Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Time for Peace

Hello friends,
I'm probably the last person who has any right to urge each of us to keep calm (I'm usually the first one to panic). When faced with some new technology, like a laptop or a camera, I'm usually dragged kicking and screaming. I hate Mp3 players, even though I use one when I'm on my treadmill. I'm a side-seat driver on the Interstate, and I have been known to sit on the floor in the back seat, so that I can only hear, not see the trucks go by. I hate people messing with my medicine, especially insurance companies, government agencies, and the substitute Pharmacist.
So, peace is a concept that I am still defining. I know what it's like to hold my puppies and get kisses all over my face. My blood pressure goes down, and I feel relaxed. I know what it feels like to pile on our bed, just our family of people and dogs, and watch our favorite movies and TV shows on DVDs, without commercials. Also relaxing, but that is not peace.
Turmoil. Wow. I practice for that. I'm an expert. I especially go wild when I try to get a hold of my credit card customer service department. You know, the people who used to be from different areas of the U.S. People who speak English. Yesterday, I received a call about my JCPenney card. Someone in very broken English, with an unmistakable Indian accent, attempted to tell me my problem. After twenty minutes of unintelligible conversation, which began to accelerate, I asked why JCPenney was now outsourcing. After a few curses on her part, she screamed at me "JCPenney does NOT outsource!" Then she hung up.
I, then, called JCPenney's customer service number. After taking 15 minutes suggesting I press this, that, and the other number, the automated teller threw me out of the system. Then I did the obviously stupid. I called another number, which was answered by a human being, with, of course, a thick Indian accent.
"Okay, Sir, my first question is this. Why is JCPenney outsourcing it's call center to India?"
"I-am-not-from-India!" He replied in a pronounced Indian accent.
"Oh really." I said. "Then where are you now?"
"Oh-I'm-from-Ohio!" He insisted.
Yeah. Yeah. So, I did some heavy Google searching, and I discovered who is actually hiring these people. They are hired much like day laborers. A call goes out for one position, and maybe a thousand Indians show up to apply. People waiting for these low tech jobs are desperate. They have a script, which they must not deviate from. That's why we never know what they are talking about, much less do they know anything about our country.
I've been insulted, threatened (which is against our laws, which, by the way, they know nothing about). So, that's where the jobs have gone, and that's part of why our country is in a terrible mess. A long list of accumulated idiocy, by our leaders, now has all of us crippled, including we in middle America. We also have 401K's, insurance, bank loans, mortgages, and college loan payments. We've been stretched like rubber bands, and we must not snap.
Strangely enough, I have, in this crisis, more peace than I could imagine. Yes, I have a husband who understands our finances, and a daughter who organizes budgets like a whiz machine. We are all contributing. Even me, with my small pension. And I'm keeping my eye on the news. I do see some panic, but strangely, I feel a peace that passes all my understanding. That peace is knowing that God, not only, is in charge, but that He will, as He always has, set our feet upon His solid path.
The picture above, is of a peaceful garden. My peaceful garden. It took years to grow out of nothing, and the little path was created by my daughter, Jenny, from bits of rock that we collected after our yard was blown up. Long story that I will share at another time. So, we decided for our peaceful garden, to use what was broken to create something beautiful. Perhaps our country can, also.
Without having any financial answers, I am certain, especially at this time, that God is in control; that He has a plan; and His plan is to bless us, and not discourage us. We do have a future!
So, now, I urge you to find that place of peace, in a garden, on a terrace, in a room by yourself, or wherever your private place is. Hold your children in your arms. Love on your pets. Take a deep breath, and let the air out slowly. You have a future, and so do I. I will be praying, not for myself, but for you. With all my heart, I know that God has hope for your future. He holds you in the palm of His hand.
Father in heaven, in a round about way, I have tried to illustrate that peace comes from within. Stumbling in my faith, I have tried to share the Hope that you give. Please let everyone believe that long before the universe exploded into history, You knew their name, and You still do. Forgive me, Lord, if I have failed you, and most of all, forgive me if I have failed those who follow this blog. Thank you, Lord, for a hope and a future, but most of all, thank You for peace in my heart.
With love,
Jaye Lewis

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