Friday, March 29, 2013

Bad news of today

It is Good Friday, and we are home. Our eyes should be upon the cost of the cross today. The suffering of Jesus. All that He carried for us as he showed up on the hill, plagued by sins, sickened by incriminations, spat upon, beaten, split open. The ugliness of the world festering upon his mind and skin.

In today's world, we push an icon and news of the world enlarges quickly into print and into an imprint upon our psyche. The news generators have quickly realized that the gruesome news gets more "hits." As a steady diet, we take in stories about sexual abuse, murder, depravity of all kinds. For me, I feel sympathy and disdain as I, on some emotional level, react to what I am reading. I carry with me afterwards more fear of the world, of the dangers of people, of the hopelessness of being human. I must get something out of it, as I continue to read and make myself aware. However, I am aware too that this is an unhealthy concentration, and I'm following a trail of human blood that the news sources have laid out, having enough material to do so.

Therefore, when I think of the crucifixtion of Christ, I can relate to it well enough. Evil overtakes good. Good is victimized. Good is mocked. Good falls. Good dies. But, the story is not one of senselessness. Within this story, a willing martyrdom means that forevermore all the bad news of the world has another twist -- Christ knows that we desperately need a way out of this mess. Jesus knew that this toddler boy would be starved by his mother. He knew that this young girl would be raped by ten men. He knew that this good upstanding Christian man would be shot when opening his door to an ex-prisoner.

He knows of the world's suffering, and he displays kindness through his willingness to die, miserably, upon the cross for those who suffer and, even, for those who shell out violence. We are given a choice to choose to translate the world's violence through the writing of the cross. Through Jesus' outstretched body language. Through the arms that holds the dearness of innocence, the one who cries, all of the wailing of the world.

Oh, Jesus, let us be grateful for the escape you offer, and help us to penetrate the reality you offer on this good, good Friday in which you overcame our evil.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ark roads

We drove towards the trees of eastern Texas, stopping at Boston for McDonalds. Then, my husband drove across the border and found the little road that led up and over, straight ahead and around a corner, to Arden Cemetery, in Arden, Arkansas. Most of the people in Arden were the dead ones.

The cemetery sat around the area where his dad had run around with his eight siblings, all barefoot, all poor, destined to run away or die, or live until they were 90.  We stomped around the mounds, peering at names, subtracting dates for age, noting the veterans, until we found them clustered to the front side. The judge, his wife, their children. My husband pointed down, explaining family relationship to our son who came from them. If they had not lived, we would not have existed to stop.

Our little snap of time in the reality of lineage and common folks quickly ended, and we left, driving towards our own time-slip existence, a bit more aware, yet always in the fog of really knowing or remembering.

We drove upwards into Arkansas, going through Paris. We went by a trailer house with a shack in front of it. Big black spraypainted letters announced:  "Sorry I'm too poor to be a Republican." Oh you funny hillbillies. Goodbye. I'm leaving with a smile to my own existence, my own slip in time, thank you for a moment. Best wishes with yours. I hope you have a dog beside you in your easy chair. I hope you benefit from Obamacare.

Then, we finally found Clarksville. We found the university for a visit. We found the center for our visit tomorrow. I laughed at the irony of the words blazed across the center's doorway:  Center for Special Learning. Special is the word detested most by my son.

It's almost bedtime in the hotel, which those in the cemetery do not have to worry about. Our lives rush on, and we must clink forwards into our own meaning, engrave our own time between, believe we have futures always ahead. This is life. We have a road to follow and a hope to breeze ahead of us.

So, thank you, Arkansas, for your straight and windy roads today. Many views for many thoughts as life moves on.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Planet Plano

Now we are in a downtown Dallas, waiting for a Mavericks / L.A.Clippers game.  A birthday gift for my husband.

It has been a happy day in Texas. The wait in Plano panned out.  The boy likes the place. It could possibly be The Place! It  fits him in many ways:  no college classes required, just straight-up, high-tech training.  We met three other computer nP students who attested that they liked it there. These autistic young adults are so cool.  I loved them all.  And, I loved the leaders.

Guess what?  They are Christians. I think this sealed the deal for all of us once we talked about our faith openly. Maybe God does make some things clear. Even my reluctant-to-change husband was swayed. The son said he could envision living and working there. He could get an apartment close by maybe with a roommate. We are all imagining that this is possible.

Afterwards, we ate at one of the myriad restaurants (we had even shopped earlier). Perhaps Plano is the best place on the planet for my son. And, not a bad place for the parents to while away the time and spend some well-placed money.

We shall see.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Placed in Plano

I see a big American flag from my window; it's puncturing the flat landscape where cars dart across my La Quinta window view. We have been bored in Plano, Texas for a couple of days now and wonder, "What do these folks do for fun?"

Yesterday, I did see an old friend (which was fun), and she said that people in Plano shop and eat. All the full parking lots corraborated her story. Could we become shoppers and eaters in Plano, Texas? Could we find spiritual or cultural depth here amongst its people? Probably. But from the view of a hotel fourth floor room, one wonders (especially when there is nothing exciting to do or see or climb).

Today, we go to nonPareil Institute, a place for kids on the spectrum. A place. Those are huge words. Words that streak in the dawn, in a petal, in a mansion, a shack, a clod, an air current -- everywhere there is a place. But, for my son, where? Yes, with us. But, then, where? Elusive, appearing, wavering.

nonPareil became known through master Google, and I followed up, called, and after months and interviews later, we meet the people today. We will see if my son can develop computer skills within the care of these folks (if they accept him, and us them). Can he go beyond what seems a life of very menial work? Can he develop apps, games, etc?  A place, a place.

But, then we might have to send him to Plano, or we might need to become Plano-ites. Could my husband and I have similar minds to make the move, or will we always hold one another back (in the right place, in the wrong place)?

We have five or six hours before meeting the people. What shall we do in Plano? It's 34 degrees. There's always South Fork, a tv house. I think there's a trail somewhere. Seems like we're waiting for La Quinta to expel us into the right decision, and, perhaps, when we empty out, we'll know. But, I doubt it. Sometimes, many times, we move through this world darkly.

However, God's hand is in ours no matter our decisions, going with us everywhere. We choose, win or lose, and He is there. Here in Plano, Texas, He is here, and, although we don't perceive his knowledge of what to do yet (and I don't know if we'll be smart or spiritual enough to discern), He is here, even if we're shopping and eating and searching for Place here in Plano.