Archive for March 10th, 2009

10
Mar
09

Two-fer Tuesday: Blindness by Miz Pink

daydreaming pink hair girl in aviator helmetIt won’t be much a surprise to anybody I guess that Deke and I neitehr one of us will be talking about “real” blindness today. Though it is an important issue to be sure.

I wanted to talk about the way we sometimes fail to see the positives in life.

Its really easy I know. Sometimes those positives are buried under a whole heaping mess of crap. And it’s at those times that people who aren’t chrisitian (or spiritual in general) look at faith based folks and say that we’re trying to hard to find God’s grace and justify bad things and write off suffering as Gods will.

Suffering isn’t God’s will, not really. I don’t know exactly what happened to separate God and people aside from the story of the Garden of Eden and I have plenty of reasons to doubt that story happened like its told to us. But somehow somewhere for some reason we DID break with God (I don’t believe he broke with us) and created a spiritual rift between heaven and earth.

Suffering on this planet is typically the work of people. We hurt people directly or we refuse to help them.

But there are times when suffering is a way to reveal God’s glory or when it provides a chance for us to show God’s love through our own actions to help.

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. (Gospel of  John chapter 9, verses 1-3, New International Version)

God didn’t punish that blind man. Jesus says that right out. But did God make him blind? Just so Jesus could heal him? Probably not. Jesus didn’t say that God did it to make a poin. He said that it “happened” for reason. God works in little ways throughout the world and in our lives. People wonder why miracles don’t happen or why God doesn’t seem to intervene but he does. But he does so in small ways.

We aren’t chess pieces for him to move. But we are each of us a catalyst or an ingredient in something bigger. A  pinch here a pinch there, an addition here or deletion there…God doesn’t MAKE us do stuff. But he does try to make sure people are around where they are needed. He will not force us to do the right thing, but he gives us opportunities to do his work on Earth for the betterment of all.

If we could just open our eyes.

10
Mar
09

Two-fer Tuesday: Blindness by Deacon Blue

eyes-1Blindness is an all-too-common ailment in this world. And no, I don’t mean vision impairment. I don’t mean literally blindess. I mean the way we blind ourselves to suffering, blind ourselves to truth and blind ourselves to good paths that present themselves to us and that we ignore in favor of what feels better but is ultimately emptier.

More importantly, perhaps—and I harp on this because I so dislike hypocrisy, in myself or others—we blind ourselves to our personal failings and the blatant contradictions we foist on those around us. The lies about our motivations and the judgments we make of others while letting ourselves off the hook every time.

In politics and social commentary, I’ve watched left-wing folks cry that characters in movies or words that are part of our daily language are demeaning. (Really, are any gypsies really bitching that the phrase “to gyp” paints them as a thieving ethnic group? Does the “full retard” schpiel in Tropic Thunder really insult people with developmental disabilities? Must people who can’t walk or otherwise have a physical disability be called “differently” abled?). I’ve seen them cry that we must stop using such words and we must call for an end to such things in media. We must purge bad words and bad habits (like drinking and drug use) from all movies so that we don’t poison the minds of the young.

…Right after they’ve talked about the need for freedom of speech.

On the right-wing side, I see people crying out that Barack Obama will make us a socialist nation, stipping away our rights and our property and making us into mindless automatons that serve the state…all while ignoring the GOP’s handouts to the rich and to industries for so many years. While ignoring the fact that people in the armed forces have been forced to remain in service past their agreed-upon time and been forced to do longer tours of duty than they should. They’re fine with an authoritarian state, as long as the privileged and rich are calling the shots and the middle class, working class and poor mind their places.

Recently, right in my own backyard, a preacher is crying out that he’s been wronged, and his ministry taken from him. No matter that he was doing some sketchy things and engaging in shady behavior. No, he cries that he was wronged, and that he must pray for the strength to forgive. And as the same time he is doing this, he is calling out all of his “oppressors” for their sins and failings. Publicly. He is saying he’s being judged, though no one has said publicly why he was stripped of his duties, and then he goes and judges others while saying he will pray for the ability to forgive.

Sorry, God doesn’t give us the power to forgive. We are required to do that ourselves. It’s part of what God expects of us if we want the same kind of treatment from Him. If you are striking down people while praying for the ability to forgive, then you don’t want to forgive. Simple as that.

I’ve been guilty of defending behaviors that I engage in and I’m not sure I should be. I try to keep a balance of rational vs. spiritual and I try to maintain a balance between what I want and what is right, but I’ve been guilty of veering to one side or the other. When I do, I try to correct my position. I don’t stubbornly stick to the notion that I am right and everyone else is wrong.

We shouldn’t choose blindness. Because to be perfectly honest, even when we don’t like what we see, it’s better to go through life (temporally or spiritually) with our eyes wide open.




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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Jeff Bouley

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