Hello my beautiful peeps!
Another day of social separation, although I did go out earlier. Stopped at the optical place on campus to drop off my eyeglass Rx and pick out some frames, so I can finally get new glasses made. I’ve been spending so much time on the computer that these old ones just aren’t cutting it anymore – by the end of the day I have eye strain and watering.
Tried on a bunch of fancy frames, colored ones, etc., but in the end I decided to go with this rather plain tortoiseshell. Goes with everything, right?
Let me share something I learned about cake mix (sorry, can’t remember where or when, but trust me, it’s relevant). Back when it first went on the market (early 20th century), most women were homemakers, and took pride in their baking. “Just add water” mixes didn’t sell well, so manufacturers expanded the instructions, having the user add an egg and oil. Powder versions of these ingredients could easily be included in the mix (and were/are still included in the “just add water” varieties), but manufacturers found that people wanted to feel like they were DOING something, that they were BAKING something, that they were MAKING something for their families. So, having the user go to a little bit of bother was a payoff.
When Pillsbury first started marketing mixes in India, they ran into a similar problem: the Indian housewife took pride in homemade baked goods. Advertising made for the Indian market emphasized the love and care a mother had for her family, and how happy everyone was, eating these baked goods.
Miracles are kind of like this. I believe that God is entirely capable of creating miracles on God’s own, but God involves us a little, working through us. We become co-creators in those moments. Consider the verses in John where Jesus restores the sight of a blind man. He mixes some mud, smears it on the man’s eyes, and tells him to go wash it off. When he does, he can see.
The man’s part in his own miracle was washing off the mud. Was this whole mud exercise necessary? No. But I believe God gives us “something to do” in the realm of miracles. Look, I’m not saying that God caused coronavirus, or is sending it to us as a plague, or anything like that. But through this experience, I believe many of us will learn important lessons about living in community. And that will be the miracle.
We have all been given something to do. It’s up to each of us to figure out what that is.
I’ve been pondering the idea of “being present.” It’s really hard. Many times in our lives, we just want an unpleasant experience to be over with. I’m trying to remain in the moment, truly feel it, try to understand it, rather than wasting it wishing for something else. It’s hard to be present in this current crisis, but we are strong enough. Look inside.
One positive outcome: I think our culture is gaining a new appreciation for people who work in the service industry. They are unsung heroes in our society; they keep our world going, and for very little pay. I’m worried about those whose jobs are in jeopardy right now, and staying aware of my privilege in being able to work from home. Check in on your friends and neighbors, and make sure they’re ok. Maybe you can buy someone a bag of groceries.
Take courage, my friends, the rain always runs out and the sun rises again.