Monday, January 18, 2010

You know how some times, when you're talking and catch yourself and you realize that you're not saying it right. Your words come out for all the world to hear, and it isn't what you were trying to say at all. Well. When you're a blogger, your words are in writing. Somehow that only seems to make it worse. Take yesterday's post.

I still firmly believe that Pat Robertson is a nut job. For him to broadcast to the world that 'Haiti is cursed' by a deal that they supposedly made with the devil to rid themselves of the French is just plain stupid. What the heck is he even basing that on? And to avow that no Christians were killed in the earthquake? What is he basing that on? If it is wrong to judge, well, I believe that judging 50,000 people in one sweeping generalization is 50,000 times as wrong. So no, I don't take back one criticism of Pat Robertson. I hope that anyone reading this who supports the man stops to think about what they are doing and why they are doing it. Maybe you'd like to think about taking that donation to Pat and donating it to the people of Haiti instead. I don't know. In the end, we all make our choices.

What needs clarification is the fact that I announced that I had wrapped pennies, and had $11 for Haiti. I encouraged you all to do the same, if you could, and invited you to let me know how much change you had to donate. My thought there was that it would be exciting to see our own small efforts coming together to be a big effort. Alone, my change doesn't amount to much. Combine that with everyone's change, I'm worried that quantifying things may be making me look like a bragger or something.

Christmas has been a strange time for me. For one thing, it was far more emotional for me than I ever expected. I couldn't help looking back to last Christmas, when I was struggling to get the shopping done, the tree decorated. The nativity. It was the basics, and not much else, and I felt terrible about that last year. This year, I kept looking back, and feeling very, very blessed that I could go the extra mile this year, right down to the color coordinated curling ribbon on the gifts. I just could not seem to help looking back. No matter what I was doing, it seemed to remind me of what I wasn't doing last year. But then on top of all the looking back, there was also the New Year, which brought a bout of looking ahead. That 'looking through the mirror darkly' brought on a whole new thought process. I guess that I've gotten a lot more matter of fact about it. Will I be here next Christmas? Probably. But people die of cancer, so there's no guarantee for me. Shoot. There's no guarantee for any of us. I've just endured one of those times when life shudders and you are more aware of that fact than other times, I guess. I don't know. But anyways, it has been preying on my mind...'have I been a good mom?' and right away, I find myself striving to be better, to give meaningful little presents that make my beloved children see that life is beautiful and wonderful and meant for living. 'Have I been a good wife?', and right away, I find myself saying it more, loving him better, cooking especially for him, working harder at his side. And then there is this one: 'When I stand before God, will I be good enough?' I am a firm believer in 'Living the gospel always. If necessary use words.' With that in mind, I have found myself really looking at my little corner of the world during this holiday season, and what I see is need, and it makes me feel terrible, because I cannot meet all of that need. I can try. I can pick things out to do, but no matter what, when I am done there will still be...need, which is discouraging, and can make you feel as if you have not accomplished one blessed thing. Nothing. Mary and I were talking about that Friday night (when I whipped her in Scrabble...a minor, but important detail...). For the first time, it popped into my head: just like my idea that our pennies, our small change can add up to be a big deal, doing good is the same thing...if we all sought to do good, all of us collectively would make a difference in this world. Sort of like the pebble dropped into the pond. That thought made a big difference in my heart. Instead of wondering if I had done enough, effected a big enough change to satisfy my Maker, I found myself thinking, 'just do good'. That's all. Just do good every chance I get, and hope that other people adopt the same kind of thinking.

I got a trifle carried away, I suppose, excited at this concept, couldn't wait to bring it to the blog. The quantifying, I suppose is simply proof to myself that my idea of doing what you can, with whatever you have, no matter how little, no matter how much is workable. That this thinking can effect a change. What I want you all to do is see the need in your little corner of the world, what I want you to do is to do good where ever you are. Be a positive influence. I'm not trying to paint myself as some sort of saint. I'm not. I'm not an angel. None of that. I am just a person who struggles, day by day, just like most of you, to do the right thing. To be a good person. I wanted to offer encouragement to all of us, a new way to look at it. I was in no way shape or form intending to glorify myself by yesterday's post, and I am sorry for anyone that I may have offended.

Well, what are we all just sitting around for? Let's get going. We've got good to do.


Twain12 said...

i'm new to reading your blog but i don't think you have to worry . I took it for what you intended it to mean :)
Let's combine our pennies and do some good !

Kelly said...

Here's the sentence that stood out from all the others in this post (for me, at least):

"There's no guarantee for any of us"

All the more reason we need to get out there and do all the good we can everywhere we can while we can. (hmm... I'm hearing a John Wesley quote somewhere in my head)

Scotty said...

No pennies here but I did make a donation to the appeal.

And as for doing good? It's probably safe to say that we all don't do it often enough until something come along to prick our conscience a bit - I have tried to donate my time over the years though by helping out at a couple of local soup kitchens and shelters as well as reading stories to kids in the Burns Unit at one of the local hospitals. There are times when I know I could do more.

Debby said...

Scotty, I guess that I'm thinking that the small kindnesses that we do, doing the right thing in our daily walk counts just as much as the big donations, just as much as the grand gestures of kindness.

A Novel Woman said...

Bragging or "glorifying" yourself? Wha-at?! No way! I had to chuckle though because I too had second thoughts about posting yesterday how much I donated because I thought I sounded like I was bragging. That's not what I intended either.

Sheesh. :)

I love your blog, I love your approach to life and how you express your faith. I never feel it's crammed down my throat, nor do I feel less than, nor preached to. I feel uplifted, and motivated to do more for others, and right now that means the people of Haiti. I mean, isn't that the point of religion? So if that's what you were going for, you accomplished it.

I thought of you today because I went for my mammogram, now five years overdue. Then I wandered over to the Salvation Army Store nearby, and found a book called LANGUAGE IN THOUGHT AND ACTION. It was only 99 cents, and I was mostly taken by the bits that the previous owner had underlined. For example:

"There is a huge substratum of co-operation taken for granted that keeps the world going....all this co-ordination of effort necessary for the functioning of society is of neccessity achieved by language or else it is not achieved at all."

So keep blogging. ;)

(And Pat Robertson is still a jackass.)

Amy said...

you have no nothing to apologize for, to anyone. Pat Robertson scares the bejesus out of me. You are a beacon. it makes me happy to know that you are alive in this world

BUSH BABE said...

1. I have never laid eyes or ears on this Pat Robertson person, and have no desire to.

2. I have no idea why you are apologising - did someone send you a nasty email? I understood what you were trying to do, and can see no bragging anywhere.

3. My spare 'pennies' were some of the funds left in my paypal account from my calendar transactions. They added up to about $22 and I just hope they did some good before they evaporated into 'admin costs'...

4. What A Novel Woman said...


Debby said...


1. Spiders the size of men's palms, poisonous snakes, and goannas vs. no Pat Robertson. Hmm. Okay. You guys win. I'll take Australia.

2. No. I was just thinking.

3. You did good.

4. We're wandering into dangerous territory here when we begin following the words and wisdom of NW. She writes*whispers* farting.

Lori said...

I read your first paragraph and thought, "what?!" and had to go back and re-read the previous post. I hadn't had any sense of "bragging". I think I understood what you were saying just fine, so I hope that you didn't get some kind of private negative feedback. I agree about our own "little" things adding up and our collective "little" things adding up. We should do good whenever we see the chance to do good, and it is for each of us to know when that is for us. I couldn't help but think of the "widow's mite" while reading this.