Saturday, June 21, 2008

Politically Correct (Service)

At six years old the most dreaded words were: "Wait until your father gets home!"

It was just before they split up.

Mom was pretty patient. But if my brothers and I went too far, far enough that she was ready to step aside as a shield between him and us, then we knew we had really gone too far.

Like sneaking into the old house across the street and roaming its upper floors in search of ghosts.

Like climbing atop our old two storied house to throw balsa wood planes.

Like climbing the apricot tree beside the old garage and shocking ourselves with the exposed power line (Wow! That really makes you jump!).

(Willows, CA. Garage is way in the back.)

Waiting for dad to come home made a fearful afternoon. He worked for an insurance company and that thin belt of his really, really hurt.

I suppose he would be arrested nowadays. I think such punishment is too much (I tried putting a paperback book in my pants once, but he noticed, big mistake).

But though that was too much, as a society we may be going too far the other way.

I think we are becoming lenient with disciplining children.

A 12 year old in Ottawa successfully sued her father recently so she wouldn't be grounded for her excessive internet use and disobedience. (Hard to believe!)

We are becoming too eager to sue. (When a 12 year old does it I think that is a warning.)

A city worker in our small town tripped on a slightly raised sidewalk in front of the library. So, for fear of the lawsuit, the two old trees came out, the sidewalk replaced. It's too hot too sit on those exposed benches now. They were nice trees.

We are becoming easily offended over slights against our persons, our faiths, our sexual orientation, our dietary habits, our turn at the stop sign, our wait at the check out counter, the hotness, spiciness, sweetness, frothiness, and strength of our coffee.

Ever since those first orchard thieves put themselves first we have found ever more creative ways to hurt ourselves, hurt each other.

Stone age to bronze, iron age to the information age, we fill the world with ourselves... we fill ourselves with ourselves.


I'm getting so tired of Republicans and Democrats and Muslims and Hindi and vegetarians and feminists and skin heads and Christians and Jews and communists and socialists and capitalists and yuppies and genXers and freemales and all the other labels which are supposed to describe but instead place people in tidy little boxes with tidy little labels.

People are hurting. A label won't really make them feel any better.

I'm a Christ Follower.

I'm a teacher and a husband and a father and a friend. A gardener and a blogger and I love this world.

I am unique.

...just like every other person on this spinning ball of dirt.

We need each other.

Life is hard.

There is so much hurt and pain and wretchedness in the world, and overlying it all, this incredible, indescribable beauty and love and loveliness.

We must help each other.

When we smile at someone, say a kind word, we take a little of the beauty God has poured, is pouring, is drenching the world, and lay it over them.

They need it.

We need to give it as much as they need to receive it.

I understand the need for people to be concerned about saving souls, for sharing their faith.

But there is something more important.

My Lord did a lot of cool things when He was walking about this earth in a body that stubbed its toes, had acne, and had to relieve itself.

He didn't hurt people. He didn't avoid tough topics, but He didn't hurt people.

When someone was hungry, He fed them.

When someone was sick, He healed them.

When someone was scared, He comforted them.

He told stories, and He hugged His friends, and He comforted the disenfranchised, and He looked at the beauty of the world, and He let it seep into His human heart through His human eyes, and He took that joy and shared it.

Hey, life sucks. I get. Boy, I get it.

The planet is filled with 6.7 billion people who are sick and hungry and poor and grieving and confused.

One of the last things Jesus did before He went to prepare Himself for His arrest and torture and death was to present a meal to His friends after washing their feet.

Even after His death and resurrection, the last thing He did before leaving the planet was fix breakfast for His friends.

What can possibly be clearer than that?

Love each other, help each other, say a kind word.

The world is horrid, hurtful, spiteful, beautiful, wonderful, and glorious.

I feel a lot better when I do the sort of things Jesus did.

10 comments:

jel said...

hey friend!

Aphra said...

I wrote about that case in Ottawa too. What is that really teaching her? That she can get whatever she wants? Is a school trip really more important than teaching her right from wrong?

I like the rest of your post too.:)

KAN said...

They are the words to a simple children's song that I'm not sure anyone sings anymore, but the words and the message are timeless: "To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus. On earth I long to be like Him."

We are so busy chasing our tails that we don't even see the people around us, much less know that they're hurting. Thanks for the reminder.

Oh, and I really was shaken the other day from your "Metaphor" post. I know myself that just here lately I have asked God to "show me" - "prove himself to me". May not really those words, but close enough. I was stung to realize that it was no doubt ME that needed to show Him, Me that needed to prove myself to Him. Thank you, curious servant, thank you. I needed my eyes opened.

Kathleen

Live, Love, Laugh said...

thanks for being you, cause you have no idea how Christ is using you in my life and I am sure in others. Sometimes we get overwhelmed and wonder what is going on, but God knows, and He provides. Again thank you, I NEED to read your blog daily. thanks and thanks to Jesus!!

Kim said...

Well put my friend!!!

Marvin the Martian said...

I think an asteroid impact, or another Martian invasion, would do wonders to help people forget their differences, and unite for a common cause of survival. Complacency and easy living breed hate and petty discontent, because people forget what's important.

Julia Dutta said...

Hi Will,
That was real rave and rant is a quite sort of way. I am with you, the world is changing too fast and really no body knows where who is going. In fact, really if one cannot train children with a stick sometimes, all they do is not listen and do as they like. Parents and other citizens are highly inconvenienced by unruly kids but what to do? After all if one tries to do something, one goes behind bars, even if one is a parent. Our rights issues have become convenient - if it suits me, I take it, if it does not, I don't. Its chaos really, something that comes out very well in your post.

Joy to you, dear pal,
Julia

Joyce said...

Hi!

I've been out of blogdom for a while and was just checking in on some of my favorite blogs. Yours has changed somewhat--not just in format--but it seems in spirit...it seems brighter somehow.

Blessings to you!

The Feathered Nest said...

This is a wonderful post Will ~ so very well said ~ it's how we treat each other in everyday life, our kindnesses and consideration for others, that's what shows we are a Christian ~ not forcing doctrine and legalistic man-made rules on those around us.

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Beautifully, beautifully said. Your words are searing.....you speak the truth. I'm glad I came across this. The word gospel means "good news" and that is what Jesus was, is, and always will be. He is the good news, the best news, the only news this world so badly needs...