Finding My Senses 

I left the room and when I returned a new program was showing on my TV.  Immediately I walked to the television and sat in front of it.  Not because of what I was seeing, but because a voice pulled me over.  Like an invisible string thatís been attached since I can remember, Kris Kristofferson reels me in.  Ruggedly handsome at 68 years old, heís not ďhotĒ in the usual sense of the word.  Heís not a perfect vocal singer but his voice draws me in a deep, feel good way.  If God were going to speak to me with a voice, Heíd use the one He gave Kris Kristofferson to grab my attention.  There seems to be some aura in him that works like a magnet in me.  Whenever I hear his voice I stop what I am doing and listen (or watch if itís television or a movie).  I donít even like several of his movies, but the voice grabs me inside under visceral layers so deep I couldnít begin to define them.  Itís scary to think of my reaction if I found myself standing next to him.  Probably Iíd become a blithering idiot because my other senses would short circuit while I focused on the sound of his voice.

Some people wield power over others without knowing or intention.  Itís in their wiring.  They donít use their power as a weapon or attempt to sway anotherís behavior.  They just walk around like normal people living their lives.  If their unique brand of charm reaches a lot of people theyíre likely to turn into actors, politicians or athletes.  Itís as though they draw a spotlight to themselves just by breathing while those around them hang on to their words and deeds wanting be a part of their presence.   

Iíve often wondered what draws one person to another, why this woman loves that man.  How come I walk into a roomful of people and some grab my attention while others blend into the background?  Not defined by like or dislike, some people draw a reaction from me.  It has to be wiring, or more specifically our senses on a subconscious level reacting with our thoughts and perceptions of others.  Occasionally, wiring goes wrong creating stalkers and obsessions.  People become so drawn to another that they canít force themselves to walk away.  On the positive side, compatible wiring creates soul mates, romance, fun and wonderful friendships.  Wiring Ė some like well defined abs, dark or light hair, a winning smile, laughter, serious discussions, or walks on the beach.  My wires say that I am irresistibly drawn to Kris Kristoffersonís voice. 

 

Invisible Me 

A while ago I walked through the lounge area at work and overheard two women discussing the conference or meeting they were planning to attend for ďWomen of ColorĒ.  ďHow nice for them,Ē I thought rather sarcastically, but then I had to stop and think why I reacted with sarcasm.  I realized that I felt left out.  I am white and white people may only have support groups for nonracial and serious reasons, like rape victims, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or Alcoholics Anonymous.  White people may have issues but weíre not allowed to have race.  Really, if white women held a conference what would it be called, ďWomen of Little PigmentĒ or maybe ďIssues Facing Pigment Challenged WomenĒ?   Can you imagine the field day the press would have with such a meeting?  Iím sure ugly terms such as racism, Nazi-ism, and Supremist groups would be thrown around.  What it boils down to is that people with pigment are allowed to discuss racial issues while the pigment challenged are not.  Apparently, the color of my skin renders me invisible, incapable of understanding racial issues. 

Maybe youíre thinking that if I were another color, another race, Iíd understand, but I have faced prejudice because of the color of my skin.  Being in a mixed marriage has offered me a range of experiences based upon other peopleís preconceptions and prejudices.  For example, my husband has relatives in a Los Angeles neighborhood not known for its upwardly mobile residents.  I was treated with kindness and respect when we visited but told that it would be safer if I stayed in the house so as not to cause a disturbance.  Going to the corner store with my sister in law, I canít recall what I purchased, but I recall the contempt on the cashierís face as he threw my change at me.  Itís been 20 years since those incidents and I remember them vividly because I learned what it felt like to be judged and found lacking because of my skin color and it wasnít pleasant. 

Stopping to consider, if there were such a conference or meeting assembled to discuss racial issues for white people, would I sign up?  I donít think I would.  What I wish it that the need for conferences for ďWomen of ColorĒ would go away because race and/or skin color shouldnít be an issue.  I donít want anyone to be excluded because of skin color or lack of.  My issue of color is that Iím not allowed to have an issue of color because I am invisible.  

 

To Church Or Not To Church 

Every week I hold the same discussion with myself.  Should I go to church this week?  If Iím asked about church, Iíll tell you honestly that I love my church.  And I do, but every week my hermit personality argues with the dutiful Christian within me.  Jesus said church is good.  (I know, he didnít say it quite that way, but do you really want me quoting scriptures?)  I understand why church is a necessary ingredient for a Godly walk.  It has to do with faith, discipline, learning and participation.  The trick to church lies in finding a place of comfort.  Ideally, I go to church and support the place that helps me build my faith (I use the church) and in return I learn and grow, walk my Christian walk, and hopefully draw other people towards a relationship with God (the church uses me).   

Sometimes I struggle with the definition of going to church.  Yes, I usually attend Sunday services; I ďgo to churchĒ.  But if I have an uplifting discussion with a friend about God, I feel like Iíve ďbeen to churchĒ.  Since I listen to Christian radio in my car, I hear sermons and Christian rock all week long.  At times itís background noise, but at others it feels like church, closeness to God, learning, stretching and growing. 

One of my favorite songs was written and sung by Rich Mullins several years ago.  Itís the Nike equivalent of ďjust do itĒ.

Screen Door by Rich Mullins

It's about as useless as
A screen door on a submarine
Faith without works baby
It just ain't happenin'
One is your left hand
One is your right
It'll take two strong arms
To hold on tight
Some folks cut off their nose
Just to spite their face
I think you need some works to show
For your alleged faith

Well there's a difference you know
B'tweeen having faith
And playing make believe
One will make you grow
The other one just make you sleep
Talk about it
But I really think you oughtta
Take a leap off of the ship
Before you claim to walk on water
Faith without works
Is like a song you can't sing
It's about as useless as
A screen door on a submarine
 

So what is church?  Is church a feeling I get from worshiping God or is church a doing, a walking on a path designed by God?  I donít know the exact answer here, but Iím leaning towards both.  Church is a feeling and a doing.  Itís a building filled with other people with the same faith manifested in innumerable ways and itís on my car radio when I sing along at the top of my voice.  Mostly, itís a self fulfilling support system.  I support the church by attending and participating in whatever manner Iím led and the church in turn supports me by being available, steadfast and filled with other believers.  Hopefully, the result of the church equation turns me into a person who walks and acts in faith. 

Itís Saturday night and Iím holding the same old discussion.  Am I going to church in the morning?  Yeah, Iíll probably be there, fighting with my hermit tendencies.  I figure God gave me a bad case of hermititus just so I would sit in front of my computer screen and type thoughts about why the heck I show up at church almost every week.

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