Give Us

“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11

By: Gabriela Yareliz

I was listening to an old Kidd Kraddick in the Morning podcast from 2013. Kidd Kraddick was still alive and was the main host of the radio show.

He was reading a letter sent in from a woman who had been struggling financially. She said she had been at a super market buying eggs and bread, or something like that, when her card was declined. She was humiliated that she didn’t have money to pay. She began to cry and walk away from the register, leaving her groceries, when a man stepped in and paid for her groceries.

She was so stunned. Then, the man picked something up off of the floor. It was money. He said, “Miss, you dropped this.” She assured him she hadn’t dropped anything. Then, she noticed he was trying to give her money in a subtle way. She was so stunned she took the money, and she said she was so shocked she didn’t even remember if she thanked the man. She took her groceries home and then counted the money the man had given her. There were $200 dollars. She was shocked. She used this money to buy more food.

She asked the cashier if she knew who the man was; the one who had paid her bill. The cashier told her it was J-si Chavez from the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show. The woman wrote the letter to the show to say thank you. J-si had no idea the letter had come in and was going to be read on air.

J-si simply said, when I saw her, I saw myself seeing my single mother struggling when money was tight.

This story touched me deeply. You see, part of the model prayer says, “Give us this day our daily bread.” It doesn’t say “give me this day my daily bread.” Instead, it’s in the plural. We all belong to each other. We aren’t just to worry about ourselves, but instead, we are to care for one another. I loved when J-si talked about identifying with the woman he helped. That’s often what it takes. We must stop long enough to see someone else where they are and realize that could have been or has been us in the past.

We are God’s hands and feet. We all need each other.

6 Years of Aisha

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By: Gabriela Yareliz

On August 6, 2010, this funny, stylish, Bollywood adaptation of the Jane Austen classic, Emma, was released.

Aisha is a hard-to-forget film. It was the first film where I really loved Sonam Kapoor’s performance. And while it has its cheesy moments, it has some fantastic dialogue, clothes, songs– and Sonam is just stunning in it.

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I have never watched Clueless, and I was never a Mean Girls fan. I was an Aisha girl. I remember learning some killer Hindi phrases, full of wit, from this film.

Here is to orchestrating things, being vulnerable, trying to make sure everyone is happy and friendship. Aisha taught us, even with the best intentions, things can get messy. But true friendship remains.

aisha

[Images from Tumblr]

Praying for Italy

By: Gabriela Yareliz

The town of Amatrice, Italy was destroyed by an earthquake. Praying for all who are suffering loss.

This tragedy brought memories of the 2009 earthquake in Italy. Below, is a song I absolutely love that was recorded by popular Italian artists to raise money for the cause.

Tuesday Badinage: August 23, 2016

By: Gabriela Yareliz

In court, I ran into an opposing counsel who had on two different shoes.

“I will fess up to you,” he said to me as I walked with a colleague.

He told me that in the morning, as he was taking off his shoes after driving, changing into work shoes, he only managed to put on one work shoe and forgot to change the other. The other shoe was an Adidas slider (with a black sports sock). He didn’t realize he was wearing two different shoes until he was in court and a colleague pointed it out.
I was walking behind him as he was faking a limp. He said faking the limp made it so people didn’t ask him questions about his mismatched shoes. I laughed in disbelief. This is what court does to some– it makes them lose their mind.

Here’s to summer madness and wearing whatever shoe you want on each foot! #limpsoldseperately

Dialogue of the week:

“Don’t call her Leo! It makes me think of Leonard DiCaprio!” (G)

“I don’t think about Leonardo DiCaprio. I forget he is still alive, okay?” (F)

Understanding

“You’ll understand, someday,” some hurtful people say. That phrase irks me. Sometimes, I think people use it hoping they will understand their own actions, someday. Unfortunately, some actions can’t be justified or excused, even after the passage of time. And that’s just how it is.

-GY

Success, Virgin Births And Ordinary Miracles

By: Gabriela Yareliz

This past week, I was listening to a “Pocket Pardon My French” podcast, by Garance Doré, about the meaning of success. This is a word and yardstick that tortures young adults and adults, alike. It’s the stuff children’s dreams are made of. Garance spoke about how true success, to her, is knowing and taking care of herself.

Someone on the podcast made a point that really made me think. The woman said that sometimes we forget, especially those of us who aren’t from NYC, that just the fact that we live, eat and breathe in a city that is tough on even those who have always been here (and tough on anyone who isn’t rich)– this is a form of success. Having a job, a home and a meal in a city like NYC, at a young age, is accomplishment. These are the “givens” in life that perhaps we take for granted. Perhaps, this, in and of itself, is a miracle. With the way the rental market and job market are in this city, living in this city is a miracle for those who want to accept it as one.

I was reading in C.S. Lewis’ book Miracles that miracles are often not so radical as we think them to be. They can be simple things, and therefore, it can be reasonable to believe in them. Allow me to explain using an example he uses: the virgin birth. (Not the typical “simple miracle” you probably expected me to refer to)…

Christians believe in a God who became incarnate to rescue us Himself from sin and the separation from God we had chosen. Some may argue the idea of a virgin birth is too far fetched or a radical miracle. (Despite the fact that it was to be a prophetic indicator of the Messiah).

