Tag Archives: hero

My Jesus who carries a big stick

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This past Sunday in church we watched a “human video” (aka a mime or drama set to music) that I have probably watched 100 times in the last 5 years, since we work with youth and host teams of students as well.  It was set to the song by Lighthouse called “Everything”.  Even though I’ve seen it enough times to know exactly what is going to happen, it gets me wiping the tears every time!

It’s the basic story of God’s salvation of humans.  God creates a girl, creates the world full of beautiful things for her enjoyment and teaches her how to live in harmony with himself.  They dance a sweet dance together and as he spins her out, Satan grabs her hand.  He entices her with more daring and seductive dips and twirls, and spins her into one bad crowd after another.  She spirals downwards until she finds herself holding a gun to her head, ready to pull the trigger.

At that point the song reaches its climax and God begins to pull at an imaginary rope that is connected to her, pulling her closer and closer, back to his loving arms.  She wants to come to him, but her old temptations and habits pull her back down, over and over again.  Finally, God has had enough and he steps in between the girl and her tormentors, he fights for her and wins her back!  Though she is beaten and ragged and broken, he holds her tenderly and clothes her in a white robe.

The thing that I like the best about this drama is that God fights for the girl.  It is the primal scream of every girl’s soul to be fought for and rescued.  But as we have emasculated the men of our society, we have diminished our chances of ever being fought for.  At the same time we have also neutralized and sanitized our image of God.  No longer is he the God of the Old Testament who was capable of brutally punishing his enemies and savagely, passionately rescuing his people from bondage.  No longer is he the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, he’s more like Alex the Lion from Madagascar.  We have forgotten about the fearsome and awe inspiring Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia- Aslan who is NOT a tame lion, but he IS good.

But here’s the thing, sometimes I walk through very scary places in life.  I find myself in dangerous dark spiritual alleys with bad guys carrying big weapons chasing me through the unfamiliar streets of life.  Sometimes I have to walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.  And when I do, I want a great big God who knows how to handle himself in a fight!  As soon as the battle gets too hot and heavy for me, I want to simply breathe his name in my exhaustion and feel him rushing in to rescue me.  The moment I call his name, the battle becomes his- not mine any longer.

So don’t try to paste a pansy image of God onto my grilled cheese sandwich and expect me to be satisfied with that.  I don’t want Mister Roger’s with me on a dark night, I want William Wallace by my side!  I don’t want the pacifist Jesus.  I want the warrior Jesus… I NEED the Jesus who knows how to snap a whip and flip over a table and beat up the bad guys.  Oh he’s not tame, that’s for sure.  But he IS good.  And that’s the Jesus who fights for me.

“Even though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death I will fear no evil, for you are with me.  Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”  Psalm 23:4

Daydreaming

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One of my all-time favorite movies is “A Christmas Story.”  If you haven’t seen it, then you weren’t born in the 80’s.  Not only do I find the setting super nostalgic like the neighborhood that I grew up in.  But I find the humor is very similar to my own.  I can really relate to Ralphie too, because I’m a daydreamer.  I don’t dream about Red Ryder BB Guns or defending my family from Black Bart.  But I have day dreamed away literally years of my life… at least from Kindergarten through Junior High, at least.

When I was a child my favorite daydreams involved me being a hero and rescuing someone.  If I had time, the “Hero” daydream would progress into the “Last Words” daydream.  Having rescued someone from mortal danger, alas, I have thrown myself into the path of harm and born the brunt of the impact.  I now lay dying in a hospital bed.  Amazingly, my face looks angelically beautiful and not at all ugly and maimed.   My hair is perfectly smoothed and styled, even though it never is in real life.  Everyone comes into my room one at a time and tells me how much they loved me and will miss me.  As I slip into a comma, whichever boy I liked at the time comes in to confess that he has always loved me and should have told me so when I was alive.  Then I die… but I’m still pretty.  That was my favorite daydream.

I still have fantastic daydreams.  You know in the movies when someone gets a bright idea, then through a music montage, all the details of the plan just fall into place and voilà!  The work is done and the plan is complete!  I love that daydream.  If only life were as easy as a music montage.

I also daydream about being incredibly witty and being able to deliver just the right zinger at just the right moment.  I mean, who hasn’t lain in bed and thought about all the ways you COULD have responded to the insulting jerk you crossed paths with or the skinny snob you wanted to trip in the hall.  But I suppose if you had this gift of saying just the right thing in the right moment, then, like in the movie “You’ve Got Mail” you would have to live with regrets too.  You’d have regrets for being a “meanie” and hurting someone’s feelings when you really ARE a nice person, regrets for not holding your tongue when you should have.

But in my daydreams, I never have those kinds of regrets… I have a good laugh-track full of appropriate applause and appreciation for my zesty wit.  In real life, I hold my tongue as I was raised to and you may never know what’s going on in my head.  Is that mysterious?  ‘Cause that’s another one of my daydreams…