Sunday, December 7, 2008


"A day that will live in infamy...." December 7, 1941. 67 years ago, Japan bombed the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It too was a Sunday. This morning, I thought about how it would feel to awaken to bombs going off nearby, the sound of gunfire, and dozens of airplanes overhead. I doubt I would've reacted as calmly as many of the men and women on base did that morning.

When I left to go to church this morning, Aurora was covered in flat gray clouds. I could see blue sky off in the distance, but it was overcast and gloomy this morning. Kind of appropriate for the day. By the time I left church to return home, blue sky was emerging and the sun was peeking out.

A strong argument can be made that we forced Japan's hand, which led them to bombing us. We should've expected something along the lines of the attack on Pearl Harbor after what we did to them. Yet, all the text books in K-12 schools teach is that Japan attacked an innocent nation. I heard that in Japan, they teach their students a similar perspective about the bombs we dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. I don't know how true it is, but don't really doubt that the horrors of the atom bombs are taught out of their historical context. Our textbooks do it, why wouldn't another country's?

Pearl Harbor holds a unique place in our country's history. We entered World War II as a result of the attack. By the end of the war, we were an international superpower. A title we continue to try and maintain in an ever changing world. There are other major developments out of the attack, but I don't have the time to go into them right now.

I really wanted to post links to museums and stories of survivors of December 7, 1941 (on both sides). Unfortunately, I'm in the middle of finals for graduate school. Getting lost in the history of today will have to wait for another time. Papers, presentations, and an exam are calling my name and require my time.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Good Grief

Sometimes it feels like grief is the major theme of my life. On more than one occasion, I've caught myself marking time by it. Just as I think a season of mourning is ending, it starts for something else. There are so many types of grief and ways to mourn the loss of a person, place, and life that it can easily become overwhelming. Someone used to tell me, "Life shouldn't be this hard." I feel like that today, things shouldn't be this hard-and yet they are. It won't always be this hard, but it is right now.

Recently, I've been mourning the loss of Fort Collins and how the move to Aurora has changed my life. Not that being in Aurora is bad, it has actually been good for me, but it hasn't been easy. I still miss driving up the Poudre, going to Horsetooth, and walking around City Park to clear my mind and heart. I really miss the little things, like walking into church and being greeted with a friend's trademark hug, observing the (often entertaining) interactions of the youth group, and catching up with a friend over pizza and a beer. It felt like home, Fort Collins feels like my home. And God asked me to leave it, which I did-with a rebellious heart, but I left when He asked me to.

God has been asking for more and more of me lately. A good thing, something that requires change on my part. In the midst of my excitement, I find myself grieving over some of the changes He's asking me to make. Lately, the grief has been more apparent than in recent months. Or, I feel like it's more apparent-maybe it isn't.

A couple weeks ago, I slipped back into the habit of letting my emotions determine my mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Not the best plan, but it happened. Needless to say, its been a rough couple of weeks. I believe I'm back on track, but the grief over new changes God is asking me to make has been difficult to work through. There has also been a lot of challenging family stuff going on.

He's calling me to change some things in my life; I'm not sure how to change some of them and other areas I don't want to. I'm afraid that when I make the changes He's asked of me, I'll lose more than I'll gain. I'm aware that's a lie, but it seems so true today and it's one of the things holding me back. Some changes seem sudden to me, so I'm still listening and weighing what to do. However, one area isn't so sudden as the others and I'm still reluctant to obey.

My heart is breaking over these things and I'm frustrated with myself. I know His way is better than mine is, He's proven it so many times, but I still struggle with obedience. While He's given me a certain amount of clarity about why I'm grieving (something I didn't have a week ago), the process seems directionless and is still difficult. I have some tough decisions to make and then carryout over the coming weeks. But right now, my heart just hurts. As a dear friend used to say, "I'm sitting in the ashes today."