Friday, September 21, 2012

a mental image.

So a coworker sent me this NPR article yesterday..
The article talks about the power of mental images and how a situation's morality may be decided by the what you see in your minds eye, how graphic that scene is, and the resulting emotional response. 
For example: 

Scenario Uno: "A trolley is headed toward five people, and the only way you can save them is to hit a switch that will turn the trolley away from the five and onto a side track, but if you turn it onto the side track, it will run over one person."

I thought..."5 people vs. 1 person dying... I pick one."

[Side note: I also thought, "Would I have time to ask them who is a Believer and who is not? ha. but seriously]

Scenario Two: "This time, you're on a footbridge, in between the oncoming trolley and the five people. And next to you is a big person wearing a big backpack. And the only way you can save those five people is to push this big guy off of the footbridge so that he lands on the tracks. And he'll get squashed by the train; you sort of use him as a trolley stopper. But you can save the five people."
"Would you push the big guy to his death? More important, do you feel this moral dilemma is identical to the earlier one?"
I thought "Does the big guy have children? How big is this backpack? Would I be charged with murder? Or would I be celebrated as a hero? Would the other 5 people see me or would it be sneaky? Ahhhh! I can't decide these things. God gives life and takes away.."

I thought this article was extremely interesting as I realized that I am completely a slave to my "mind's eye". I am visual thinker, so if I don't have a mental picture of something, I get confused, forget it, and definitely don't have any emotional investment in the idea or event. 
I blame this on heredity.. and my mother. :)

Then today I read an article about a little kid, not even a year old. The baby was left in a running bathtub, neglected by it's mother. The baby nearly drowned and is now on a ventilator and will most likely not be able to see, talk or walk it's entire life. 

I almost threw up.

A baby who was healthy, learning, developing and within a few minutes, permanently disabled. This child's ability to enjoy, thrive, and function in the world in which it lives just decreased drastically. I immediately got angry, thinking "who on earth would do this to their kid!?!"

Then my mind shifted to the unborn. Babies who will never see, walk, or talk.

I have to admit, I've never been extremely passionate about ending abortion, even though I know I should be. I am a huge advocate for adoption but have never really been rattled by the secret alternative. Because I know the character of the Creator, I know killing somebody -a soul- that He wonderfully created is wrong. Yet, I have never been emotionally disturbed by this silent genocide of unborn babies. 

So, a neglectful mother physically and mentally impairing her child forever 
a mother electing to have a doctor end her child's life before it begins.

Somehow one seemed less tragic. One seems less neglectful. One seems excusable, maybe even justifiable.

As the synapses in my mind connected, my heart screamed "NO!"They are equally negligent. Equally tragic. There shouldn't be an excuse for ending or distorting a life- full of potential, full of beauty, full of the image of God.

My mind's eye can be so so so blind..

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Jesus don't have no boss"...

A couple of weeks ago at work, one of the girls //13 years old and sassy to be exact//, was throwing a tantrum because she had said the F-word [again] and needed to take a timeout in her room. She HATED this and sat on the couch and pouted/yelled/let her deepest beliefs spill out of her without even knowing it... She said ridiculous, irrational things, but one thing she said struck me..

girl: "Jesus Christ!"
me: "...yes?"
girl: "I'm jealous of Jesus Christ!"
me: "why are you jealous of Jesus?"
girl: "because Jesus Christ don't have no boss!"

I thought about discussing the theology behind this. (i.e. submitting to the Father, we have to submit to God's rules and the authority He's put over us) but instead I decided to address the fact that this girl did not like bosses.
The conversation dwendled, the girl went to her room and fell asleep...

But her comment stuck with me..
I kind of thought "don't we all?"
 I mean, don't we all want to be Jesus?
 and not foremost because we want to be holy and pleasing to God, but because we want to BE God. 

I was reading Luke 20:9-18 about the wicked tenants:
{My Version}

So there was a dude who planted a vineyard and hired some workers to oversee it while he was on vaca. When he came back he sent one of his servants to get some fruit juice from the workers. The workers beat his face in and sent him back empty-handed. So the dude sent another servant and they beat his face in too and sent him back with nothing. The dude was like "what the crap? maybe if I send my son they will respect him." The meany workers said "look its his heir. let's kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours."

There are probably 100 other truths to be gleaned from this passage but what stuck out to me today as I read this is the desire to BE Jesus. The wicked tenants wanted to BE the son worthy of the inheritance, so they killed him, a foreshadow of what happens a few chapters later..

This is my biggest struggle in my life. I love Jesus but I fight against myself and Him because I secretly (and at times not so secretly) want to be JESUS. I want to be able to control the wind and the storms in my life and think the things that he 'puts me through' are nonsense and I would do it a different way if I had my way with the universe. I don't trust Jesus because I want to be Him at times, because I often think I would do a better job...

This is Pish Posh. A clay pot telling the potter he's not good at potting and I, the pot, would be a better potter although I lack arms and talent and a brain, because after all, I am just a pot, in need of constant sculpting and refining...

All this to say, I guess this is what it means to confess that God is..God. and I am not. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I can't look at this picture of 9/11 without getting the hee-bee-gee-bees and feeling like my stomach is going to fall out of my butt. I shiver at the thought of all the lives lost, the rumors that were brought under speculation and the mess of war that was quickly declared and involved my own family. 

One of the 9/11 tributes that I saw tonight had footage from Time Square where people viewed the devastation happening blocks away on the screens of the megatrons. The footage was raw and emotional, reminding me of my reaction as a 7th grader. However, what shocked me the most about the footage was the consistent reaction of necessary revenge: "Lets go kill all those guys." "We need to go to war now, THEY did this to US, we need to go to blow all of them up."--- I'm not trying to be a pacifist and I know that justice through war is a real thing. But US vs. THEM. Does US stop with boarders or citizenship or beliefs? US vs. THEM. What about humanity? If we think in terms of humanity (whether you believe that we are all fallen or not), if THEY are included in the US of humanity, then are WE doing this to US?? Trading evil intent for evil justified..

All of this makes me wonder how the events of that day and attitudes that permeated from the aftermath have shaped my development as a person and a citizen. I wonder if this tragic event had never happened if I would be different. Or If I were born 10 years later, and unaware of the events of the day, would I be less effected or simply accepting that these things happen because I didn't remember a time before events like these were normal...

And then I have questions as to what this all means. Did the terrorist win on that day? Or Is the US win through the number of deaths through war since that day? What does this abstract idea of 'terrorism' really mean?

9/11 draws me back to the truest true. 

I don't think any of these things will fully make sense until that DAY, when Jesus restores all things. 
However, today I can know that the Lord is in control even while evil seems to be thriving...for a little while longer..