Friday, September 30, 2011

Infinitesimally Perfect Construction of the Versimilitude-Esque Facade of the Educational Elite and Why It Is Utterly Translucent (or, Why I Don't Buy the Lie)

I stood on a salmon pink cloud. Well, that's not really true. It was more like; I stood on a plateau of red brick, covered in a foot-deep, salmon pink cloud. The entrance yawned at me - gray, cavernous, all the usuals - but I had already turned my back on it. You see, the promise had been whispered out to me as well. But I wasn't buying it.

Not that I'm abnormally clever, or even that I had heard something sinister in that airy whisper that no one else had. It's just that I had been warned, that's all. Someone I knew and trusted, loved and was loved by, had cautioned me diligently and intelligently about the lies of the whisper. All they had to say was, "look a little further. Question its intentions, and test its fruit. See if its making good, then you'll know for certain."

This had seemed reasonable to me. So, I set out. Over the Clear Calling River, by the Hillock Road of an ashen brown. I traversed the Adapt, Rolling Hills, and carved my way through the Forest of a Long Time. With care I skirted Immoral Death Canyon, and finally arrived at the foot of Impossibly Possible Mountain. The Stream of Common Sense passed me, flowing the other way, as I made my way up the rocky face.

Soon, I was within sight of Pastoral Summit. The perfectly shaded, pink salmon cloud hid the brick of the causeway, but I was not fooled. I could feel it underfoot, for I am still aware of my feet. I had come upon the cave suddenly, it seemed to irrupt out of the mist.

It was Education Gate, and the whisper of the gatekeepers came to me; as it comes to all that happen before the Gate: "We can give you success and riches. Happiness is just a stone throw away, and we can show you how to throw stones. Let us be your guides for exploring the world and we'll make you a king in it. We'll open your mind - it won't hurt a bit - and fill it with what is right and true. Come to us, and we'll show you your true potential goes far beyond anything you've ever imagined."

I listened hard to their words, matching it to everything I saw, heard, and knew. I witnessed man after man, woman after woman enter through the Gate, and endeavored to see their end. One man fell to his death. Another seemed to go insane. Almost all of them were buried and burdened under sacks handed out at the Gate by a short, rotund man. He had beady eyes behind beady glasses and looked to me rather like a spider. "Everyone needs these to get through," he would assure the latest newcomer, packing them down. "You'll pay them off in time. Don't worry about it. It's normal. Everything is fine."

I asked the Gate keepers to show me those that had succeeded, and they pointed me to the edge of the plateau. There, I looked out on the world and saw them. They were men and women, who dressed well and walked well. They had nice cars and nice homes. They ate nice things and tried to have nice children.

But as I stared they seemed to disappear. I could hardly make them out. Their clothes turned shabby and gray, their stride ineffectual and meaningless. Their cars heaped more sacks upon them, then died away suddenly; becoming heaps themselves. Their nice homes were hollow, quiet, empty. They were cold and thin as glass, as welcoming as the frigid tundra, and they also threw more sacks upon the backs of these people. The food they ate turned to ashes in their stomachs and their children become monstrous and ran away.

I looked back to the Gate. The whisper came again. Nausea swept me, and I was forced to turn away. They will all die. Not one of them will remain. They will never know what true happiness is...

Matthew 23:15 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice a much a child of hell as yourself."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Unjustified Love

This topic has been floating around in my mind recently, so I thought I'd put it into words. Really it's a very broad topic because it's about God, and when you think of him you invariably must think about it. It is the topic of the character of God - specifically two characteristics - as revealed in both the Old Testament and in the New. These characteristics are: God is perfectly Just, and God is perfectly Loving.

Sometimes people separate these two, because they see a Just God in the Old Testament and a Loving God in the New and they just cannot reconcile the two in their minds. This irks me greatly because this is a great flaw. By the very nature of these two characteristics you cannot have one without the other, and you cannot diminish one or the other. They must both be equally perfect, equally unfathomable for God to be God. Because it is Just for God's attributes to be unsearchable by us, his creation. For will the pottery call into question the potter? Will the clay formed judge the one who forms it? Isaiah 29:16 Puts this into perspective.

Yet, at the same time, God's perfect Love shines through by the fact that he allows us a great deal more leeway in fathoming his attributes than we should be able. Ephesians 3:16-19 spells this out, saying, "…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

Taking the concept that these two characteristics only work perfectly in tandem a little further, we see that without the support of one another the basis for both fall away. For, perfect, unsearchable Love cannot be perfect and unsearchable without the backdrop of perfect Justice. Because perfect Love must be, by its very nature, unconditional Love, and perfect Justice must be meted out based on a perfect, unchanging set of conditions. If there were no conditions, or if the conditions weren't perfect and unchanging, how then could Love be unconditional? It couldn't be and wouldn't be, making perfect Love completely dependent on perfect Justice.

In turn, perfect Justice is nothing without perfect Love. Oh, yes it can exist; unlike perfect Love without perfect Justice. But what would be the point? Where would the hope be? For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God; and without God, without Jesus, without perfect Love nothing you do will come to anything and everything you do will come to not. "I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind." Ecclesiastes 1:14

One can chose to live a life under prefect Justice alone, but that is not how God will mete it out. For he will divide the wheat from the chaff and the lambs from the goats on the same day, and those who chose not to believe in the perfect Love of God will discover the deepest point of their despair when they find out it was real and within their reach all along.

Romans 3:3-4 "What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though everyone were a liar, as it is written, 'That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.'"

Matthew 12:36-37 "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give an account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

Romans 10:9-10 "because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved."

1 John 4:15-17 "Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spots of Everywhere

    "I dreamed you went crazy."

