Monday, March 28, 2011

A Prayer for Japan

Creation, Devastation, Restoration; A Prayer for Japan

Loving God,

In the beginning, You created

the heavens and the earth,

light to separate the darkness,

sky to divide the waters above and below,

and dry land to set apart the lower waters.

On the dry land You created flowers and trees with seeds to bear life and fruit.

In the sky You placed lights to illumine the darkness

and to nourish the seeds of the earth.

You then filled the sky with birds

and the waters with fish and whales

and all kinds of things that live under the water.

On the dry land you created cattle and pigs,

bugs and butterflies,

spiders and snakes,

- animals of all kinds.

And then you made Man - humanity, my brothers and sisters.

With each new thing, You looked and saw that it was good.

Yesterday, in Japan,

the heaven’s cried out,

the earth shook,

darkness filled the sky,

the seas and the dry land no longer were separated,

t he seeds of the earth, the animals, and humanity were all under the water.

Good was hard to see.

As ones made in Your own image, O God,

Help us breathe new life into the land and peoples of Japan.

Create in us strength to help bear the burden of our brothers’ and sisters’ darkness

and compassion such that we can bring light again into their world,

Create in us knowledge to help our neighbors separate the waters from the dry land

and give us wisdom to help restore life in both,

Create in us giving hearts so that we can restore the land of Japan

with plants and animals to nourish its people,

homes to protect them,

and livelihoods to sustain them.

Create in us the courage to do all that we are called to do.

And, Gracious God, create in us love and faith

that, in the end, are strong enough to look around and see

that all is good.


- Kris Elliott Baker, March 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Random Thoughts for Today

1. Time flies when you’re busy . . . and when you’re not.

Spring break is over and we are back in school. I’m not sure where the week went. Unlike past years, Spring Break was uneventful; unless, you consider taking animals to the vet for their shots, doing your taxes, shelving books and getting rid of clothing that doesn’t fit anymore eventful. Still that doesn’t seem like a week’s worth of time spent. As a friend pointed out (*See No. 2 below), I didn’t even write a blog post.

2. I have some great friends! All kinds and I treasure them all.

I like the one’s who remind me that I have not written a blog post since February 24th. I like the ones we shared a vegan dinner with. I like the one’s who felt comfortable asking us to pick them up from a scary doctor’s appointment. I like the one’s who wanted to come spend the weekend with us even though we only have a toaster oven and a microwave with which to cook and we have only partially finished bathrooms. We do however have real beds with clean linens and everything! *See No. 3 below.

3. 3. A home without pets is a home without fur. I mean, it is a home without lots of love and entertainment.

Do you know how much hair a furminator removes from a black lab? It removes enough to make nine more black labs – at least that’s what the blob of fur blowing across the yard looks like. We regularly furminated the dog to keep the real linens real clean. FYI We did not furminate the cat. White fur is quite striking on a teal bedspread. While we are on the topic of fur removal, I figured out how I can vacuum the whole house by only having to plug the vacuum cleaner into only two different plugs. And, no more stairs!

4. 4. It is amazing what you can cook with only a toaster oven and a microwave.

I am addicted to angel food cake with berries on top. You can cook an angel food cake in a toaster over, at least you can in the one we have (It’s a Breville, in case you care.), if you don’t use quite all the batter. Angel food cakes rise a lot. Microwaves are good for steamed vegetables but not as good for oatmeal. I miss oatmeal, the really good rough cut oatmeal that doesn’t have the word “instant” on it’s packaging anywhere. The kind that is chewy and you can feel all the individual oats. Did I mention that you can cook some really good stuff in a toaster oven? But not oatmeal.

5. 5. Dogs barking at the bathtub in the middle of the night is never a good thing.

We all enjoyed sleeping in over Spring Break. We went to bed last night dreading the 6am alarm this morning. Knowing that, the canine alarm went off at 5 am in an effort to spare us the 6 am misery. The problem with the canine alarm is that the snooze button wouldn’t work. I finally got up to see what the problem was. Harley was in the hall bathroom barking fiercely at the bathtub. The kitten then joined the defensive maneuvers and perched herself in the bathtub. During a lull in the barking, we discovered the enemy. Well, sort of. There was a scratching sound inside the tub. Not the inside we could see, but the inside like underneath. It sounded like something big. Or maybe the inside of bathtubs just echo a lot. I opted to leave the canine and feline army on duty and go back to bed trusting that they would protect us from any vermin or varmints that dared to emerge beyond the confines of the underside of the bathtub. As of this writing, all is clear.

6. 6. Making music with people is about the best feeling in the world.

I love singing with Resounding Harmony. We had rehearsal last night. I had a nasty cold last night. (I have it tonight too.) I had a terrible sore throat and no voice to speak of but I wanted to be at rehearsal. I sat in the back on a row almost by myself and pretended like a descent sound might come out of my mouth. It didn’t but I was happy to be there anyway with people who love to song and love each other – the each others in that room and the each others for whom we sing.

7. 7. Spring colds, well, they just plain suck.

Enough said.

8. 8. Spring, on the other hand, is beautiful.

It has been in the eighties around here lately. The birds are singing. The flowers are blooming. Our yard is full of bunnies and squirrels and ducks. As I walked home today I reveled in the beauty of creation. And, I prayed for those in Japan who are surrounded by devastation.

9. 9. It took me 22 minutes and 30 seconds to walk home from school today.

Now that we have moved, I can walk home in one-third the time it took us to drive home before. I get some exercise. And, we are saving a ton of money on gas. The fuel cost for my commute was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich once I got home.

10. 10. Never underestimate the power of a hug from someone who loves you very much.

Spring colds suck but a nice warm hug makes me feel a whole lot better!