November 26, 2007

Eat and Chat and Pray and Watch TV

Over last week's Thanksgiving dinner, I shared with a good friend (we're both women of faith) some of my recent experiences in dealing with my ex-spouse. She shared some similar tales and I told her what I think a lot of it means.

God uses the trials in our lives to carve the negativity, improper pride, weaknesses, lack of faith, etc. out of us. Our personal challenge is to allow this process to follow its course and do its work in us. I don't mean we respond passively to whatever may be thrown our way.

We may, in fact, have to engage in battle (Psalm 144:1). Or, we may have to wait for the winds to blow over. Or, we may have to let die some part of us which no longer serves any eternal purpose. During this "process", my job is to remind myself (moment by moment, if necessary) how much God loves me as I experience the carving and refining (Romans 8:38-39).

Last night, another good friend (also a woman of faith) left me a voice mail message stating her mother died over the Thanksgiving weekend. Her mother was elderly and very ill. It was time, we both said, during a brief chat when I returned her phone call. Thinking about her mother's death reminded me of the sadness I felt when my mother died from complications related to MS (multiple sclerosis) in 2003.

I thought about the good things we can say about those who have transitioned away from here. One of the best things I can say about anyone is they prayed good prayers and their prayers were answered. If you can touch the heart of God, why would you want to do anything else?

I am just a tad bit uncertain about what to think of NBC Nightly News' upcoming series on African-American women. I'm always distrustful of the idea that network news will offer insightful analysis on any topic. My hope is this report won't examine me and mine through the lens of pathology, as in "look what's wrong with them." I'm not optimistic about the broadcast, but I'm curious, so I'm going to watch it.

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