Sunday, June 04, 2006

Love Makes Right

(Click pic for movie)

Mr. Beauchamp showed us the movie. It told us we could survive a nuclear attack by getting under our desks and covering our heads with our hands.

None of us talked about it.

The movie said that when we saw the flash we were supposed to jump into a corner, or roll under our desks.

I knew, we all knew, that the flash meant it was too late.

I rode my bike around the neighborhood, pretending it was a spaceship and I was flying to the moon (like the real astronauts were doing).

Television was more wholesome then. Walter Kronkite gave us news on the square and what we watched when he wasn’t on was simpler, cleaner (there was only three channels).
(Pictures can be enlarged)

Today people watch all sorts of horrors for entertainment, and seem to not worry so much about such dangers.

I don’t think that people born after 1980 can understand what it was like. When the SALT I treaty was signed in 1991 I wept.

"I can't believe we have finally taken a step away from the brink of annihilation," I said to Brenda.

You see, when I grew up we all went to sleep each night uncertain if we would wake up in the morning. When we finished our breakfasts and walked outside, we enjoyed the sunshine, but we wondered.

My sons and I watched The Iron Giant this afternoon. It’s a cute animated film (Jennifer Aniston, Jack Angel, Robert Bergen, Harry Connick Jr., Vin Diesel) which explores the tensions of the Cold War.

A little boy shows him comic books, and explains how he is like Superman, from another world, trying to understand who he is. He also explains that all good things have a soul and a soul never dies.
The fear of the local people who encounter the alien robot trigger defenses within it. Powerful defenses. But the little boy convinces the machine that it can choose what it wants to be. It doesn’t have to be a gun.

It sacrifices itself to save the people staring up from around its feet. Flying into space, arms outstretched, it races toward the nuclear warhead and says: “Superman.”
I don’t think younger people think much about nuclear war. They haven't read On the Beach. They didn't hear the constant repetitions from our leaders of how the communists were daily threatening us. The echoes of Senator McCarthy have now faded (though new cries are being shouted). The threat of nuclear destruction doesn’t seem real. They don't believe it will happen. Perhaps they should.

North Korea is striving to obtain nuclear weapons, and have already tested missiles that could deliver a payload as far as North America (Japan is the more likely target).

Iran is striving to obtain such monstrous weapons.

In the last few years India and Pakistan, enemies, have each developed nuclear weapons.

If these aren’t unsettling enough there are still ghosts of the Cold War which threaten. For example, Russia has had trouble adjusting to its changed role. There have been missile control sites which have had their electricity cut off for failure to pay their bills. A few years ago, a scheduled launch of a satellite from Finland was mistaken for a rising submarine-launched missile, triggering the initial steps for a retaliatory strike at the U.S.

I wish we could disarm all of them. Ours included. Swords into plow shares.


This is one of my fears. Born of being born in a time when it was not only possible, but at times, nearly happened.

This past week I considered what it should mean if I were to die. I really wasn’t too upset by it. My left arm was numb, my fingers tingled. My blood pressure was suddenly up higher than it had ever been. Now a week has passed and it is still numb, still tingles. It doesn’t appear to have anything to do with my heart or with a stroke or anything as serious. But even if it had, even if I knew that I would not live another 24 hours, that doesn’t frighten me (though I am concerned for my family’s welfare).

I do not fear death as it just seems to me a passage on to my fuller life. I do not fear meeting my Creator, for I know He loves me, and though he is awe-some, intensely powerful, fearfully omnipotent, I know He will not hurt me. He is not some ultimate weapon bent upon my destruction.

So why does the idea of nuclear weapons frighten?

Because they are so permanent. Because they hurt innocents. If a nation takes such an action, it is irrevocable, permanent. It is bigger than a single life. It would be an act of such evil that would hurt, kill, thousands, millions, perhaps, in the end, billions.

There is a scene in The Passion of the Christ where the nail pierces Jesus’ palm. At that moment there is no turning back. They have nailed His body to a piece of wood. His death is a matter of time.

The threads running through these thoughts are power and weakness.

The Iron Giant was capable of destroying any attacker. Yet it chose to give up its superior position to protect those who would suffer. It chose to sacrifice itself, to be Superman rather than a gun.

You might think I’m headed to some political statement here, and it is tempting. But I’ve another thought.

Being powerful does not mean one needs to dominate. Might does not make right.

Jesus laid there on that piece of wood. His eyes watching the hands holding him down, gripping the nail, gripping the hammer.

He could have cleared them all away. He could have hurt them as they were hurting Him. He could have turned them all into pillars of salt. He could have made them feel every lash of the whip He had felt. He could have simply unmade them, have their molecules drift off in the afternoon breeze.

Instead He showed He was Superman, and not a gun.


Ame said...

"To live is Christ," filling me with Him, strengthening me, enabling me ... "To die is Gain" ... A gain of total and complete and irreversible FREEDOM living forever with Christ!

(And ... thank you ... much appreciated ... Ame)

Felisol said...

Dear Curious Servant,
so sorry to learn that you have been taken ill while I was away, nursing my old parents for a while. As always you are analyzing accurate, handling your problems philosophically as well as spiritually. I admire your way of dealing with life's many stumbling stones.
I know there is a balm in Gilead for both body and soul.
I will, however, recommend you to listen to your body this time.
Something is not working as it should. It's the doctor's job to set an accurate diagnosis.
Then you have a choise what to do with it.
I am of course praying for you and your family. "His eye is on the sparrow and I KNOW He watches you."

Bruce said...

Your post brought back some interesting memories. I too remember the get under your desk routine, knowing full well if it got to that we were goners for sure. I remember the bomb shelters, and the Bay of Pigs, and the us against the Red Menace mentality. I don't think we've improved too much over the years. I never really felt like it would be the Soviet Union or China that would have done us in, it was all of the little countries with crazy dictators that scared (scares) me.