C.S. Lewis explains why it’s not so “odd”:

How is it that a child is “generated,” so to speak?

“A microscopic particle of matter from his [a man’s] body, and a microscopic particle from the woman’s body, meet.” Miracles, 224

This we know. I just like how it’s explained.

And there, in these particles are features and characteristics that have been passed down for generations.

“Behind every spermatozoon lies the whole history of the universe: locked within it lies no inconsiderable part of the world’s future.” Id.

“If we believe that God created Nature… The human father is merely an instrument, a carrier, often an unwilling carrier, always simply the last in a long line of carriers– a line that stretches back far beyond his ancestors into pre-human and pre-organic deserts of time, back to the creation of matter itself. That line is in God’s hand. It is the instrument by which He normally creates a man.” Id at 225.

“No woman ever conceived a child, no mare a foal, without Him [God].” Id.

So, if we believe God created Nature and created us, we recognize that God has always been behind the creation of man. God has placed things in Nature to make such a thing occur, yet still, each human being is a gift from God. A creation of God. Each birth, its own miracle.

And regarding the virgin birth and why it is believable:

“But once, and for a special purpose, He [God] dispensed with that long line which is His instrument: once His life-giving finger touched a woman without passing through the ages of interlocked events. Once the great glove of Nature was taken off His hand. His naked hand touched her. There was of course a unique reason for it. That time He was creating not simply a man but the Man who was to be Himself: was creating Man anew: was beginning, at this divine and human point, the New Creation of all things. The whole soiled and weary universe quivered at this direct injection of essential life– direct, uncontaminated, not drained through all the crowded history of Nature.” Id.

Similarly, when Christ turned the water into wine at the wedding in Cana, we see that God is always the provider of all things. It is because of God’s blessing that vines grow grapes and wine can be made. So, therefore, why do we complicate the miracle? Does not wine and all things come about through the same hand?

The point C.S. Lewis makes is that we see such miracles as radical acts, when really, all things come out of the hand of God. Even when they arrive to us through Nature, a system God has put in place. What makes a miracle is not the source of the provision, but simply the fact that God is injecting Himself, His hand, without the “glove of Nature,” as C.S. Lewis likes to call it.

And so miracles, can be simple and undramatic if we recognize how the universe ordinarily works. It made me wonder, what in my life was I taking for granted? Am I expecting some miracle in dramatic proportions? Where have I seen God inject His naked hand to bring me to some point or to transform a situation?

Maybe, it took me reaching month 8 out of 12; and reflection of what success really means to me; realizing I live in a city that demands success to even make it out alive– that I realized I am living perhaps a miracle of my own, even in what I thought was ordinary. I realized I may be in a pretty fantastic place in my life.

Despite my struggles and the things I have yet to achieve– here I am, and I wouldn’t be here without God holding me and bringing me here.

So on this 8th month, I declare that 2016 has challenged me, but I am happy to say, I have stood up to the challenge. That has to count for something. Incredible things have happened. No virgin births *grin* but I know there have been moments where God’s naked hand has injected itself in my life. We truly live in God’s presence.

I am learning to appreciate the ordinary miracles (a paradox, I know)… Or maybe, this means that not much is ordinary.

The Hours: August 20, 2016

The most random, memorable pieces of conversation from the day. Because sometimes, people say things that make you *double take*. – Gabriela Yareliz

8:39: “‘We overcome things, all sorts of things–including granola. She’s my bestie!'” (F sending me a quote from someone else)
8:55: “Where is this quote from? Cute.” (G)
8:56: “You, on August 20, 2009.” (F)
8:57: “The things that come out of my mouth.” (G)

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9:50: “They are decrepitly old.” (T)
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10:57: “We have these elections where we have two criminals we need to choose from.” (L)

10:57: “Perhaps this makes the rest of the world have sympathy on us. We are going through difficult times as a nation. Look at the flooding in Louisiana…” (G)

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11:27: “The way you answered that comment about the elections… That could have gone in many ways. That was very diplomatic and very smooth, I might add.” (N)

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11:35: “Your name is Manny? That has to be short for something else.” (E)
11:35: “No. My name is just Manny.” (MG)
11:35: “But–” (E)
11:36: “It’s just Manny. My mother was a simple woman.” (MG)

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12:00: “I am so cold.” (G)
12:00: “I am okay. Usually, I am cold. Maybe, I still have heat from the sun at the beach last Sunday. Yes.” (L)

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12:10: “Spiritual intimacy is the foundation of any good relationship.” (H)

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12:15: “You look skinner, but you survived!” (H)

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12:45: “It must have been wonderful to go to Yeshiva.” (MG)
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1:00: “It was the best of the best.” (M)

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1:24: “You stay faithful to God, do what’s best for you and keep walking forward.” (MG)

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1:30: “Why are you carrying so many books? Can’t you get them in a digital format?”(M)
1:30: “You can’t smell them in the digital format.” (G)

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