Tag Archives: guns

Travel covers a multitude of sins

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“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it solely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”  said Mark Twain.

Based on this statement I might develop a sudden prejudice against Italians just so I can justify a trip to Florence, Italy.  Yeah, that’s it.  I need to go purge myself of my “Italophobia”.

I am originally from Iowa.  But before you jump to conclusions, you should know that I never even SAW a real live cow until we drove from Des Moines to Minneapolis, Minnesota.  I was 6-years old then.

I’m a city girl.  But I am related to people from small towns.  They don’t come up to the Cities very often, and when they do, some of them are “packing heat” the whole time.  (In my wedding pictures, my grandparents were both armed.)  And I would be too if I stayed in the Super 8 Motel on the edge of town.  Apparently they don’t want to go too far into the city in case God rains down fire and brimstone in Sodom and Gomorrah fashion.  They are scared of the city.

But the interesting thing is that several years ago my grandpa asked my dad for a computer.  My dad asked why he wanted it.  He said, “I want to be able to check the weather in Australia.”  Is he ever going to go to Australia?  Not unless they relocate it to the next county over.  He just wants to know.  Go figure.  Maybe if he could have nurtured that spark of natural curiosity when he was younger, he might have one day visited Australia and experienced the weather for himself.  But as it stands, traveling beyond his little world, at this age, is almost too much to handle.

On the other hand, my world spans the globe.  I have friends in nearly every continent.  And yet, sometimes that makes this world feel just as small as my grandpa’s town.  The words that are used to describe the missionary lifestyle are the ones you see in travel magazines: Ex-Pats, International Community, Global Nomads.  That’s my favorite one, Global Nomad.  I like it because I DO feel like a Nomad.  We pick up and move somewhere else every couple of years, sometimes more frequently.  When we are in one place too long, we get the itch to travel somewhere else.  When we are in one place, we long for another.

I feel like it’s just a physical reflection of the spiritual reality that we really are just sojourners here on this planet.  We feel a deep seated longing for our spiritual home, Heaven.  We don’t settle down here.  We don’t get too attached to this old life.  THIS is Temporary.  THEN is Forever.  In the mean time, I hope to cultivate broad, wholesome, and charitable views of men and things by all my global wanderings.

Got my coffee, got my gun, I’m off to work!

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In Latin America it is very common to see heavily armed men standing outside of grocery stores, banks, and convenience stores.  Even in peaceful Costa Rica, this is normal.  At first it was kind of shocking to see that kind of force so openly displayed in our everyday lives.  But now, it’s kind of become one of those things that I hardly notice anymore.

As a matter of fact, every day on my way to school I pass the head quarters of a security company that specializes in protecting armored cars.  The entire front of the building is one giant barricade, and there are always about a dozen men in full military grade body armor hovering around on the sidewalk.  Each man carries either an automatic weapon appropriate for taking over a small country, or a double barrel shot-gun that looks like it was a prop in a Nicolas Cage movie once upon a time.  Depending on the hour, these guys are either stopping traffic to direct an armored car into the compound or just waiting around on the street for a coup to begin.

The other day I was passing this little slice of intimidation and domination when I noticed one of the younger members of the force jogging across the street obviously late for work.  His intimidating demeanor was askew as he balanced his gun in the crook of his arm.  With a back pack flopping at his hip, and a cup of coffee precariously clutched in the other hand, he looked like a student rushing late to classes.  If it weren’t for the huge gun which hung dangerously from his elbow, I would have easily overlooked him as a university student running to catch the bus.

At first it was funny to see such an incongruent sight, but I’ve been thinking about that guy this past week.  The Bible says that we are in a war and we have been fitted out with a full suit of armor.  Our one weapon is the Word of God.  So I’ve been thinking, do I treat my weapon as casually as this coffee carrying gun slinger or do I maintain a healthy respect for the power I wield? Do I take my Bible seriously, or do I just toss it to the side when something more important (like coffee) is the focus of my attention?  Just something to think about.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities and power of this dark word and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand, Stand firm… with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  Ephesians 6:10-17