Thursday, December 09, 2010

And the people plot in vain.

I was a member of Model UN in high school, mainly because I signed up for anything that sounded dull and dreary because I thought it might somehow make me a better person. We were taken to the university library to use this new thing called the Internet and told to research China's position on terrorism. I sat there for an hour typing in different keywords and not knowing how to make it go. I was used to a typewriter and did not understand the enter key. When I finally did find a page, the time was up and we had to leave. They told us to write down our links so we could use them next time. I carefully, so carefully, wrote down the 100+ character URL on a napkin I found in my backpack. (It was full of /'s and %'s and -'s and all kinds of things that made it look like an enormous curse word.) I didn't understand menus, or that the much shorter home-address would get me there. To my shock, when I went back, the URL didn't work. I went to the conference and sat there meekly in my hard plastic seat voting for whatever the fake Turkish delegate suggested because he talked really loud. I learned nothing that weekend except that kids who sign up for Model UN in other schools smoke dope and drink rum.
I remember when the Soviet Union broke apart bit by bit, countries like Azerbaijan and Tajikistan ruining any hope kids had of passing the map of Asia test. It was just what was normal in the '90's - a piece of land sliced up like pie. And then, suddenly, the UN decided that it was in the best interest of the world for borders to remain as they are. No more invasions and no more secessions. No more scrambling or rearranging; the map was to remain as it was.
So now the people who want more land or their own land or someone off their land throw rocks and Molotov cocktails and walk into train stations with bombs strapped to their chests. And the world watches like a tense mother thinking this behavior cannot be rewarded. And now the Mossad is charged with throwing a man-eating shark into Egypt's side of the Red Sea and the Hillary Clinton is being pressured to quit as Secretary of State for ordering acts of espionage on UN members and China is calling Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Prize ceremony the work of a few clowns. And the brightest people in the entire world are looking like mad men. And I wonder how this looks from Heaven - if God sometimes squints his eyes away from our neatly-drawn lines and looks at us as a planet surrounded by an endless expanse of darkness dotted with light and motion. Maybe he leans back even further until we're nothing but a pin-point that's indiscernible within the universe he's made.
700 new potential planets have been found this year; the Hubble has taken pictures of 3,000 of the estimated 125 billion galaxies. It says in Isaiah that he measures the heavens with the breadth of his hand.
We are so incredibly small.
And the God who made all of this, the God capable of making stars that burn brighter and hotter than the sun, who may have done so for no other reason than because they're gorgeous, he made himself tiny. A baby growing in a girl's belly. He called himself the Son of Man and stepped into this planet brimming with beauty and chaos and he let himself be beaten and killed. But of course death cannot stop the author of life; but he did let death leave scars on his hands.
We are nearing the third week of Advent. Jesus -holy, almighty, infinitely more than we could ever imagine- I love you.


Anonymous said...

I just love the way you write! The way you weave together a beautiful picture with a very nice wall map in the background, active children, a Russian puppy, world events, and Christmas leaves me speechless. Well done!

Tu Papi'

Anonymous said...

i love it too- i totally think you should be doing this for a living ('cause you would never write "totally think"!!!) it's beautiful.

and i soooooo remember that day on the mysterious "internet"!!!! i thought it was boring and weird and couldn't think of what i would ever possibly want to use it for!!! ha ha ha!!!!! -kel

The Goodfellas said...

oye gracias.
a los dos.

Joel said...

I have never seen God used as an excuse for a poor model united nations performance. If I hadn't been so effective as the USSR in the disarmament committee maybe I'd be a believer too.

You can call me B.... said...

every time i read your words i am touched by them.... by the very heart of you. you definitely should do this for a living. you have an amazing gift.