Grace Michaelson

Bloom Where You’re Planted? or Christ-Mimicker?

Mar
25

I here a lot of people talk about the idea of feeling free now that people have learned to be themselves.  Heck, I have even fallen into that, at times.  The idea of freedom in no longer dancing with societies games of cat and mouse is appealing. Waltzing around the big pink elephants in the room, such as our agendas and hidden struggles that we don’t want anyone to know about for fear of getting caught or outed in the middle of society, can be very time-consuming and for some people anxiety-inducing.  No one, these days, wants their deepest, darkest secrets found out and spread all over town by the town-gossip, so we suffer in desperate silence hoping some compassionate soul will come up to us and help us find away to free ourselves to live openly as our true selves, right?  At least that’s how the movies depict it.  That’s not the truth of society.

This morning I was thinking about this subject.  I have tried to live free from societies nuances and games of cat and mouse.  All that has done for me has created a lonely life where people back out of my life, uncomfortable with all the honesty.  This has led me to believe that I am simply not a people person and I don’t do well with human interaction.  I have become very black and white and cynical about today’s society as a result of this hurt, but lately I have realized that the problem may not be societies problem alone, that I may be causing just as much of the problem with my black and white thinking.

I have made no apologies on this blog in regards to my Christian Faith.  Lately, God has been leading me to passage after passage in regards to loving people, especially loving Christian believers.  So how does one like me, a black and white thinker who keeps alienating people by her honesty, learn to integrate into society and love my fellow humans?  This has been a quandary to me for some time because I don’t exactly know how to maneuver around in the subtle grays that society is comfortable living in.  While people are enamored by my genuine writing style, when confronted with the genuine, black-and-white person that I truly am, most people can’t take it.

So, what is the answer to following my faith and loving humans, but still being “true to myself”?  I believe it is being a Christ-Mimicker.  I don’t believe that once you are a Christian you have the right to continue trying to live “free to be yourself”.  As much as I want to live my whole life as I want to, my life is now Christ’s.  I am to live it as Christ would have lived it.  So, what am I to be like?  I do so hate the WWJD movement.  It is a cliché that really dumbs down what we are to truly be in Christ.  So please don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying that we’re supposed to go around wearing WWJD plastic bracelets and preach on the street corners and make a total annoyance of ourselves.  What I’m trying to say is, mimic what Christ did while on Earth.  1) He found time to be with His Father every day, 2) He did what His Father told him to do every moment of every day.  That means he was in-tuned to the Father’s will. He tapped into His Power, 3) He socialized with the unwanted, the needy, the “sinners”.  He didn’t preach at them, he was among them.  He loved them. 4) He didn’t demand others to accept Him as Himself or therefore he snubbed them, but He was also comfortable with others going the other way if they couldn’t accept Him for Who He was.  He didn’t own other’s feelings, He let them have their own thoughts and feelings, and that was OK. 5) The most important:  He stood up for the Truth.  There comes a time when gray is not OK.  When black and white wins out.  When Truth must stand firm.  That is why it’s so important to always be in-tuned to the Father and no when and where those times are and when it’s OK to be gray and when it is time to stand up for truth.

Buggy, No Bug Backs!

Jan
06

Do your kids play the Buggy Game?  This is where they see a Volkswagen Bug they slug you in the arm and say “Buggy!”?  Yes, well, I thought I would be smart and start slugging them back when they did this.  Well, guess what?  Now there’s “No Bug Backs”, apparently.  What really gets me is that I never see the Bug they slug me for until well after the slug.  Sometimes I never see the Bug.  Yet, my kids alway notice these damn Bugs all over town!  How do they do this?  I don’t know.

The point  is that I am obviously not mindful enough to notice the Bugs that tootle around town.  I’m so busy rushing to this appointment, or that dinner, or off to go visit that friend.  My mind is rushing through my day, or busy reflecting on that conversation.  I may be ruminating over the finger I got from the freak in the car I passed four cars back who was going so slow there was no way he had anywhere important he had to go.  Right?  Then bam! “Buggy, No Bug Backs!”

My friend and I were visiting this afternoon and I got two calls in like twenty minute from a gal from a doctor’s office because my son and I were having back-to-back eye doctor appointments at the same office.  She hadn’t noticed that we were in the same family and it was the same phone number she was dialing and the same name she was going to talk to.  Again, that mindfulness thing.  My friend and I had a good laugh over the matter, but I began to think about how much our culture doesn’t practice mindfulness.

