The desire to figure everything out, to fully understand, and make sense of my world is strong in me. However the events in our nation’s capitol last week proved that even more fleeting than the loss of control over my schedule and calendar (due to a pandemic) is any control I thought I had over the beliefs and actions of others. Four guiding truths emerged as I pondered a quote from Emily P. Freeman.
I am an aunt to some lovely young women and men. I have cultivated individual relationships with them and enjoy my unique role in their lives. Being their aunt gives me a certain advantage over their mothers.
Today we head into the final week of waiting for our annual celebration of the birth of Mary’s son, Jesus. We expectantly anticipate the coming—the Advent—of the Son of the Most High as she did. During each week of Advent, I focused on finding the traditional Advent themes in Mary’s story.
“Cancer, most likely stage four,” announced the email. Since older women compose the majority of my Bible study group, a notification of someone’s hospitalization was not unusual. But this one? She seemed too young, healthy, and vibrant.
Three weeks after we evacuated to Bali to escape the riots on Lombok Island, we returned to our home. On my desk I found my abandoned letter to my parents from January 17, the day the riots broke out. My last words on the unfinished page read, “We are not terribly alarmed, just being careful.” I picked up where I left off.
Muslims, Hindus, and Christians lived peacefully together on Lombok Island, Indonesia in the 1990s. The only violence this sleepy paradise knew was the occasional outbreak of a decades old tribal feud between two rival Muslim villages. Consequently, the events of January 17, 2000 caught us off guard.
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