It’s Friday, Friday, Friday (or: some real reasons to rejoice)

If you haven’t heard Rebecca Black’s 2011 song “Friday,” let me offer a condensed version:

Friday, Friday, Friday, Friday, Friday (etc.)
Weekend, weekend, weekend, weekend, weekend (etc.)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (etc.)
Partyin’, partyin’, partyin’, partyin’, partyin’ (etc.)
Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun (etc.)

These are (cough) the important reasons to be happy when Friday arrives yeah yeah fun fun yeah.

Well, today is Friday.

And so I rejoice (which has no direct relation to feeling happy), but not because of weekend partyin’ fun oo-ooh-ooh hoo-yeah yeah (that last little bit is straight from the official lyric sheet).

I rejoice because of things that can’t be measured (and things that can be measured but aren’t by those who have grown accustomed to them) – because of things that are mundane (but are in fact miraculous, especially for those who rarely or never experience them) – because of things that are overlooked (at least by those who see them on a regular basis) – because of things that simply are (except when they aren’t, which is far too often in far too many places).

Tonight I will sleep on a comfortable bed, covered with blankets, in a warm room, under a functioning roof.

This evening I will eat fresh food, sitting at a table, drinking clean water, in the company of others.

Farmer's MarketFarmer's MarketFarmer's Market
Purdue Farmer's Market (Photos: CKirgiss)

This afternoon I will drive away from my job, on paved roads, alongside river and fields, towards my home.

Flowered FieldFlowered Field
River Road (Photos: CKirgiss)

Each and every day – including Friday – I have clothes to wear, water to bathe in, air to breathe, food to eat, books to read, people to love, hope for tomorrow, and grace beyond measure.

It is, indeed, Friday. And it is worth celebrating for the same thousand reasons that every other day is worth celebrating – because in the midst of brokenness, suffering, despair, pain, sorrow, fear, heartache, loneliness, worry, and death there is love, life, hope, healing, restoration, comfort, encouragement, beauty, grace, and Jesus.

Truly. It is as complicated and simple as that.


a bigger picture – a better question

Wednesday, 7 November, 2012:

I’m not a political activist, pundit, or powerhouse. That’s why after voting yesterday, I wrote that the precious freedom to vote is of less significance than the precious truth that we are human.

This morning, 51.5% of voters are euphoric (to varying degrees) and 48.5% are despondent (on various levels) based solely on their personal answer to this single question:

Who did you vote for?

Several hours ago, the political map of our country looked like this:

2012 Electoral Map – 11.07.12

For entirely non-political reasons, I hate this map. Everything about it screams division and dissent. The non-United States of America.

I prefer this map:

United States

A person has to really scrunch up their eyes to pinpoint “my” place. The color scheme has an artistic air about it. The division lines are faint, more like the marks on a master blueprint than the “cut” lines on a butcher diagram.

This map is even better:

This one is better yet:

And this is the best of all:


I vote because I can. Because I have been given that right.  Because voting matters – on a temporal level, that is.

But I am not a pinpoint on a blue/red electoral map, defined primarily by my political leanings or judged by my voting record.

I am, rather, a pinpoint in a vast, immeasurable universe. I breathe because I live. I have been granted that miracle. Pinpoints matter – in spite of their smallness – solely because they are defined by their imago Dei and judged by undeserved grace.

The real question (for today) is not Who did you vote for?

The real question (for beyond days) is Who do you live for?

From empty to full

Photo: CKirgiss

The bottom basket of my freezer is bare. Nothing in it. Nothing at all.

This is a problem because that basket is supposed to be full of frozen overripe brown bananas.

Bananas that – when thawed – can practically be poured out of their peel.

(Bananas that – when frozen – can break a toe if dropped on it.)

Bananas that are absolutely perfect for baking projects.

Bananas that yield domestic gold.

Bananas that ooze culinary delight.

Bananas that are THE single most important ingredient in banana bread, of which I must bake three loaves every Wednesday night for a very particular and discerning crowd.

It’s Wednesday.

I have no overripe brown bananas.

None. At. All.

And the twelves pounds of partly-green-mostly-yellow-with-barely-a-hint-of-brown bananas that I just scrounged during a desperation run to the grocery store won’t be transformed into genuine baking gold for another week. At least.

This is just the kind of crisis that threatens to destroy my immediate existence for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. Or rational.

Bottom line: I should have been better prepared. I should have checked the bottom basket of my freezer last week, bought twelve pounds of partly-green-mostly-yellow-with-barely-a-hint-of-brown bananas then, and had plenty of frozen overripe brown bananas now. But I didn’t. And so I don’t.

In a world that can beam data signals halfway across the world in a millisecond, you’d think there’d be a way to fix this. A way to make these bananas ripen quickly. A way to turn at least a small part of this depressing morass of partly-green-mostly-yellow-with-barely-a-hint-of-brown into a lovely pile of mushy-smooshy-runny-oozy-deep-dark-brownness now. Right now. This minute. Immediately.

Huh. How ironic. My little bananas crisis (little, indeed) and the resulting sense of despair and doom and frustration and irritation isn’t really about bananas at all.

It’s about my response to human limitations. To the fact that the world is not mine to orchestrate. To the fact that I cannot control most of what happens around me. To the fact that I am, after all, a created being existing in a created world that – for all of our human advancement and innovation and progress – is not under my authority.

I am only human. Miraculous and beloved and blessed, to be sure, but fully – only – human nonetheless.

The divine does not inherently exist within me. Enlightenment and perfection are not merely a matter of tapping into my own inner reserves of power and strength and wisdom. (Left to itself, my inner reserves are desperately wicked and include nothing of value or merit or worth.)


beyond all reason and comprehension

the Divine does graciously dwell within me. Salvation and redemption are freely offered, poured out at the cross and filling my soul so that I can learn love and humility and obedience. (Left to itself, my soul is filled with my own self which knows nothing of love or humility or obedience.)

The bottom freezer of my basket is empty.

But my soul is full. Oh my …. very full indeed.