hotel rwanda.

jena and i decided this week to watch a movie 1)besides 27 dresses and 2)of a more light-hearted fashion…just kidding on that 2nd point. we decided to watch hotel rwanda, a film neither of us had seen. it was one i have wanted to see but never quite made the effort to see, but i kept reading about it in brian mclaren’s everything must change, a book i am currently reading for class.
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i knew this movie would be a hard one to watch, one that would need processing, and one that would impact me…all of which are true. i took my computer and some magazines to jena’s to provide a diversion, i left immediately after the movie, and have thought a little (but not too much) about it afterwards. this is the way i have coped thus far with the movie. so, instead, i thought i would blog a little about it.

i cannot imagine…
i cannot imagine living in that kind of environment, the kind where one fears for his or her life.
the environment where one is shunned, persecuted, and killed because of who they are (or what tribe they belong to). the environment where these people are constantly put down, derogatorily, by those who think themselves better. the environment where hatred is bred, causing the factions to carry out inhumane acts.
the environment where…
or do i live in such an environment?

i cannot imagine being separated from my family, not knowing if i will ever see them again.
i cannot imagine sacrificing my life, my happiness for that of my family’s…and willingly walking away for their own good.
i cannot imagine.

but this is real life.
and this is the real story of what went on in rwanda in the 1990s…and probably the story of what continues in other locations today.

as the film comes to a close, the first aid worker walking alongside paul and his family says,

they say there isn’t any room

to which paul responds,

there’s always room.

the camera pans to include not only paul, his family and the relief worker, but a hoard of orphans that have come seeking safety. this statement sums up paul’s life (and mission in life).
a sacrificial life lived to protect some 1268 tutsi and hutu refugees.
there was always room in the hotel, to which he served as manager…
there was always room in his heart for those seeking help and aid…
there was always room in his life for those who needed an advocate.

it leaves me with a few questions:
what am i to do? how do i respond to genocide, to unfair treatment of people different than me?
and is there room in my heart, in my life, in my world?
i lack these answers…
i cannot imagine…

yet i am awaiting a response.

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facebook.

so i have never wanted to join facebook…not sure why.

maybe it is pride…wanting to stand a part, not doing what it seems everyone else is.
maybe it is busyness…wanting to dedicate my time elsewhere instead of being sucked in like so many of my friends are.
maybe it is fear…wanting to stay in my little comfort zone.
maybe it is my age…wanting to remain true to my generation and fight off the urge to become technology dependent and relationally isolated.

i have thought about facebook a lot the past several days since one of my friends “secretely” signed me on. guess it is not so much of a secret as she tells you while she is doing it. although i am on, still don’t know what i am doing but i think i am figuring it out…one day at a time.

my thoughts…
facebook is a great way to stay in contact with those…well, with everyone.
with those whom we have lost touch.
with those whose lives are far away.
with those who are separated by numerous time zones.
with those who live down the hall but your schedules don’t sync that often.
with those whom you just want to get a quick message to.

facebook is a great way to network.
to become friends with those whom you may never meet or speak to in person.
to be part of a group that exists from common interests.
to get to know others in a non-threatening, less pressure environment.

facebook is a way to explore who you are and the self you want to display to others.
you can share all kinds of random information about yourself.
you can pick and choose your preferences.
you can open or deny friendship to whomever you choose.
you can change all of these things about yourself daily.

but with these things, i also have some reservations–or questions, at least–about facebook.
does it create false intimacy?
does it impair intimacy in real life?
does it hamper communication in face-to-face interactions we have with people in real life?
does it create some ideal world where friendships are simply asked and received, little or no effort involved, and nothing much required to maintain?
is it healthy for everyone to know all of this about you? for instance, do i want everyone of my so-called friends to know what i am thinking, if my status changes, what i am up to, how i am spending my time, and my pics plastered all over?

ok…so maybe these questions are a little over the top (for something so innocent as facebook)…but are they (and is facebook so innocent)?nonetheless, i am enjoying navigating the world of facebook…all questions considered.

self love.

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interesting question:

do i love myself enough to do what is best for me?

have thought about this a lot lately in different contexts.
in my job(s)…
with my friends…
in relationships…
with my family…
with my health and fitness…
in school…

not sure that all my decisions would indicate that i do.

it takes courage…which so often evades me as i hide behind my fears.
it takes strength…which alludes me as i cave into my weaknesses.
it takes perseverance…which i deny when the decisions are hard and require umph to stick them out.
it takes decisiveness…which i fail to exhibit when feeling guilty for how others are affected by such decisions.
it takes thinking with your head…which poses a problem when i decide to think and act with my heart.

what a goal for the new year…to strive towards this love for myself.DSCN0791

i will forsake looking at the cracks in my life in how i have failed to do this in the past;
instead, pressing on to how i will do this in the future…
focusing on the potential.

leaving the cracks.

on the last sunday of 2007, the pastor of the church i attend made this statment,
we walk around throughout january looking for cracks to repair. maybe this january we should walk around not looking for cracks, but for potential.

brothers and sisters, i do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. but one thing i do: forgetting what is behind me and straining toward what is ahead, i press on toward the goal to win the prize for which god has called me heavenward in christ jesus.
~paul in philippians 3.13-14

tired of dwelling on the cracks.
my prayer is that this year, i will focus on the potential…leaving the cracks behind.

perseverance.

“perseverance is my prayer for you,” wrote a friend in a text message sent to me commencing the new year.

“perseverance,” i thought, “why in the world would that be the one thing she thought of when she thought of a prayer to pray for me for 2008?” still no answer to the question i posed to myself, but it is a word i have been pondering these past four weeks of 2008…
and i am still clueless.

but it seems as though i gained a little more understanding this evening as i ran around the bowl solo. i had extra time so i thought i would go run, enjoying the time alone and in solitude as it was quickly approaching dusk and it being cold with ominous clouds threatening rain at any given moment. i wasn’t sure i wanted to run by myself, but i thought it would be good for me. didn’t really want to run alone…seems as though i have been alluding solitude this week.

as i stepped out of my car parked adjacent to lot k, i knew it was the best thing for me. i saw strains of pink washed over the clear blue sky overcome by dark gray clouds. it was if the typical californian sky wanted to burst forth, but just couldn’t find the needed space. i looked up at the sky, and said to it, “kinda how i’ve been feeling lately too.”

as i ran, i thought about this word…perseverance.
i was cold.
the air was damp.
my feet were getting a little wet.
there were no distractions–only passing a few runners along the way.
and the impending darkness quickly approaching.

i know this route, the path has become a familiar one to me…yet it can be disguised depending on the light.

i began to run faster (for the reasons mentioned above), as i told myself to persevere. as i rounded the last corner, i saw the clouds that sought to envelope the last space of blue sky, i saw no other runners along the path, i felt the cold and damp air pressing in around me…and i got on it. i saw the need…
the need to run faster,
the need to run confidently,
and the need to persevere.

i thought about the parallels to life…
it is often cold, dark, and dreary…but we must go on.
we press on…even though we don’t know where the path will lead.
we run towards the light that we see eclipsing before us…hoping we will make it in time.
and we finish strong…even it isn’t as strong as the start or as valiant as the previous run.

totally reminded me of what i read in hebrews this morning.

therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith….
~hebrews 12.1-2, today’s new international version.

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girls night in.

rainy…cold…tired…not wanting to go anywhere.
wanting, instead, to stay at kristin and jena’s where it was nice and cozy.
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and we did just that.

replaced the going out clothes for comfy ones,
ate delicious desert,
drank hot chocolate with marshmallows,
and watched girls just wanna have fun.
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