Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Contemplating Love


When I’m at home I love to get a can or a jar of mandarin oranges. They are so small, but so deliciously sweet. Here in Kazakhstan, I go out on the street and get fresh mandarin oranges that hopped the border from China. I can sit down and eat a whole kilogram of the amazing little orange things.

Today was a rough day teaching. I had my level 2 class which as of today is a level 3 class. None of them are really ready to move on, but I didn’t want to make the whole class repeat the level. None of them had prepared because they just got their new books so I felt like an idiot trying to do exercises with them that they just didn’t understand. The good news is that we got paid today. That’s right, a whole 2000 tenge, now we can buy groceries.

I think I’ve mentioned this before; every day we have 2 discussion periods that are a half hour each. Steven teaches one and I teach one, although you don’t really teach, you just discuss things with them. I had a big group yesterday which is quite a rarity for our center. I decided to talk about love and romance, which related to weddings and all that mushy stuff. They were telling me about a typical Kazakh wedding and how it lasts for several days. I asked them the main difference between a Muslim wedding and a Christian wedding. (Here it seems as though every single fair-complexion Russian looking person is Christian Orthodox and every darker, more Kazakh looking person is Muslim.) Most people don’t really seem to question their religion or their beliefs. They just accept them as thought they are genetic and dare not stray from their roots. Anyways, back to the weddings. They told me that the biggest difference between a Christian (Russian Orthodox) wedding and a Muslim (Genuine Kazakh) wedding is that at the Muslim weddings there is no alcohol and a lot of food, while the Christian wedding has a ton of vodka and little salad. Way to go Christians! We have made fools of ourselves once again. It’s just lovely that Muslims view us as alcoholic, lustful, out of control, selfish pigs. But, I can’t say I blame them, most Christians view them as terrorists. That’s the beauty of stereotypes.

So I brought up the love question to my discussion class because it is something that has been on my mind. Deep down, I’m kind of a sappy guy. I like to listen to people’s love stories and I like to hear about tales of hopeless romance. I don’t know why, but I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember. I love love. But, I have to admit, I don’t understand love. It’s more than a feeling, more than a daily choice, more than an element to a good story, more than a force, more than just romance, more than sex, more than kindness and care, so what is it? I had this epiphany today that seems super obvious now. (I have a lot of epiphanies with all this free time). So the Bible says God is love, and my own logic even tells me that the Creator of this world is love. So then I started thinking about love in terms of God. I’ve been writing about how my view of God is expanding, that I keep seeing Him as bigger and bigger and more terrifying, but still good nonetheless. I don’t fully understand God and I don’t suppose I ever will. Maybe it’s the same with love. I have all these big expectations and I believe in love more than anything else, but I don’t understand it. Love is of Godly proportions and I am starting to presume that I will never fully understand it, and you know what? I think I’m ok with that.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Poopie. Looks like the books continue, picked one and read this one!