I went to a black gospel church today with one of my students (which was really awesome. It struck some chords that have not been struck for a while… but that’s for another entry). A conversation really caught me off guard. I told a guy I was living in Carlsbad. He laughed and told me he got close, but “they” won’t let him live there. I laughed, telling him how guilty I felt (which is usually my comedy line when I tell people where I live). We both agreed I should count my blessings, with plenty of laughter in between.
What’s funny is that as I was driving back home, and crossed highway 78 from Oceanside to Carlsbad, I really did feel guilty. It didn’t feel like a joke tonight. It might actually be reality.
But I remembered what the guy said to me- “count your blessings”.
Just be thankful, and live fully, love fully. Sometimes, though, it’s so hard to live in such a broken yet beautiful world. My dad used to tell me I had to just accept that the world isn’t fair (“The world isn’t fair, Daniel”, as i wondered why my sister got the cooler toy (ha don’t worry, i have no bitterness, charissa)). But sometimes I wonder if it was meant and created to be unfair…
How do I love people on both sides of the unfairness? How do I remain in between and retain my sanity? My identity must rest in God, He is the only one who can empower me to love the rich and the poor at the same time in a community where the rich and the poor live so near one another (almost literally like “across the train tracks…” except it’s a freeway). I feel like I have a rich mask and then a poor mask, depending on which part of the Tricity area I’m in (and it’s ironic my mom came from a rich family and my dad came from a poor family). But God rips apart the masks and reveals that my identity (and the members of this community’s identities) is not rested upon social standing, but upon his passionate and unrelenting love for all of them- rich or poor.
The sunset over the ocean that I can see from our giant windows… is so beautiful, but so broken, because only the priveleged can view it from where I live. I know I must not be swallowed by guilt, but the question still haunts me… Is this sunset worth it? How can I share it?