Friday, August 31, 2012

Serwaa's First (11th) Birthday...

Last Friday was Serwaa's first birthday. She turned 11.

Birthdays are always fun. But most kids have been celebrating them from their very first year. They're a given. You expect cake, icecream and presents- because that's how it's always been.

  But for a child who's never celebrated their own birthday... There's just no accurate way to describe it.

I gotta say, it's the most fun 'first birthday' I've ever experienced!

This year was the first time Serwaa has ever blown out a candle! Ever! It was the first time she's had a birthday cake. To watch an 11 year old girl experience that for the first time was priceless. She loved the presents, and the balloons, and the cake. She was a little overwhelmed with the attention. But- after everyone left, she had a blast! She put on her new dress. And her new makeup. She decorated her new bag, painted on the road, played mermaids and barbies, colored in her new books... And even though I totally beat her at Pretty Pretty Princess, she loved it!

As we were playing with an 'evil balloon' that night, she blurted out, "This is the most fun day I ever had in my life!"

Pure joy.

So there it is. The first birthday.  And in honor of her 11th birthday- here are 11 random things she has told me this month:

1. At the church where you go all night, you can eat the dirt.
2. Madaam Moke is a ghost who walks around with one high heel.
3. She used to eat the chalk from school.
4. Some people eat the dogs. But she doesn't.
5. She thinks she remembers eating snake at her grandmother's house.
6. If bitten by a snake, put chewed onion on it to draw out the poison.
7. If a schoolgirl's hair grows, it blocks knowledge from reaching her brain. So they keep it shaved.
8. If someone swings their leg over your head, you will be short when you grow.
9. Don't lean a hand on the ground while eating. Satan will soak up all of your food.
10. The dirt tastes good after it rains a little. Still the smell makes her hungry.
11. If you don't have enough blood, you need to drink tomato paste & water.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Inaction and a Chicken Sandwich...

This has been brewing all day. I gotta vent somewhere. May as well be here. Today I witnessed the christian community be stirred into action. It was the biggest show of support I've seen from the American church body in a LONG time. Was it over the millions of people dying from hunger in our world? No. Orphaned children raising their younger siblings because they have no one? No. Children dying in other countries from totally preventable or treatable sickness? Nope.

It was over same sex marriage and a chicken sandwich.

I understand people's reasoning to show support today. I really do. (I don't, however, approve of 'christians' using the event as a platform to throw stones at people living in a way contrary to their own beliefs. My God says to love. And judge not, lest ye be judged.)

But I do admire people who stand for what they believe. If you cannot stand up for your beliefs, they're not worth having. That was not what angered me.

It was seeing what the church body is capable of. Massive support. Floods of people spending their time and money on something that they passionately believe in.

What if that massive push could've been for a bigger purpose. What if it could've been used to change lives instead of supporting an already-wealthy company?

I'm not saying people shouldn't have shown their support in that way. I'm saying harness that passion for a greater cause.

Didn't God call us to love? Isn't that the greatest commandment? What if that outpouring of support was used to change the lives of people who don't have the promise of a next meal? While you stood in line for 2 hours for your chicken sandwich, over 2,000 people in the world died from hunger. (*Based on a UN report.) I try to picture this many christians gathered in one big place. What could've resulted? Mountains could've been moved!

Did standing in that line make those people bad or wrong? No. Many of my friends were there. I'm guilty of wasting my time & money too. But it should make us think. What's worth our time, money and passion?

If Jesus were on earth today, I wonder where he would've been... In the ChicFilA drive through, or out in the world- healing people, feeding people, loving people. I think I know the answer. And I'd want to be with Him.

* I am not in any way bashing the Chic Fil A support. I'm simply passionate about 'the least of these', and wish the church could be moved with compassion on their behalf in the same capacity that they were moved today.