Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Culture Shock

1 Timothy 6:16 (New Living Translation)
16 He alone can never die, and he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No human eye has ever seen him, nor ever will. All honor and power to him forever! Amen.

Psalm 104.2a "He wraps himself in light as with a garment;"

Living in North America we are spoiled. We take for granted amenities that the rest of the world considers the height of luxury.

My Mum recently moved into a cozy, warm flat, but not so long ago when I would go back to England for visits I experienced culture shock, especially in the winter. Mum and Dad lived in a humble house, with built in ventilation. No shortage of fresh air! There was a gas fire in the living room, around which we would all try to warm at least the side of our bodies that faced it while the other side tensed with cold. There was always careful discussion between my parents about whether we really needed two bars of the fire, or three. For me, keeping warm was a constant preoccupation!

The upstairs had no heat and similarly drafty windows. During one January visit I remember below zero temperatures outside, and feeling like I was sleeping on the side of a hillside.

Hot water was a luxury for which the water heater was specifically switched on at certain times--for a weekly bath, for instance--and the water for washing dishes was heated on the stove in kettles.

I'm not really seriously complaining about any of this. It was worth it and far more to see my parents, and we were not badly off at all. I was just a pampered North American being brought down to earth a little.

Jesus came down to earth too. He who was used to the brilliant light and blazing glory of heaven--the One who once said, "Let there be light," came down to a world wrapped in darkness and not light. The wonder is that he thought we were worth it. But he did! And I am so grateful.

John 1:3-5 (The Message)

3-5Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn't put it out.


Michelle said...

Absolutely! My first year of teaching, I had my concert choir sing it at the first Christmas concert I ever directed. It's a good one! :)

"More Love, More Power, More Of You In My Life" - love that song!

Johnny Cash said...

Hi Belinda,
Ya, I'm with you on that. I HAVE to have a shower after every work day, especially during summer to cool my body down. Haven't been to England in a real long time (20 yrs.) and have no desire to go back. There's nothing there for me. I only have one grandparent left (maternal grandmother) and she's senile. She doesn't even recognize my Mom which is a shame. It is what it is I guess. Canada rocks! JC