Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Little Inspiration from Runner's World

I know it!  Most of you are going to think I'm strange (some of you already KNOW that I have my quirks...don't we all?!?).  I don't typically look forward to receiving our mail.  Honestly, there's just not much to look forward to.  Credit card offers, insurance offers, bills...who needs it?  But I'm thankful that, once a month, I'm guaranteed to feel a smile forming on my face as I open the front door and find mail scattered across our floor.  On that day, I spy my Runner's World magazine, and my mind races to reshape my day so that I will have the time to at least skim through the pages.

Today is that day!  The arrival of the magazine, paired with the chance occurrence of both kids napping, provided me with some unusual afternoon pleasure reading.  Ahh...the simple things.  Anyway, one of the cover stories is titled Heroes, and since I'm obviously into the heroic (see previous post about Wonder Woman underoos), I turned there right away.

I quickly noticed a story about a woman called Tara Livesay, who lives in Haiti, along with her husband and 6 of her 7 children (3 of them adopted).  The article says that she's used running to raise more than $180,000 (!!!) to care for the people of Haiti.  Because I was curious to know how it's possible for one person's efforts to be that effective, I went to her blog.  There is SO much good stuff here, I'm not even sure exactly what to recommend.  In yesterday's post, I run II, she recounts the story of when she found out that Runner's World features her as a hero (great story!).  The post also includes Haiti-I run, written in 2009.  Here, she uses her morning run observations to paint the picture of life in Haiti.  Beautiful, and what resonates with me most is the following:

In my right ear, I have my mp3 player on as loud as it will go. Derek Webb sings and reminds me This Too Shall Be Made Right. The combination of the music in my right ear and what I am taking in with my left ear and the dozens of situations I see around me cannot be easily reconciled or accepted. Does God see this too? A wave of something that feels like grief hits me. I am bombarded by a multitude of thoughts. I run.

I spend a lot of time questioning the things that happen in this world, and how God could allow the pain, the sickness, the injustice...the evil.  The knowledge that God will make things right is what brings me comfort.  God even uses us to help make things right through things like visiting someone who is sick, or taking the time to be a good listener to a friend, or providing a meal for one who's just had a baby, or using running to raise money for people who need help.  You have something unique to contribute too.

Another treasure that I discovered on Tara Livesay's blog is the following prayer...I pray it be true for you.

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships - so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people - so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war - so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world - so that you can do what others claim cannot be done, to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.
(Franciscan Benediction)

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