Saturday, April 4, 2009


I love redbuds in the spring! The glow of their purple (and they are really purple) against the still yellow green of new leaves and gray-brown of bark is just stunning. I take pictures of them so I can recreate them in fabric some day.

What do you love in the springtime? Daffodils? The first blades of hostas coming up? The funny blossoms on some of the bushes we value for their foliage?

I appreciate the other seasons but I just absolutely LOVE spring!

And when I get the picture taken, I'll post it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Community: fake or real?

Just when you think you've heard it all . . . there was a report on NPR last night about staging. You know, that's what realtors like to do in a house which is for sale. Keep it neutral, as if no one lived there, and the potential buyer could move right in. The buyer needs to be able to see themselves in that house.

But there's a new kind of staging out there. It's staging neighborhoods. One buyer, now owner, met the neighbors, had cookies and lemonade with them, and then moved in - to find out they were actors. In fact, the neighborhood he moved into, in one of those empty Las Vegas subdivisions which are a symbol of the real estate market, has no one - except him and his family. It was all a sham.

And that's not all - apparently realtors are now staging tennis matches, town hall meetings, and yes, here's the best part, even churches. In order to entice buyers to buy into a particular community, they make artificial community, whatever it takes.

I'm stunned - but not surprised in the end. I think that this is a symptom of a major lack in our society: people want and need community and they'll do it any way that they can, including fake ones. Gangs are another symptom: what are they but places for people to find family and community?

I chose the real community - the one that is born of the love of God. Community where I'm not looking for folks exactly like me, in lifestyle, education, interests, language, or ethnic background. I want the diversity of the various points of view, and the unity of the love of God.

What about you?