Sunday, April 8, 2012

Economy of the Cross

How often do you measure your worth according to your accomplishments, acquisitions, or appearances?  How often do you devalue yourself, think less of yourself because you have not met a goal, gained a possession, or looked the part?  It is easy to assign value to yourself and others according to our achievements and theirs, or according to entirely arbitrary factors like beauty and social status.  But how logical is such an assessment?

                Take any item sitting on a department store shelf.  Each piece of inventory is assigned a price tag to tell customers how much that object is worth and what it will cost to take it home with you.  The items are not priced according to their aesthetics (what they look like) or their functions (what they can do).  Rather, the price tag they bear reflects the law of supply and demand:  Items that are easily obtained and not highly desirable are inexpensive, while items that are highly prized and more difficult to obtain are very costly.  This knowledge is intrinsic to us, which is why we are suspicious when we see valuable items advertised for incredibly low prices- we know there must be a “catch,” because something so desirable and rare is not given away for so little.  And we know the reason that item is so valuable is because we know how highly desirable it is- it is not so much about the item itself as it is about how badly people want it.  After all, a diamond is just a pretty rock until someone is willing to pay royally for it. 

                In terms of economics, how truly accurate is the value you have assigned to yourself? Consider supply and demand.  How desirable are you?  How difficult are you to obtain?  Think long and hard before you answer…the King of kings was willing to die so that you may live, and it was only by His dying that you could be His.  You could only be obtained by the sacrifice of His own life, and He wanted you badly enough to pay that price.  He painted a price tag for you with His own blood, and it does not reflect your abilities or attributes- it is a brilliant reflection of His desire for you and what He was willing to do in order to claim you as His own.  Who are you, the one who has been purchased, to cross His name off your price tag and write in some lesser value based off your own achievements?  How dare you measure your worth according to who you are or what you can do when He has stretched His arms wide open and said, “You are worth the nails.  You are worth the torment and suffering.  You are worth death, because I will pay whatever it takes to make you Mine.” 

You are priceless, not because of your own accomplishment but because of His.  His resurrection is the receipt that shows that the transaction is finished.  The price has been paid, the war has been won, and the prize has been placed in the nail-pierced hands of the victorious King.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"The American Girl"

The American Girl

[a poem inspired by my first impression of Amsterdam, and borne of the necessity  of submitting something for my creative writing workshop in order to pass the class]

The air is frantic, flying haphazardly,
And loose ends of a stranger’s scarf
Lick the bright round cheeks of
The American girl.

All is music outside Grand Central Station.
Bicycle bells, rumbling busses, and boots
On cobblestone- an organic symphony
To accompany the cacophonous choir of voices.
Every accent imaginable rings out, and
The furious wind delivers each dialect
Directly to those American ears
In a boisterous melody.

Wide eyes memorize the towers,
The bricks, the turrets, the history. 
A surreal setting, a fairytale scene
Come alive not in pages but in panorama.
Centuries-old buildings settle themselves
Into the scene, lending the city an air of old
Regality, and stealing unbelieving laughter
From speechless American lips.

Caught in a cyclone of culture
Suspended between the new and the known,
The world will never look the same to
The American girl.

And here's a look at you're truly, fully embracing the "American" stereotype while in the epicenter of European sophistication...

I definitely blended in.
Totally natural.
Not tourist-y at all.