friends who’ve boycotted Chik-Fil-A because of their support of Christian anti-gay organizations. (Time article)
Does being faithful involve boycotting certain businesses? Supposedly, boycotts work. And how could I begin to antagonize the Montgomery Bus Boycott of the Civil Rights movement. Should boycotts only be used as a last resort when all other efforts of communication have been met with disregard?
A few months ago I was organizing a trivia night fundraiser for my church. I had a well written letters on well printed stationery explaining our worthy cause and the tax deductions available for donations. I was dressed well and wore my prettiest smile to hand deliver these letters to some of our downtown businesses. In one restaurant I immediately met the owner and began my spiel, but he stopped me, “Not interested!” and he returned to his business.
And then I made this face:
And I vowed never to eat at that restaurant again. And I even told a few of my co-workers to do the same. And this business still doesn’t donate anything to my church.
I guess some boycotts can be petty. But some can be worthy. What do you think?