Thursday, February 28, 2008

A day in Chicago

I often get the chance to volunteer at non-profits, but I like it more when it is a surprise. Brian and I arrived at a soup kitchen today and surprise! they needed some help. So we dried dishes for about 1 hour. It is amazing how much I like doing tasks when they aren’t at my home!

I was getting off the Blue Line today, when I over heard people saying they needed to get to Union Station. Now, the stop for Union Station is not far and yet confusing so as I walked by I said – you can follow me I am headed that way. We chatted as we walked, they were coming from a funeral in India and headed to Iowa. It just so happens they were also in need of a place to eat and we found an Indian place right across from Union Station and Jim’s office. When I offer to provide directional services to people I get weird responses. These folks thought it was way normal that someone would just get them to Union station – like I had been waiting for them all day, specifically for them. Most of the time I get weird looks, like I am going to try to steal from them.

I happened then to land myself in front of Jim’s office and he came and met me for lunch. I was happy to get to spend time with him in the middle of the day (does that make us still newlyweds or what?)

I had a meeting downtown at the Cultural Center – a great place to have a meeting!

Then in my desire to work hard at knowing my city better, I planned two museum visits. I first stopped at the Museum of Photography which I really liked and it is free. Then I headed to the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies which I wrote the following as soon as I finished the museum in their library:

I wanted to write down some thoughts right away, luckily this museum also has a library that I could boot my computer up. I admire the Jewish culture. I like tradition (insert your own Fiddler on the Roof version of the word here) – and the traditions and rituals of Judism fascinate me. I find myself more at home in the stories of the old testament as us Christians call it, than in the new testament (see true meaning of at home in previous post about Whole Foods vs. Pete’s Market). However, being here at Spertus Musuem of Jewish Studies has set my head spinning. For instance, no matter if a reference to Israel is made or not, I find myself trying to separate the injustice that Israel is participating in the middle east – and that is not easy. I have studied Hebrew, I think it expresses thoughts and theology well. I love rituals and yet it is dang hard for me to separate good from the evil I have seen. Two thoughts have come from this: 1. No wonder other countries hate the US, and can’t stand anything from US (pun intended). If I have a hard time seeing the good in a culture and tradition that is over 3,000 years old based on the last say 50 years of the instutionalized culture turned government. How is anyone supposed to give the US a chance with a much shorter history and probably longer list of wrong doings to the world and its own people. 2. I wish I didn’t know as much. I know, I know….I wouldn’t be Krista if I didn’t care about the world and injustice it is just who I am, and yet…I am almost sure I would have an easier life if I was just out there living a life of apathy and not knowing about the injustice that seem so clear to me now. On my first trip to Palestine in 1999, I asked my professor, why do I have to be so passionate? He told me something that I always think about whenever this sort of stuff comes up – God gave it to you for a reason, who knows why, but God did so go do something with it. Dang – it would be just easier if I could forget some of the stuff I know.

It was a good day!

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