There are other people signing words to hymns they’re not sure they believe today, other people digging out dresses from the backs of their closets today, other people ruining Easter brunch today, other people just showing up today.
And sometimes, just showing up - burial spices in hand - is all it takes to witness a miracle.
Police officials have denied the human impact of the surveillance, claiming that because it was conducted in secret, it didn’t affect people’s day-to-day activities. But many of the Muslims quoted in the report—often on condition of anonymity—note that even before the Associated Press revealed the scale of the surveillance program, community members knew they were being watched. The AP’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation simply confirmed their worst fears: that there were undercover agents and a web of closed-circuit cameras capturing their every move, and that some of their fellow mosque-goers and classmates were actually informants.
Growing up is hard for me. It sounds like a selfish and ridiculous thing to say, and there are some parts of age that are awesome. I’m more comfortable in my body and braver in my actions at 30 than I ever was at 20. But, when I find myself doing the things I have memories of my mom and dad doing… going to an accountant, getting life insurance, putting fridges in garages… I don’t know, I just get like, super emotional about it.
It’s these moments that make me feel old. It’s these moments that make life seem fleeting.
In a study published last year titled “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century,” researchers at U.C.L.A. observed 32 middle-class Los Angeles families and found that all of the mothers’ stress hormones spiked during the time they spent dealing with their belongings. Seventy-five percent of the families involved in the study couldn’t park their cars in their garages because they were too jammed with things.
Our fondness for stuff affects almost every aspect of our lives.
How can I appreciate you more deeply, Nature? How can I keep you in my mind’s eye during moments of great distress, like when my Wi-Fi at home isn’t working? What is the proper way to pay homage to your breathtaking allure? But of course! I shall Instagram your luscious bounty of greenery and rock outcroppings. There the greens will be made slightly more dramatic, the boulders made more brooding, and your allure made even more breathtaking thanks to the seductive Sutro filter.
It is tempting to betray our Lord as Judas did, for sometimes the crucifixion seems like such weakness, like such foolishness. It is tempting when we confronted with the scandal of a crucified Lord to then fashion the crucifixion in our own violent image, as an act that prevents a bloodthirsty God from punishing his beloved people and sending them into darkness and torment. It is much harder to look at the cross as the path we must follow — the path that rejects violence, retaliation and “getting even” of any kind as an answer.
I didn’t start out with the goal of devoting all of myself to my job. It crept in over time. Each year that went by, slight modifications became the new normal. First I spent a half-hour on Sunday organizing my e-mail, to-do list and calendar to make Monday morning easier. Then I was working a few hours on Sunday, then all day. My boundaries slipped away until work was all that was left.
It’s no surprise that foster kids disproportionately dream of growing up and being social workers instead of software engineers because kids gravitate to what they know. The beauty of the internet is it has an opportunity to level the playing field by giving kids a chance to learn and connect with folks outside of their neighborhood. It provides a much-needed access point. Instead of spending so much time talking about the lack of diversity in tech I’d rather be part of conversations about how we can get STEM programs, computers, tablets, and wi-fi to boys and girls in every neighborhood because that’s how the status quo of white male founders in Silicon Valley will actually change.
It’s Holy Week in the Church calendar now. Leave a little room on the edges, don’t fill it all up, Church, with consumerism and light show performances or with hermeneutical gymnastics and atonement theories: leave a little room for the Love and the breathing, for the remembering and suffering, for the grieving and the longing, and the Holy stirring of an interruption. Joy comes in the morning.