March, 2011

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The stuff of horror films

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

This time last year, I was seeing ants in my kitchen. I eventually discovered that they had raided my sugar bag, so I threw it out, and from that point on, I’ve kept my sugar in the freezer – and thus, an ant-free kitchen.

But a few weeks ago, I saw an ant.

And you know what they say: where there’s one ant, there are lots of more ants. (I don’t know if that’s what they actually say.)

For weeks, I have seen ants in my kitchen – but I was never able to figure out their point of genesis. I cleaned the kitchen cabinets, Cloroxed the counters, sealed every food item, and cleared every crumb after every meal.

Still, the ants came marching one by one.

The other night, I was setting my coffee for the next morning. I poured the water into the machine, and as I did, I caught sight of an ant camouflaged on the side of the black coffee maker.

I killed it.

And then, I saw another ant come crawling out of the machine.

So I killed it, too.

And all of a sudden, there was a flood, a deluge, a gushing of ants coming out of my coffee maker.

My coffee maker.

The hotbed was IN MY COFFEE MAKER.

Shockingly, I didn’t scream, but I made a pathetic, drawn out, traumatized noise of some sort – somewhere between a moan and a cry and a “Die, scum” sob. I aimed the bottle of Clorox at the teeming swarm, and just started spraying – spraying like a stream of Charlie Sheen nonsense. Finally, I slammed the lid shut, took the entire coffee machine, dumped it in a Hefty bag, and marched it to the dumpster.

You do realize what this means, right?

For weeks, I have been drinking coffee that has been STRAINED THROUGH ANTS.

I will never, ever recover from this.

Waves

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Part of the inner world of everyone is this sense of emptiness, unease, incompleteness, and I believe that this in itself is a word from God, that this is the sound that God’s voice makes in a world that has explained him away. In such a world, I suspect that maybe God speaks to us most clearly through his silence, his absence, so that we know him best through our missing him.
-Frederick Buechner

I know people who have active, vivid dialogue with God – they speak to him, and they hear his voice respond.  I am not one of those people.

When I talk to God, I am usually answered with silence.

Most of the time, it’s not that I think that God is not there – but, like Buechner says, perhaps his silence is meant to create a longing that I wouldn’t otherwise have.

And for me, these days, does that longing ever exist.

On Friday, I sat at the edge of the Caribbean, listening to the water hit the sand.  It made me think of a line in Alli Rogers‘ song “Closer to the Moon,” when she sings of listening for God’s voice:

“It’s in the aching that you know there’s something more.
I have never heard even a single spoken word,
Except the rhythm of a wave upon the shore.”

The steady pulse of ocean waves reminds me of the voice of God – it’s one of the biggest reasons I miss living in Seattle.  There is a comfort to the sound and the pattern, wordless as it is.  When I feel frustrated and anxious and doubtful that he even exists, the ocean somehow, inexplicably, brings me back around to truth, calming my heart and soothing my fears.

I’m back in a very landlocked Denver now, after 7 days in Haiti.  A mere week was not enough time to even scratch the surface of the culture, the language, the people – but sitting by the ocean on my last day was the best way to wrap up the first of what I hope will be more trips.  Listening to the waves reminded me that God is still there in Haiti, in the midst of the poverty, the devastation, and the crumbling homes – and he is still here in Colorado, in the midst of my sadness, my uncertainty, and my crumbling home.

Teeth

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Can – Clinic in a, peeing in a

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Mission of Hope recently acquired 55 acres of land from the government in Bercy, which is about 30 minutes north of their main campus.  On this land, they are planning to build a school, a medical clinic, a church, an orphanage, and a conference center – a planned community.  Just like Florida!

In the meantime, Mission of Hope is occasionally sending teams to the property to run mobile medical clinics.  People in the community hear that there will be a chance to see a doctor for free, and they flock to what is currently the only building on the property – a cinder block hut – to line up and wait.

Once their paperwork is completed and their vital signs have been taken, they’re sent across the rock lot to have their private appointment in this:

This is a Clinic in a Can – an air-conditioned, single-wide trailer with two consultation rooms and a pharmacy.  After they have been seen by the doctor, they head to the pharmacy to pick up any meds they may have been prescribed, as well as a goody bag filled with soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and – if you’re between the ages of 15 and 60 – 6 condoms.  Along with very explicit “how-to” instructions.

I mean, doesn’t it ever cross your mind?  Sometimes don’t you wonder who the lucky illustrator of contraceptive clip-art is?

As for me, I snuggled with this chunker for awhile.

I tested for Bieber Fever by singing “Baby” – and ALL THE KIDS SANG ALONG.

And finally, I peed in a bucket.

I did it just so I could say “I peed in a bucket” on my blog.  Feel free to congratulate me on my moxie.