10th grade went by mostly without any problems. I’d started driving the previous summer, but I wasn’t confident enough to drive by myself yet. The day of the homecoming dance, October 1996, my dad drove me to the salon and the mall to get my hair, makeup, and nails done. On the way home we stopped by the oil change place to pick up my sister’s Toyota Corolla. I would follow Dad home in Jenny’s car, my first time behind the wheel completely alone. As I pulled out onto Beltline Road, another car changed lanes. They didn’t see me and rear-ended the Corolla, throwing me onto the grass. I had no idea what had happened. I think I thought I’d hit the curb really hard exiting the parking lot. But looking in the rearview mirror, I noticed a car following me. The cops showed up; we exchanged insurance information. I went to the homecoming dance that night with a bunch of friends. The insurance said it was my fault. I didn’t want to drive anymore.
As the doctors loaded me into an ambulance headed for Dallas, I remember being given a morphine pill to start tapering down the strength of my drugs. At Brook Army Medical Center I was on a morphine drip with “the button”. I could press the button any time I felt pain, and mostly I just pressed it because I was afraid of the idea of pain. The ride back home to North Texas was uneventful. I slept most of the time, Mom holding my hand as she rode alongside my stretcher.
Home for the foreseeable future was Plano Rehabilitation Hospital. Nurses wheeled me into a big white room with two white hospital beds and a big window overlooking the parking lot. Everyone was very nice, seemingly excited to see a young person for once. As I started my regimen of occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy, I noticed I was the youngest patient there. Plano Rehab was full of heart-attack and stroke victims, and a fifteen-year-old was an anomaly.
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I love this passage in Exodus. God singles out the skilled craftsmen to build the Tabernacle. He fills them with knowledge and expertise to make a dwelling place for Himself. And he inspires them to teach others their crafts.
“Then Moses said to the people of Israel, See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver–by any sort of workman or skilled designer” (Exodus 35:30-35 ESV).
Whenever I get discouraged that being an artist is unimportant in the grand scheme of life, I remember Bezalel and Oholiab. God put artistic skill inside them to bring him glory. That’s so great.
I am here neither to prove nor disprove global warming. I can only point out that my Christianity and belief in biblical creation seem to stand at odds with evolution, and therefore, global warming. But I absolutely consider myself an environmentalist. Then how, you may ask, can my Christianity and environmentalism coexist?
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Some of you know that I have been sick for about two years. (If you don’t know, it’s been due to a combo of birth control messing with my hormones, REALLY LOW cholesterol, and a gluten-intolerance. As Joshua says, we’re on a House-ian search to find what the heck is wrong with my health). Being sick is awful. But being discouraged by it, especially if it is a long-standing illness, is even worse.
John Piper and David Powlison’s article “Don’t Waste Your Cancer” is a convicting exhortation to those in the midst of sickness. I take great comfort in knowing that whether or not God heals me miraculously, by medicine, or heals me at all, He is bigger than my illness. And He will use it for my good.
I know his name, but I can’t remember why (as can be typical for me). Mr. Packer carries great wisdom and innocence as he speaks to new Christians about moving forward in the faith.
With the same nihilistic satire of The Cardigans, Nina Persson’s project A Camp brings us “Stronger Than Jesus.” They inspire me to depths I know not yet.
People may think that Christians perceive themselves to have no trouble; that once a person “gets saved,” life all falls into place. Where once there was sin, new life is birthed. Where once there was indecision and angst, now grows decisiveness and peace. Where once there was suffering and sickness, now there’s freedom and health. All those things are true, sometimes.
IT’S NOT EITHER/OR, IT’S BOTH/AND
All the hype surrounding rising oil prices, extreme weather conditions, and food crises around the world has caused the majority of people to begin considering human impact on the earth. The world community is finally admitting that our industry and daily practices don’t exist in a vacuum separate from the air, water, soil, plants, and animals around us.
However, despite the general outcry, numerous groups still refuse to confront the fact that we need to change the way we do things on our planet. Among them are many Christians. Perhaps they see environmental stewardship as a secular issue, not serving the Christian agenda of reaching the lost; unfortunately for them, this “secular vs. sacred” attitude is untrue and unbiblical.
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Romans 8:18-21).