Archive | March 2013

Good News for the Bad News

Do you watch the news? If so, question: How do you usually feel afterwards?

Exhilarated? Peaceful? Chock-full of unbridled hope and restored faith in humanity?

Probably not, right?

If you’re like me, you probably just turn off your TV, lock the doors, google “cancer-preventing foods”, and vow to never watch the news again.

If you don’t watch the news, why is that? Probably because, like my wife, you “hate the news. It’s so depressing.” And it is. Sure, there are bright spots, but they are quickly eclipsed by one crisis or another.

Last night, in our student service, Transit, we did a mock newscast before the message, complete with sad stories and sensationalized journalism.

Tommy Tommerson (Tommy Pride) presented the following news:

Three young men were gunned down on the city’s east side. The killer is still at large. Hide your kids.

This season, Michigan is on the list of states with the highest influenza outbreaks. Avoid human beings.

The forecast shows at least two feet of snow over the next 48 hours. Power outages expected.

I then handed out tissues and told the students how hard it was going to be for them to ever find a job in our economy. Not really. I used the stories to contrast the bad news we are so accustomed to with the hope presented in The Gospel. Read More…

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When Death Dies

“That cemetery is really small, isn’t it?” my wife asked, gesturing toward the right of the busy intersection.

She was right; the space was very cramped, almost as if the cemetery were an afterthought. Looking over the lot, I noticed something else. Just past the fence that surrounds the property, glowing through the gaps between the headstones of the deceased, was a big red sign that said, Donut Delight.

A donut shop stands less than twenty feet from the perimeter of a grave yard. I have driven past this for years and have never considered the juxtaposition. It’s bizarre.

I picture a group of old men getting together every week for breakfast. They sit by the window sipping coffee. They split a box of chocolate-frosted eclairs and stare out into the field of death, trying not to number their days.

That is what you call an existential breakfast. It sounds like a Samuel Beckett play.

So, why would anyone surround an old cemetery with restaurants and small businesses?

Because life goes on. One day we will all be in fertilizer, but while we’re here, we all have to eat and buy and work. So, pour the concrete and put up a donut shop. Read More…

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