Friday, June 19, 2009

Never Posted (6/19/09)

I must admit, an oceanic wave of loneliness has recently overwhelmed me and pushed me face first into its sand banks.

I have realized that I am in an unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar people, and am only able to exhibit an unfamiliar part of myself. I have been so used to being familiar with Taylor and the people there. Also, I have gone home for the past two summers, which is very familiar territory. Sometimes the familiarity of home is the only thing I like about it, but that's a different blog post...

I wouldn't say that I am not enjoying my time in Anderson-- I love the people I live with, I love the people I am getting to know, and I, well, like the job I have-- but I would say that it's hard. I have developed relationships with people who know me without me having to explain myself, and that still has yet to be fostered here, which is understandable because I have only been here for a few weeks. Still, that doesn't take away my cravings for friends, for people who know me and have been with me through very beautiful and very ugly times.

I am not reluctant to seek this type of relationship with those by whom I am surrounded at this time in my life, but I know that I am only going to be here for a summer, which is not the same amount of time I have spent building relationships elsewhere (i.e. Taylor and home). I want to get to know people, and I want people to know me, but it is hard to take that initiative and randomly converse with people in a completely unfamiliar setting.

Who ever said life would be easy though? Definitely not Jesus or anyone else in the Bible. Definitely not anyone I have ever known and trusted, but why do I still look for the easy way out?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An "inconvenient truth," perhaps?

In order to uphold our personal values, we must sometimes (maybe even oftentimes) sacrifice efficiency and convenience. We are socially conditioned to feel like these things are inherently valuable in and of themselves. I do not agree!

Silly societal machine, wanting us to buy wholeheartedly into mindsets rooted in the Industrial Revolution and consumerism. I refuse to follow blindly, Mr. Machine.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

No Difference

Small as a peanut,
Big as a giant,
We're all the same size
When we turn off the light.

Rish as a sultan,
Poor as a mite,
We're all worth the same
When we turn off the light.

Red, black or orange,
Yellow or white,
We all look the same
When we turn off the light.

So maybe the way
To make everything right
Is for God to reach out
And turn off the light!

--Shel Silverstein (aka one of my favorite people)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Nonsense Nancy

Disclaimer:
This post has no intellectually stimulating thoughts or important ideas to glean.

Today I stole a sharp pencil straight out of the package at work, researched the history of insurance (actually quite interesting), and colored giant coloring book pages (101 Dalmations) with a four year-old (definitely the best part of my day).

Also, the "scissors" in my desk should be replaced with scissors. They have definitely never hung out at Mr. Sharpener's house. The two should be acquainted soon, I think.

Yep, all in a day's work at the agency.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Allstate- You're in good hands. Really, you are.

I am working the front desk at an Allstate insurance agency this summer, and we get our fair share of interesting clients, including some that will freely disclose the fact that they were recently released from prison or talk for hours about how they couldn't believe bumping into a car would split the whole bumper (both of which happened today, by the way).

Also today, a man came in with two checks wanting to know if I could do anything for him. Being the rookie I am (I've worked there for a week now), I looked up the policies under his name only to find them all canceled. I told him I would get another agent to help me figure out how to apply his payments to these canceled plans, if possible. My co-worker comes out and explains what and when he needs to pay again in order to reinstate two of the three policies. We were able to reinstate one right on the spot because it had canceled only at 12:01 this Monday morning.

As she explained this to him, he began talking about why he hasn't been able to pay his insurance. He is currently unemployed, one of many in the Anderson area that is suffering from the GM plant's decision to make cuts in their amount of employees. His wife, from what I understand, was a teacher of some sort in Anderson who lost her job as well. She will be starting a new job in the deli/bakery section at Meijer in a few weeks, which is better than nothing but definitely not a way to use her skills and training. He also said that she is working on her third degree.

He went on to explain his situation in looking for a job. He has been unemployed for about two months now, and he is about to stop receiving unemployment checks. He only recently was able to get an interview scheduled through vocational rehabilitation and to meet with people about welfare, medicaid, and food stamps. He said that all these procedures have been ridiculously delayed and slow in response. Hearing him talk more about it all, I could see that the system by which the government handles these issues is inadequate. He was in his interview for welfare and food stamps hearing them say to him that they will get back to him in a few weeks about how they can help him. Who knows if it will actually take that long or longer. Either way, he needs money now. Who's going to help him with that immediate need?

Unfortunately, Allstate can't give him money, especially after his lack of payment to them, but I saw one of my co-workers truly trying to help this man and his family. He had explained to her that he should have money in time for the next payment, but she assured him that if he could not get the money, that he should contact her a few days before the due date and she would try to put a stall on it.

This man almost came to tears a few times in talking about all the stuff going on in his life, and there was really nothing we could do about it, but my co-worker still consoled him and made sure that he knew we were caring for him in the best way that we could. I have never really seen any business like that before, and it made me feel a little more confident in small business interactions and simply the values that my agency holds. It's cool, and I'm not one who thinks things like insurance are that cool.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sudden Realization and Reminder for the Day

If we don't ask for freedom from our bonds of the flesh, we forget that we are attached. We forget that we need God. We do. We need him. We can only survive on the strength and life that he provides. We provide no stability for ourselves here on earth, despite the illusion to which we ascribe as earthy inhabitants.

See, the difference between us and God is that God is not HUMAN. He reigns over everything in creation and outside creation, and he has no sinful nature within that reign. Can you imagine what would happen if God had, long ago, still let Adam and Eve reign over God's creation in their fallenness. Yeah, I don't want to imagine that either. Instead, let's just take this moment to humble our hearts and be thankful for God's sovereignty in our human weakness and failure.

I sure am grateful for his grace. If he has no grace on me, who will? He provides hope. And now I can go on living.