Friday, March 31, 2006

Shall we dance?

This afternoon I suggested Sarah pick up a video and she came home with Shall We Dance? a remake of a Japanese film that stars Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez. Sarah loves dance but I had my doubts. After all, I don't move well due to my disability...all I could think of was watching a movie that reminded me of my shortcomings as Sarah's man.

At first the movie confirmed my fears as Richard Gere secretly pursues ballroom dancing lessons, unable to reveal that side of himself to his wife. Does Sarah secretly wish she could dance with someone who could move freely?

But then to my astonishment the movie flows into powerfully affirmation Richard Gere's marriage. At one point Peter Gabriel's "The Book of Love" was playing in the background and tears were welling up in my eyes:

The book of love is long and boring...

The book of love has music in it
In fact that's where music comes from
Some of it is just transcendental
Some of it is just really dumb

But I
I love it when you sing to me
And you
You can sing me anything

Sarah, my heart is a ballroom for you. Shall we dance?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sometimes life is as brutal...

Sometimes when I need a break I wander the web. This afternoon I wandered to Kevin Rains' blog and discovered that Mark Palmer died.

I don't know Mark Palmer. I only know he's a friend of Kevin's and he had cancer. I clicked on Kevin's link to Mark Palmer's blog. Mark's last post was 3/25/06. He talked about celebrating his four year-old son Micah's birthday.

His wife has written three entries since his death, starting on 3/27/06 with: My lover is gone...

Sometimes life is as brutal as an eagle swooping over a rabbit.

Mark's last words in his blog were to his son, Micah, who is named after the prophet:

Happy birthday little prophet, may you be filled with the blessings of peace, hope, and love.

Sometimes life is as tearing and tender as the blessing of a dying man.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Laughing and weeping

Yesterday morning, as I have done for months, I prayed for the Christian Peacemaker Team members being held in Baghdad. At first I prayed for four, then three after Tom Fox's body was found a couple weeks ago.

When I was done with my quiet time I turned on my computer and my Inside Yahoo! screen popped up declaring the CPTers had been freed. What great joyful news.

Later Erin Kindy, one of our church members who is active in CPT came over and we rejoiced together that the three CPTers were released without a bullet being fired. Talk about an answer to many prayers.

As the news has unfolded in the day since they have been released the three who were from Canada and Britain indicated that they had not been mistreated while in captivity.

That likely means that Tom Fox was tortured and killed for being an American. People get upset when their country is invaded.

That reminds me of fifteen months ago when I was in the Miami area between Christmas and New Years. One day my wife and daughters decided to visit a huge mall. I stayed in the van to snooze but soon found myself in a conversation with a New York building contractor who divided his time between New York and Florida.

"I wish I could sit down with President Bush," he said. "I'd tell him he has blood on his hands."

When you listen to people, even strangers, you hear interesting things.

On the news last night a newscaster said that CPT does not use security so they were easy targets for kidnapping.

Tom Fox was a sacrificial lamb for the blood on American hands. Of course, some Iraqis have his blood on their hands too.

Bullets fly in circles, bloodying the hands of those who pull the trigger. A wise friend of mine once said, "They that live by the sword, die by the sword."

I take quiet pleasure in knowing the Christian Peacemaker Teams will not bloody any of the Swords of Righteousness Brigade who took Tom Fox and the other CPTers.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Grieving Tom Fox

I am mourning the death of Tom Fox, a Christian Peacemaker Team member whose body was found last Thursday in Baghdad, bound with gunshots to the head.

Plow Creek has sent three of our members to Colombia and Hebron to serve with CPT, and the father of one of our members, Erin Kindy, has spent much time in Iraq with the CPT team there.

So this news story is more than a news story.

It also hits close to home because my wife's father went to Ethiopia in 1950 as a missionary and was shot and killed.

People who go to dangerous places out of obedience to the Lord sometimes are killed and family and friends are left behind to grieve.

Remarkably, the day before he was taken captive, Tom Fox wrote a reflection on why he and CPT are in Iraq.

Three CPTers are still being held captive. Lord have mercy on they and their captors.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

What's wrong with employer-based healthcare?

Six years ago Malcolm Gladwell author of Blink and Turning Point debated a proponent of the Canadian system of healthcare.

Galdwell has changed his mind. He now says that employer-based healthcare makes about as much sense as employer-based transportation. You know, if you lived in New York and lost your job "you would either have to walk or pay a prohibitively expensive subway surcharge."

Check out his blog.