Plastic Fruit

May 27, 2009

Yesterday I got pelted in the face with plastic fruit! “Plastic fruit???!” you say? Yes.

A Christian guy I have never met before approached me and started a conversation. A guy who has no clue who I am, where I come from, what I have been through, what makes me “me”; someone who doesn’t know me from Adam. I could tell by the way he started the conversation that the guy was slightly out of touch with the “real world”, and yet I had the sinking sensation I was about to receive a sermon of some sort. That sensation became a reality within minutes of him talking, questioning, prodding, and preaching.

I don’t want to judge the guy, and I hope his intentions were good, but I do not understand where Christians get the spiritual arrogance to think that they can go up to complete strangers and force their views and opinions on them. I just don’t get it. I am a Christian and it makes me not want to be a Christian. I can’t imagine what it does to those who are not. I don’t want anybody from any religion to come up and start forcing their view on me out of the blue for that matter!

I would go even further to say that I don’t even want basic advice from complete strangers. Imagine the absurdity of a complete stranger coming up to you at a restaurant and saying, “Um, hey, I noticed you were talking with food in your mouth, and you also have elbows on the table! You really shouldn’t do that!” That would be strange! But for some reason, some people do not see it as strange to go up to complete strangers and force their “spiritual manners” on them.

I hate it when people feel the need to awkwardly force God into every conversation. To me, that is not fruit of a true and genuine relationship with God. Again, I am not trying to be judgmental because I don’t know these people’s hearts, but I feel like if someone’s relationship with God is real and true, there will be little need for forced words, because the actions and aura (Yes, I said aura!) of that person will naturally reflect the light and love of God.

If someone has a real connectivity to God, like any good relationship, that relationship will bear luscious, beautiful, juicy fruit!

People will see it.

People will feel it.

People will taste and see that it is good.

People will talk about it.

But only if it is not forced, fake or plastic.

It has to be real.

I do not believe God is sitting up with a notebook marking down how many religious conversations we have with people, how many times we are able to force His name into one conversation, and how many people we manage to “get to” in one day with forced banter about Him. When I read what James says about pure and undefiled religion, what Matthew 25 says about how we will be judged, what Isaiah 61 offers a hurting world, and what God sees as the fasting acceptable in his eyes in Isaiah 58, I see that God is more interested in how we behave, how we look after each other, how we support each other, how we let Him naturally shine through us, how we treat those that society considers “less” than us, if we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, speak out for the oppressed, look after the orphans, take care of the widows, invite the homeless into our homes…

Not if we merely speak hollow, empty words about Him, but rather if, like Jesus, we are living, walking, talking versions OF Him.

I love real fruit!

I hate being hit in the face with plastic fruit!


People are Angry!

May 12, 2009
Today was another reminder that there are some really angry people walking (or, in this case, driving) around!

I got hit by a car! Yes, you heard me right! An old, white man hit me with his car!!

Fortunately for me I still have fairly quick reflexes! So, here’s what happened…

Me and Penny (a thirteen-year-old girl who was chilling out with me for the day) were walking to the train station in Muizenberg. So we were walking down the sidewalk and we came up to a stop street that we had to walk across. Right as we were about to cross the street, a car sped up to the stop sign. I hesitated, but then started to cross when I saw the car begin to stop. Fortunately, Penny walked behind the car.

The driver, not watching what he was doing, did not stop completely, and when I got right smack dab in front of his car he punched the accelerator! Ok, now this is the weird part…I have always had this fantasy about almost getting hit by a car and having to jump up on the hood to save myself. Well, this was my chance! So as the car came at me I jumped straight up in the air and stuck my legs straight out in front of me. My butt landed on the hood of the car, in perfect sitting position and I slid right off the side of the hood as it continued to move (turning left into the street).

I slid off smoothly and landed on my feet. I felt like The Fonz! I was not angry. I was a little confused because it all happened so fast. I turned around to the car, only to see this red-faced man roll down his window and scream, “WHAT ARE YOU FUCKING DOING?!?!?!” Up and until that point I was pretty calm. I mean, it is one thing for someone to hit you with their car because they didn’t stop properly at a stop sign and weren’t looking! We all make mistakes! But a person has a lot of never to then swear and go on as though it was the victim’s fault!

So I kind of lost it a little. As he drove off, I put my fist in my sweater and took off running beside his car, ready to punch out his window. I know, I know, that was very immature! He screeched to a halt and opened his door. I went straight up to his door and got pretty close to his face. I could smell the “old person” smell of his car interior. He was just a bit younger than my grandfather, and fortunately for him my parents instilled in me a huge amount of respect for elders. That probably saved him from getting his face kicked in. Because then spit flew from his mouth as he snarled, “YOU’RE A DUMMY!”

Wow! I do not think I have been called that name since the second grade! I almost laughed. I stood there, a little shocked. I said, “I am a dummy?!” and he emphasized it even more, with even more spit flying, “YOU’RE A DUMMY!!!!!!!” I glanced up and saw the confused Penny standing on the side of the road. I looked back down at this pitiful, angry, little, red-faced white man, and I just laughed and said, “Ok.”

He angrily drove off. As Penny and I walked on to the train station, I realized I had fulfilled my fantasy of getting to jump on a car, avoiding broken legs and potential death. And…I went on to have a wonderful day!


Day 163: 5 May – True Activism

May 5, 2009

I think true activism is birthed from the connection of two parents…

a deep, unconditional love for someone, a group or something

and

a deep, unconditional hatred for anything that threatens the existence or well being of that person, group or thing.