A Hope for Community

Oh the peaceful life for which I long

And not this life of constant strife

For men to value good drink and song

And look less to money and more to life

Oh that every man minded one’s own

And loved his neighbor rather than hate

That above all else he valued home

And slowed down and learned to wait

To laugh, to cry, to drink with one’s enemies

For around food it is difficult to fight

Rather than bombs a simple diplomacy

For a shared beer turns a wrong to a right

Perhaps I embrace a hazy dream

And yet I hold out hope still

For just because a thing is unseen

Does not mean it is not real



Random Thoughts (on marriage and family) for July 15

* Love is not something that is found, fallen into, or discovered. Love is something worked at, toiled over, and must be brought to fruition. Love is not an oasis we discover, but an artisan’s masterpiece, something that has much work put into it, but the rewards are more than the artisan could ever imagine.

* Marriages fail because we do not understand the essence of love, which is self-sacrifice. Such sacrifice is anathema in today’s world and yet we can’t figure out why divorce is so common.

* There is nothing more destructive to a man than to have a sensitive ego. The only thing more destructive is to have an ego to begin with.

* Our society rarely produces art or things of worth. Everything in our modern world is merely a fad and nothing is lasting because nothing is worth holding onto.

* The rich man hordes up his treasures, condemning the poor man and making his profit off his worker’s backs, but he will die just like them. It is in death that all men are truly equal.

* The family is the cornerstone of a society. When we normalize the unnormal, when we make conventional the unconventional, then we hasten our society’s destruction. If the traditional nuclear family (one that is structured properly and acts properly, for both are needed) remains normal for a society, then the society shall never fall. If the family structure breaks down, then the society will not last for more than a century.

* What is it that destroys a family? Individualism, the idea of “his” and “hers.” What is it that heals a family and protects it against all storms? Self-sacrifice.

* Sex is not “love making” because sex is not love. Sex is an expression of love, but not love itself. Love making occurs when the husband loves his wife when she’s being unlovable or the wife gives up her needs for those of her husband even when he’s been an ass.

* Couples today don’t want kids because kids are seen as inhibitors to a career and autonomy. Alas! We no longer have need of Zeus or Jupiter, for in our own narcissism we have become our own gods! We are our own idols and we sacrifice to ourselves. Even the ancient pagans weren’t bold enough to attempt such arrogance.

Is Mother’s Day Insensitive?

In reading a site that generally mocks all things Christian culture (mostly warranted I might add, but sometimes with a taste of bitterness), I was struct with conflicting ideas upon reading this post.

Mother’s day is something that we usually pass over and think little to nothing of those who may have struggles. What immediately popped into my mind was the idea of the “Mother/Daughter Banquet” idea that dominates most American Churches. While these events are good and can help to foster the bond between mother and daughter, what do you do for girls who have lost their mothers due to death, divorce, or have absent mothers to begin with? What of the mother’s who recently lost a child in a messy custody hearing, or lost a child to death? These banquets, while nice, can sometimes be quite exclusive and unintentionally add on more pain to an already suffering victim. The same stands true for those who are infertile or single.

At the same time, especially in the modern world, we must celebrate the position of mother. Even if our own mothers failed to be good mothers (I should add that I did not have that problem, thankfully), we should celebrate those who are good mothers. We should celebrate those who have lived selfless lives in having children and raising them. Being a mother is a high calling that, unfortunately, not all women can fulfill. This is not to say they don’t have an equally high calling, but it’s difficult to lower the position of “mother” when it is such an extremely self-sacrificial position. She gives up her body to be used for 9 months, and then gives up the next 18 years to put the needs of her child before her own needs. All of this indicates that motherhood, especially in Christian circles, is something to be celebrated. Let us also not forget that Jesus quite often mentioned His mother and while on the cross made sure she was looked after once He had died. We look to the Theotokos and see that it was a woman who raise God incarnate. This fact alone shows that mothers deserve special recognition.

I think in issues like this, where honor is deserved, but such honor can bring harm to others, we have to keep the following passage in mind:

“On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” 1 Corinthians 12:22-26

I find the last part to summarize how Mother’s Day (or Father’s Day, which isn’t as celebrated) should be approached in the church. Rather than gushing all over mothers while ignoring those who might be hurt by such a celebration, we should consider each other’s situations. For those who have problems with Mother’s Day, it would do them well to rejoice those who are mothers and have had good experiences with their mothers. It would be selfish to be bitter or offended by someone having a good mother, especially if that person is part of the body of Christ. We should rejoice with that person. At the same time, it would be selfish to ignore the plight of those without mothers or to women without children. Perhaps the church could tone down the celebration, encouraging private family celebrations, while at the same time inviting those without mothers or women without children to partake in those celebrations. After all, we are (supposedly) a family.