Beyond the Surface

Friday, May 13, 2011

Last week I got the opportunity to travel to Phil Campbell with our church to help out with the disaster relief efforts after a tornado had ripped through the town and surrounding area’s leaving nothing but destruction behind it on April 27th 2011. One of the things I recall very clear in my mind is that driving into Phil Campbell it looked like nothing more than a big wind storm had hit the place, there were a few trees uprooted and laying in yards, but there was minimal damage. It wasn’t till we got further in, into the heart of Phil Campbell that the true nature of the problem became apparent. It was like there was a magic dividing line, and once it was crossed, we soon realized that what we saw coming in was nothing compared to what lied within. The place was practically flattened, the trees that did stand were nothing more than twigs in the air, they had been stripped of everything that had once made them beautiful, their leaves and their branches were gone. The roofs of buildings had collapsed, walls had caved in, and the places had been deemed unsafe. People had to resort to living in tents and hand made shelters. There was no running water, and no electricity to be found. Even our own building had been destroyed.
Some of the destruction.

Our South Campus...or what was left of it.

It kind of reminds me of how we, as people can be. Just like the minimal damage on the outskirts of Phil Campbell hid the devastation that lay within, we only allow people to see what is on the outside, we fake smiles and laughs to mask the pain that lies beneath. Our conversations consist of “Hey, how are you?” “Oh, I’m pretty good. How are you?” “I’m pretty good as well” and then we part ways, never bothering to go deeper then just the outside appearance, never bothering to see the hurt that people hold within. And in reality, most people want you to dig past the surface; they want you to take the mask off their face. They want to express to you how they really feel. Maybe we don’t take time to find out because we’re always in a hurry. Or maybe it’s because we’re afraid that if we stay around any longer we will have to become vulnerable to that person. But how can we expect to help a hurting world when we can even manage to dig a little past the cliché conversations with our friends and become vulnerable with each other? I don’t mean to spill your guts to some random person, but maybe be willing to listen to them a little longer than 10 seconds at a time.

This wasn’t the direction I had intended for this post to go, but apparently God had a something different in mind. I hope you got something out of this, I know that even though I was the one writing it, I learned from it…hahaha.


The Heart of the Matter

Sunday, May 1, 2011

  So, I had been thinking on this topic for a while, but due to all the other happenings in life it got pushed to the back of my mind. And a recent conversation with a friend of mine has once again brought it to the forefront of my mind, so that’s what I have decided to write about this time.

  As girls we’ve all felt that desire to be kissed, and have maybe even dreamt about what it would be like to kiss our future husband, the guy we like, our boyfriend…etc. We dream about what our first kiss will be like, who it will be with, and that sort of stuff, I mean, we see it in so many moves (romantic ones or not), and the girl is always swept off her feet by “prince charming” somehow, whether it’s literal or figuratively. But that’s what we’ve been exposed to, so why wouldn’t we think about those things? But even though our hearts and minds wonder to that topic quite a bit most of us…if we were truly honest with each other and ourselves would admit that we are afraid that we will never get the chance to experience that. And with the way most people view relationships today, how they think they can just be dropped any moment and just move right on and go into the next relationship without thinking twice, it’s no wonder girls (even though this is for girls, guys are included somewhat too, because there can be some pretty cold, heartless girls out there too) are afraid to fall for someone. Now I’m not saying run out and fall for the first guy that promises to be there for you all the time, the first guy that makes you feel like a princess…because words and feelings will only last for so long, and then you are left with what is inside the heart. And that could either be a good thing or not. The Bible reminds us in Jeremiah 17:9 that

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
and desperately wicked.
Who really knows how bad it is?”

  We’ve always been taught to follow your heart, I mean the big message that Disney puts out is a dream is a wish your heart makes, follow you dreams, follow your heart…” and so on. But that is obviously not what God tells us. Though I’m not saying it’s an easy thing, after all the heart is deceitful…it’s the king of tricks, the master of, well heart games. But most people fail to read the next part (Jeremiah 17:10) which says:

“But I, the Lord, search all hearts
and examine secret motives.
I give all people their due rewards,
according to what their actions deserve.”

  There might not be any human on earth that can truly understand the ways of the heart, but there is one who does know the heart. Who else should know the way the heart works than the Lord God, the one who created you, formed you, and made you in His image?

I know this is a short blog, but I want to remind you that these are just my thoughts on the subject, and I encourage you to do some digging for yourself. I hope I’ve left you with something to think about and to consider.