    The girl with wild brown hair took a step closer. "That you legitimately lost it, and couldn't help us find our way back."
    The boy sighed, digging his hands deeper into his pants pockets. "That's funny. Cause it wasn't so much a dream on this end. …Or maybe it was too much like a dream. A nightmare."
    Concern flooded the girl's eyes, but all she could think to do was nod. That was all that she needed to do. The boy felt all the comfort she meant to give, even if she couldn't say it. His mouth twitched. Then he smiled, and laughed. "But you know what? God never let go. I could feel him, never letting go of me."
    She laughed too. "No. He won't do that. He might let you go through a hell of sorts. But he always pulls you out in the end; whiter than snow."


    I sat in the doctor's office, waiting. It might have been a little too cold in the room. …Or a little too hat, I'm not sure. All I knew was I was waiting and had been waiting for a decent amount of time. Doctor's will be doctors, I mused amiably. Nothing could upset me. I'd like to think I was ready for the worst, but it was more likely the headache.
    They had been coming more and more frequently. Either that, or I was becoming more and more aware of them; I'm not sure. That's one of the symptoms, a general state of foggy-headedness. For me, it's like the world has turned soft and vaporish. The nearest I feel to something when I have migraine, a bad one, is a thousand miles away. Unless, of course, it's one of the painful ones.
     Imagine an awl being driven into your brain. Pain killers usually don't help when it's that bad, and all I can do is lie back moaning; pulling as hard as I can on my hair. For some reason that helps, a little bit at least, but I wonder what I'll do when all my hair is gone?
    The doctor finally arrived. I scrutinized his face for any hint of the verdict, but it was blank and his eyes were hard. Is it bad news? Or is he just seared to the emotions of any news?
    I held my breath as he cleared his throat to speak. "I'm pretty sure the abnormalities are only scarring on your right frontal lobe. Nothing to worry about. Over fifty percent of people have scarring on their brain."
    There was an instant after he said that - as I digested the news - when I felt the floor fall away. Like that moment on a roller coaster when you reach the top of the first hill and stop. Your gut shifts up, your feet want to dangle; as if you're suspended between earth and sky, right before you plummet into oblivion.
    The doctor kept talking, but I'm not sure what he said. I don't think I heard most of it.


The average IQ is one hundred. The average American house is composed of one and a half parents and two and a half kids. Somewhere between forty and eighty-eight percent of evangelical kids leave the Church when they reach college age and over fifty percent of people have scarring on their brain. Some of those numbers are just guesses made up by yours truly - based on past knowledge - but, if I'm reading Matthew 7:13-14 right, then it's also average to go to hell.
    "For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."


    I tossed and turned, unable to sleep. My head was made of throbbing pain. I walked in and out of dreams of my own design, trying to distract myself from the migraine. Then the demons came.
    They whispered failure and fear. Regret over things they knew would hit home with me, nailing me right in my weak spots. "They don't need you. They don't care. See?" they'd say, bringing to mind painful memories. "None of them understand you. They never will."
    Now I tossed and turned to get away from them; subconsciously trying to shake the blotches off skin that they said were there. Sleep descended; troubled and restless.


I wandered out in the woods that day to talk to God. Rather, to be consoled by him. Trouble never seems to cease crashing over me, and all I wanted was for him to say it was alright; to touch me. Instead, I ended up thanking him for all of. I gave up my emotions, saying that if I never felt joy on this earth again it was okay by me. Jesus has bought my life, and, knowing that, I was able to be okay with the sadness.
    A few days later I went walking again, for the same reasons. This time, I cannot for the life of me explain why, I ended up forgiving people instead. I went down the secret list of my long held grudges and scratched them out.
    It was the last thing I expected to help me feel better, but suddenly I was so free. I felt as light as a breath of fresh air. Something in my heart had changed as I said my, "I forgive you"s aloud, and I knew, deep down, that the wrongs done to me were gone. Come judgement day, when every action is taken into account, I knew I would not testify.
    Let the trees and the birds and the bees tell what happened. Let the rocks and the walls and the dust cry out. I only know Jesus Christ crucified, the Love that that entails. And that is all I shall ever give a testimony of. That is all I want to know.


Do the spots make the leopard? Or the leopard the spots? …God makes the leopard, and through the blood of his Son, Jesus, washes the spots white as snow.

Friday, September 9, 2011


"Who are you?" someone asked. Or maybe they said, "You need to find out who you are." I'm not really sure…

Can you forgive everyone in your life that has ever hurt you? It's a hard question, if one really takes time to ponder it. For, the question that immediately follows is, "Why should I forgive them?" …To avoid making this blog feel like it's so deep it has no bottom, I'll tell you straight out because God says to. But that doesn't make it any easier.
Sometimes I feel like I'm a mile below the surface of the sea. Water encompasses me, holds me fast. Light comes streaming down suddenly, cutting through the royal blue like nothing else in the world. I hear a woman singing, "The deepest wound can never define you." …Can they hear me?
I would argue that the deepest wound can define you, but I fear I would be arguing with the trees instead of the forest. Those words mean the deepest wound is never deep enough to wholly define you. If you let it, you are nothing but a shallow puddle of rain water; a shadow cast by something finite - once it fades away, what will you be? "WHO are YOU?"

Someone stuck a pickaxe into my heart to find out what was there. I'm being pulled up from my watery grave where the angels sing; the rain is melting away, leaving fog and a whirl of confusing emotion. She takes another swing with love, and care. I let it go. I forgive them because the swing tells me I'm wrong.

I forgave them! Suddenly it all disappears in a blur, and I'm holding my sweetheart in my arms and laughing. "You believed that?" she asks, disbelievingly.
"It doesn't mater now," I tell her, running my hands through her golden hair.
Drinking in her mesmerizing blue eyes, I lean in and kiss her softly on the cheek.

Matthew 6:14 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you"