Friday, October 2, 2009

Dreams of My Father, Barack Obama

This would have to be one of the biggest surprises for me as a read for a while. I was thinking that there would be a fair bit of political bias. But what I found was a person who had a white mother, and a black Kenyan Father trying to find roots.
I've often read (I can't recall where) aboriginal stories of been black yet been forced into a white mans world in Australia. I could see some of those parallels here.
One of the things which I really admire about America is how after reading this book a person with the right intellect and will power can make a go of his life and influence the world to be a better place.
I had a friend who recently went to the Thailand and had a life changing experience regarding the direction they believed that God was taking them and I quote::

“Why Thailand?” I ask her. “Why out of all the places you’ve been... why did you choose to move to Thailand?”

She thinks about it.

“Yeah... you know... it didn’t make sense at the time,” she said with a delightful southern drawl. “I’d never even considered moving to Thailand and I didn’t speak a word of Thai... but God told me to go, and so I went. And when we arrived here, my heart broke for this city. God broke my heart SOOO many times for these people. It got to the point where I couldn’t walk down the street without bursting into tears looking at a building and knowing that probably no one in that building knows the love and freedom of knowing Jesus.” She smiled at me.

“You know it’s right when God breaks your heart.”

Her last line hit home. It hung about in my head. I took my seat on the airbus heading for Sydney. I had a long flight to come. I check the seat slip in front of me and lazily browse over an emergency procedures card and a Qantas in-flight magazine. I put them back and pull out a Partners Relief and Development magazine from my bag and start reading articles about the injustices that the Karen people of Burma face every day. I feel a tear roll down my cheek. God had broken my heart.

Its interesting that the conversion/calling experience of Obama's, I couldn't help see comparisons, with my friends. It is a lasting image of the book in my mind.

As the choir lifted back up into song, as the congregation began to applaud those who were walking to the altar to accept Reverend Wright's call, I felt a light touch on the top of my hand. I looked down to see the older of two boys sitting beside me, his face slightly apprehensive as he handed me a pocked tissue. Beside him, his mother glanced ad me me with a faint smile before turning back towards the alter. It was only as I thanked the boy that I felt the tears running down my cheeks.

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