Tag Archives for " superstition "

Finding Beauty

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. – 1 Corinthians 13:11

I had a really weird dream two nights ago. I am still a little troubled by the vividness of it.

In my dream, I was being forced to have an arranged marriage. I entered a room full of encouraging well-wishers, all excited to present their chosen bride. I recognized the faces of the people. I knew them all. They all wore plastered smiles on their faces, the faces of people overjoyed to present a wonderful gift. One by one they shook my hand, encouraging me, telling me that I would love “her”. As the crowd parted, I saw  my would-be bride. Standing before me was a rather large, slow-moving, very old nun, with gnarled and sagging skin, stooped over and supported by a cane, dressed complete with a habit, and wearing a dangling large gold crucifix around her neck.

I was stunned.

This was the bride they had been so excited about. This was the beauty they were presenting. This was the love they had promised. I was appalled and confused. Was this who they were really offering?

My confusion turned into obvious dislike. Some in the crowd gently asked, “Are you not pleased with your bride? She has much to offer. Great wealth, history, influence, and stability.” I said, “Those are wonderful. But you promised great beauty, and I see none, feel none.” Then another part of the crowd spoke up, “Oh you carnal young man. How shallow are your requirements? You find no beauty because you don’t know what beauty is. She is beautiful.” “She has respectable qualities”, I replied, not wanting to insult the crowd. “How blind are you? How lost are you? How naïve can you get?” the crowd asked. “What do you want? Perfection? You are not perfect yourself. You have nothing to offer, but she, she can offer you so much.”

The crowd, now turning into an upset mob said as one as they surrounded me and the old woman. Tighter and tighter their circle around us got, pushing us closer together. The closer I was to her, the more despicable she became. She hissed at me, saying, “Who do you think you are to not love me? Look at all these people who have loved me. Look at what I have done for them. And you, in your arrogance, won’t embrace me? You foolish boy.” I was a few steps away from her. She was holding up her arms to embrace me, with her left hand holding her crucifix necklace out to me. I could feel the push of the crowd inch by inch moving me forward.

Then I heard a baby’s cry. I could not see any baby, but I could hear it. And it seemed I was the only one in the crowd who heard it, since the others were too busy trying to execute the forced marriage. I turned to where I thought I heard the baby, and ducked under the legs of the crowd, crawling determinedly to get away from that old woman and find the helpless child instead.

I saw a door in the far wall past the growing crowd, and I stood up and made a run for it. I could hear the disappointed crowd’s accusations. “Fool! Fool! Fool!” they chanted. “Fool!” I looked back the old woman, who was now inflating herself bigger and bigger, whether she absorbed the crowd or squashed them, I do not know. I knew that if I didn’t make it out the door soon I would be crushed by her.

With much urgency, I ran to the door, only to find it locked. I asked the white man by the door for a key but he did not reply. I sought around the door frame but could find none. I tried to pull and push the door but it would not move. I could sense the old woman growing towards me quickly. In my desperation I started knocking on the door, calling for someone on the other side. When that didn’t work, I started banging on it. Harder and harder I banged on the door, desperate to escape the ugliness about to envelope me.

Then it broke. The door broke. Just in time, I was able to kick the rest of the door to give me enough space to pass. I found myself standing in a beautiful garden with three rivers, and two massive trees in the middle. And lying on the grass was a beautiful child. The most beautiful child I had ever seen, lying vulnerably with only strip of white cloth, but full of joy and life. There was no fear in the child. The crying I had heard turned out to be laughter. And he looked at me. I knelt and picked-up the child, said to him, “Hello there, beautiful one.”

Then I woke up. #db

Why Do We Turn Sporting Events into Morality Plays?

Keep seeing comments and posts about how the NBA Finals is about Lebron’s pride and Curry’s humility, and that God will let Golden State win because He humbles the proud.

Um… Could it be that the Cavs are losing because Kevin Love and Irving are injured? Could it be that there are some proud people in the Golden State organization that need humbling too? Could it be there are people in the Cavs organization that are Christian and praying to win as well? If sporting events dictate the reality or goodness of God, then what happened to Pacquiao means God isn’t really real or good?

I really don’t understand why we like to make sporting events morality plays, why we think it’s right to make the loss of a man or a team a reason to put them down as a model for failures of faith. Is God pleased when we lift up one man and pull down the other (by highlighting his failure) when He loves them both?
And if it’s about Christian versus non-Christian, why didn’t Mark Jackson (former coach of Golden State), who is a minister, not win?

There’s a big difference between celebrating someone’s faith and pulling down someone else for not having the same faith in God. Celebrate men of faith. But don’t tear down others who don’t share the same faith. I think God would be more pleased if we prayed for those we disagree with than publicly shaming them. Would we like it if someone took our public failure and used it to push us down more? No. Why do it to someone else?

I’ve found this to be true: how we treat the success and failures of other people has a little to say about them but much to say about our own condition. To make sporting events morality plays doesn’t accurately portray the good versus evil battle we like to make it, but a shallow understanding that fails to understand that more than proving Himself in sports, God is interested in bringing all people to Him.

Many times it shows that our faith is not wisdom but a rationalization of how external events are validation of our faith. The true morality play is inside us. Do we, not them, respond in love when our team losses or wins?