God grew tired of us

Last night I finally watched God Grew Tired of Us. It’s a beautiful film worthy of 90 minutes of your time. (And available for streaming on NetFlix.)

Our neighborhood, like a lot of other communities in the United States, has become a place of refuge for many people relocated here because of war. I’ve heard an estimate that as many as 60 language groups live in the 92115 zip code. A drive down El Cajon Boulevard or University Avenue validates. I meet them all the time, saying hello and exchanging uncomfortable pleasantries. My Swahili, Spanish, and Arabic is far worse than their English.

The neighborhood in which I live has become a literal refuge in the city as we have a large, open park perfect for sports. Obviously children play at the park all day. But each evening, about 50 Somali men gather to hang out and play soccer until the sun goes down. On Saturday’s, several hundred people, mostly from Mexico and Central America, come to watch youth soccer. On Sunday’s, a different group of men get together to play cricket.

Lately, my heart has been stirring me to figure out some of these folks stories. Maybe I’m just the curious type? And maybe God is the one pushing me? The difference doesn’t seem to really matter, I suppose.

I wonder if they are as curious about my life as I am about theirs? What circumstances lead to them arriving here? Like the movie brought out, I wonder who is explaining to them some of the things they are encountering each day of their new life in America?

I guess I won’t know any of that until I take the first step.


The Parking Lot Movie

I’m into obscure documentaries. Actually, anything biographical or anthropological intruiges me. So when NetFlix popped up with the suggestion of The Parking Lot Movie I was sold in about 8 seconds. Well, actually I pay $9.99 a month, so I guess I was already sold.

What happens when you put a bunch of philosophy, anthropology, and religion students in charge of a job marked primarily by hours of introspective inducing boredom interrupted with terse moments of anger from people in fancy cars?

That’s the 25 year question embarked upon by the owner of the Corner Parking Lot near the University of Virginia. To say that the job is cerebral is an understatement. Yet the owner of the lot is fascinated by the impact of tiny interactions with the general public. Instead of hiring people who would consider it “just a job” he has hired a cast of characters who try to find a deeper meaning in the mundane. Some of the attendants turn the experience into something fun and memorable. Others try to get patrons to think with witty philosophical quips. All of them get angry when people driving $50,000 cars try to talk them out of paying $2 for parking. And all of them teeter-totter between rage and zen-like peace with their lot in life.

All of which makes this documentary completely fascinating and fun.

The film raises interesting questions about entitlement, happiness, and the relationship between the stuff that we have and the people we are.

What does that have to do with people in ministry? Just about everything.

Fair warning: The film has plenty of foul language. Not intended as a recommendation for children or adults afraid of the f-word.

Bonus: Here’s a music video from the filmmaker. This was buried in the credits unfairly.

family San Diego Living Social Action

The Future of Food

Tonight I watched the film above, The Future of Food. You can watch the whole thing, for free, on Hulu. (Or here on my blog if you so chose) You can learn more about how corporations are trying to run [ruin] the food supply at The Future of Food website.

Another great movie covering more of the food supply is Food, Inc.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist. But in my lifetime I’ve witnessed major food related issues among so many people I know. Too many. For years I’ve heard about this stuff and thought– what a bunch of whacko’s. But the more you learn, the more those whacko’s make sense.

As I wrote about a few weeks ago, Kristen and I are making a serious commitment to change both the food we eat and the way we get it. Our hope is to reduce our food waste by 25% by composting, buy most of our vegetables and fruit locally buy belonging to a CSA and shopping at a farmers market, and planting our own organic garden. (see the pictures of our garden)

So far, we’ve kept those commitments. And it hasn’t been hard at all. We’ve enjoyed tons of our own fruit from the yard and last week we started an abundant harvest of fresh lettuce. Today, Paul and I went out and bought a few more veggies, so we have tomatoes, herbs, and jalepenos coming in the next couple months. (And our compost worms are hard at work 24 hours a day eating our food waste!)

Our next steps involve increasing the percentage of food we buy from local producers, working out a local free range source of meats and fish, and finding a local bakery who is committed to non-GMO grains.

Maybe this all sounds a bit nuts? The truth is, it’s a lot of fun! We love starting a garden. We love the discipline of spending less at the monster mega-supermarket. And we love seeing what sorts of crazy things appear in our CSA box each week. Even more crazy is that I don’t think its costing us any more money per month.

There’s something so enjoyable about developing a more intimate connection between what we eat and the people who produce it.

Oh faithful reader: What are steps you are taking to be more socially responsible about the food you eat?