We are a listen-to-respond, rush-to-get-there, work-a-holic, technology-hungry, socially-crippled society.  I honestly don’t think any of us could handle more than 24 hours without our phones or iThingy.  We cling to them more than we cling to human touch.  Mindfulness is a forgotten art.  To sit and actually listen to someone without already formulating your response while someone is still talking is a forgotten art.  Sitting and inspecting a raison – just because you want to – an art for the grandparent who has Alzheimer’s.  Maybe it’s time to learn from those who have Alzheimer’s.  There was an article on CNN that just sunk into my brain because it showed people posed with their phones around tables or in their beds, but the photographer had taken away their phones.  It shows how disconnected and unmindful we as a society have become.  You can find CNN’s article here.

I’m not an anti-technology person.  I personally own a iPhone, iPad, and an iMac. Each of my kids have their own iPhones because I want to be able to track them with “Find my iPhone” if they break curfew. lol.  Technology has it’s place and is a wonderful asset.  What I am saying, though, is that mindfulness is also a great and wonderful long-lost asset and should be taken seriously.  People who can see the Bug tootling down the street instead of fuming because the stupid kid gave them the finger for getting around them have it made.  People who can notice the family groups and save themselves an extra phone call are ahead of the game.  People who are polite enough to listen all the way through your thought before starting to formulate their response are awesome.

One way to start becoming more mindful is to become a little more old fashioned.  Instead of using your visa/debit card for everything, start using cash.  You’ll notice you’ll have a better handle of your budget.  There is just something about the touch and feel of cash leaving your wallet that makes you spend less.  My friend just told me another way I can be mindful.  I’m always forgetting appointments or being late because I forgot I was supposed to be someplace because I didn’t put it into my iThingy’s.  So he suggested that I go old fashioned.  He told me to buy myself a Day-Timer.  He said there is something about carrying a calendar around and writing it down by hand that helps you to keep your appointments.  I think I’ll try it.  Something about feeling and touching that helps take ownership.  Mindfulness.  Bringing things into the plain of the senses.

Women in Burkas

Apr
01

I recently had a debate with someone who I thought was a Christian and a friend. This person said she was offended at women wearing burkas because she felt that the Muslim population of the United States were here to take over the United States and that they were going to use their women and children to bomb us. I cannot tell you how shocked I felt. I truly want to believe that she is one of very few Christians who believe this about Muslim women, but unfortunately there were several people on the Social Network we were on that agreed with her.

I am sure that we have several terrorist burrows who would gladly use men, women, or children to get their way to destroy America. After all extreme Muslims have never been shy about letting people know that that is their goal. Having said that, I still strongly feel that the racists comments made by this women should not be spread far, because not every Muslim person is an extremist. Now, I am not someone who is a fool and is going to be like our politicians are doing and make foolish remarks in order to supposedly pacify the Muslim population here in the United States. But neither do I feel that the average Muslim takes those foolish remarks to heart and accepts them.

This is what I do feel, I feel the average Muslim Women is suffering and brainwashed and she hardly knows it. Let me educate the Christian Populous about the suffering of Muslim Women. Their men are constantly holding them hostage. If one of them gets raped in one of their countries, the rape victim gets tried and put to death, not the rapist. If they are here in America and they are raped, the family will often take care of killing them.

Most often then not, they are forced to marry a very old man when they are a young teen, just after they start ovulating. Their only purpose in life, per Muhammed, is to make children for their husband. Their husband is allowed to marry four times. They are required to hide their whole bodies to any other man. If one of them accidentally shows off their wrist to another man, and their husband chooses to get jealous, he can have her killed.

Americans think it’s just simple to remove their Burkas and defy their husbands and family, but any kind of defying done by a women is usually an instant death sentence. Even here in America. Very rarely are they caught, too, because the family will hide who has done the killing and shield any evidence from investigators.

The culture surrounding a Muslim family is a shame culture. If someone, for instance becomes a Christian, then you shame the whole family. You, at best, will be shunned by your whole family, and at worst, someone will be sent to kill you. In a shame culture you must comply at the upmost to do what the father says to do.

Has there been women and children used to bomb people. Yes. But do we need to relinquish our heart of compassion for these women locked away in this culture of shame and trapped away from freedom just because we’ve read some articles on some website full of sensationalism, or listened to some sensationalistic video? Absolutely not! Jesus said we are to love one another and pray for those who are suffering. We are to have compassion for the hurting. It is the ultimate of selfishness to forget what Christianity is about. What did Jesus do? He was there to reach out to those who needed Him the most. And he loved them. He did not judge them.

With Obama doing all the stuff that he is doing to create fear and division so that he can get his agenda done in the government, I know that it’s easy to lose sight of this. We can’t do that, though. We have to remember why God left us here. What our job is, ultimately, here on Earth. Don’t let Satan blind you because of the fearful things going on here in America. We are here to bring people to Christ. And we don’t do that by spewing hurtful, hateful lies wherever we are.