Thanks for the post and I'm thankful you are feeling better.


bjk said...

Thanks for the post and I too am glad you are feeling better...keep writing I love where you are taking us...

Fox's Mom said...

"Duck and cover, duck and cover..." Those were NOT the days:)

We had a bomb shelter out in Riverside at my great-grandmother's. She used it for a root cellar; we kids loved to play down there because it stayed so much cooler than up on the surface. I wonder if it is still there. I too recall when it seemed the threat was over; horrible to see those bad old days returning.

Great blog today, CS. Thank-you!

Fred said...

Duck and cover. I remember it well, especially during the Cuban Missile Crisis. And to think I believed that my desk was going to protect me.

curious servant said...

That movie is amazing to watch with our new perspective.

If you'd like to see it the picture at the top of the post links to a site with the movie available for download in a variety of sizes/formats.

It turns out that the Cuban Missile Crisis was a much closer thing than we believed at the time. There is a link to audio files of Kennedy and others debating it within this post as well.

It stirs my heart to think of power used in gentleness for the cause of good.

Becky said...

thank you for this post


Jim said...

Thanks, C.S.

Your mind has time now to go back and figure out how our past is relating to the present and maybe the future.

I am to old for the under the desk thing. Never, never did I feel the danger or worry about getting nuked. I just can't remember those times, Mrs. Jim went through some of it.

Too, you probably think you are just spinning your wheels while waiting for tomorrow. It seems things don't hurry in the medical world unless you are in danger of dying. I do remember those days, about five years ago now.

Am still praying for you, especially for all concerned about tomorrow's doctor visit.

Fox's Mom said...

Hi, CS, just checking in, and letting you know the prayer chain keeps forging new links.

No matter what happens tomorrow, or the next day, or the next, this life is too short to let a chance to tell you what a blessing finding your blog has been to me, (and I suspect many, many others) pass unused.

So, CS, finding your blog has been such a blessing to me.


Love is the ultimate 'power' and how anyone rejects His is beyond me. My personal struggle especially these past eight years, has been to renew compassion within myself for those who do.

Your writing does light the path; write on! (Sorry, couldn't resist!)

Peace, Bianca

PS-I'm praying for Brenda especially during this trying time-it is sooo difficult to be worried about one's husband!

curious servant said...

That is so sweet of all of you!

I suppose we all like to hear compliments, and I am glad that some of you find this little blog worth the read.

I most especially believe in the power of prayer.

In fact I have nearly finished a post about prayer (again).

Thakn you for your prayers. I will drop a note here tomorrow to let all of you know what I learn.

God bless!

Vicki said...

Curious Servant, my friend ~

Do let us know how you're progressing! You need to know how important your writings are to all of us, whether we've voiced it yet or not. God's precious blessings on you and yours. Will check back tomorrow.

Blessings in Him,

curious servant said...

Never been to a neurologist before. He stuck little sensors on my arms and took out a sort of tazer and zapped me with it all over my arm and hand. I told him that I bet he is a lot of fun at parties.

He said my left arm is weaker than it should be, that I have a little carpal tunnel syndrome in the left wrist, but nothing serious there. The carpal tunnel is a little odd since I am right handed.

All the nerves and muscles are functioning properly. No reason for the numbness and tingling.

Bottom line: no clear reason for the symptoms.

So I am going in first thing Saturday morning for an MRI. It is supposed to be much greater detail than a CAT scan and will reveal even tiny structures in my brain. (Maybe I can post a picture of my brain!) He doesn't think they will find anything (I mean evidence of a stroke, he believes that I have a brain). But he wants to rule out the possibility I have had a stroke with certainty.

Fox's Mom said...

OK, we keep praying:)

Ame said...

I had a neurologist do those pokey things to my leg and foot once - OUCH!!! He had NO sympathy for the inflicted pain!

Dear God, I lift CS and Brenda and the boys up to You tonight. I pray that You will fill all of them with an amazing peace that only You can give. I pray that You will go before all of them and prepare them for whatever lies ahead. I ask that You give CS and Brenda and the boys an amazing peace during the MRI. I pray that the MRI will be accurate and conclusive and that the physicians will be extremely confident of their diagnosis and treatment if necessary. Thank You that You are in all space and time and that You are already there, in their future, knowing and preparing them for when they get there. You are Amazing God! I love You, Ame

wilsonian said...

Superman, indeed!

Thinking of you tonight, CS. Praying for your healing. Praying that this time of rest is healing for you in many ways.

Jim said...

I'm glad they do MRIs on Saturday there. Thanks for the update.

I'll be remembering you, the medical staff, and your family, especially Saturday morning.

curious servant said...

It has been a crazy week. Only one post this week. Probably only one next week as well.

Thank you, all of you, for your prayers.

Things happen when we pray.

Serenity23 said...

It's been a while since I've visited your site. I could not recall the name of the link until today. Wanted to invite you to an online bible study. It's not based on Job, but it's a study from Genesis to Revelations. Hope all is well!

Judas Hate said...

I very much enjoyed this post.
I'm a decade behind you, but clearly remember many events which others do not. It seems strange sometimes looking at others and wondering what it would be like to live without some of the knowledge we have lived with.

Each generation has its own mental burdens though I guess.

I hope all goes well with the MRI. The tube isn't too bad once you get used to it. Them constantly telling you to be still is the worst part:-)

I'm going away for a bit. I'll check on you in a couple weeks.

Love and prayers!


Paula said...

I do hope you're okay. I'm not afraid of being dead, it's more the trip that scares me.

Mark D said...

Praying for ya!

Please do keep us posted - and sorry I am so behind with blog reading.