Monday, July 10, 2006

Chapter whatever: some short notes

[J]

It's Monday morning, and we're feeling a bit blah here in Hanoi. Minh's rages continue apace, and they really take it out of us. It's not just the current fit of rage, but the knowledge that there will almost certainly be another one coming down the pike. We find ourselves learning that attachment works both ways. Just as Minh must struggle to accept us as parents, so we must struggle to accept him as our child, most especially in the moments when he is working his hardest to avoid that attachment. We are learning that love is an act of will and faith, not an emotion. I don't have the energy to pursue the theological implications of this right now, but this experience is a startling lesson in the infinite love of God. I see myself as a child adopted into God's family, irrevocably a child of God as a result of my surrender to Christ, but a child who often struggles against full attachment, full bonding, with my true father. If Minh's rages against us are painful and frustrating, how much more panful and frustrating to God are my battles against his infinite love. And yet his love does not abate and I do not cease to be his child.

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There are a lot more stoplights here in Hanoi... but fortunately they are mainly optional. If the light has turned red and you still want to drive your scooter through the intersection, you need only create aprotective bubble around yourself by speeding up and blowing your horn as loudly as possible. And if you accidentally did stop at a red light, there's no need to stay there until it turns green, unless you feel like it.

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We learned recently that Paul Anka, Tom Jones, and Barbra Streisand are all considered the epitome of modern music here in Vietnam. And the theme song for our soundtrack is now the theme from Love Story. We seem to hear muzak version of it in every restaurant. In fact, in Danang, all public facilities seem to have been issued the same identical muzak CD, suitable for any occasion or location.

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