Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A social experiment

I have been on my own in London for the past few days. For those who know me you may be asking yourself, "How is Justin managing on his own for three days? He has never seemed like the type that would get on well all on his lonesome. He normally has to be with people doing something."
I would answer you that you are not alone in your thoughts. I myself had the same thoughts. But the time has been good for me. I've seen a lot of London, walked around A LOT, and generally had a lot of time to think thoughts.
One thought that occured to me two weeks ago when I was writing a letter (notice I actually wrote letters... on paper) to a friend. I was writing to her about my beliefs and one that I firmly hold to is that I think that there is a bit of God in each and every person. As I was writing to her I looked around at the people who were in the Cathedral and I teared up with the realization that I was not only in the presence of God in that I was in a Cathedral but I was surrounded by the presence of God in all of these people. It was a big realization to make.
Well as I packed my things into a borrowed satchel bag on Friday night I realized I'd be spending the next few days on my own and decided that as much as I possibly could during my time alone I would look at the people I pass on the street, the people I interact with in shops, and just everyone I encountered in any way and conciously (I never know if I spell that word correctly) think to myself, "There is a bit of God in you".
The results of this have been interesting. For one thing I've realized it is really really hard to keep in mind the decision to think that of everyone. Part of this is that I wouldn't be able to think anything else being that I'm constantly surrounded by people here. Another is the newness of this. I haven't ever tried to think anything like this all the time. I have several times a day caught myself not having thought about this for several hours at a time and will strive to be more dilligent in my thinking.
Aside from the difficulty of it it has been really really great. I quickly realized that I couldn't JUST think of God as being in each person. Once I thought that I then felt the need to wish God's blessings on the people I was passing. Then I thought about how each person has a story, a history and a future, that I will never know because they are faces on a sidewalk (which by the way sounds like the title of a poem. I should give that some thought). Mostly though I have spent my three days walking the streets of London smiling because my eyes are slightly more open to the amazingness of God. He is in all of us, irregardless of what we believe. He has taken the time to get to know us. We reflect his image. When I look at a man on the street do his ears curve just like God's? That woman, is her pinky finger an exact replica of the Almighties? It makes walking the streets much more interesting.
I have a few more days here but I doubt that I will ever be able to look at people the same way again...
Which I'm o.k. with.

God bless,

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pictures of Life in Portugal

A birthday celebration for Nasreen and me. Great Greek food, good friends, definitely a night to remember!

Christina and Carla threw a wonderful birthday picnic for me at the BIG BLUE HOUSE ((I've decided that their house shall forever be all capsed)). We had an amazing cake, I recieved an infants book of Portuguese, which we decided was still a bit hard for me, and had a great time with my new friends.

Halloween fun at THE BIG BLUE HOUSE ((I've decided the THE in THE BIG BLUE HOUSE needs to be capitalized also)). Some fun decorations, interesting costumes, karaoke and Buzz!

Halloween night at Joy's place. Amanda, not shown below, definitely won the best dressed prize by showing up dressed as an oven with a picture of a loaf of bread on the oven door. She was expecting to give birth like two weeks later. The party stopped as everyone turned to behold her glorious costume. Good times.