A couple of weeks ago some yahoo was threatening to destroy all the white Jesus paintings and statues because they fit the white supremacy narrative. My first reaction was the same as most over-exaggerations of our racial division in this country; how silly. But after further thought and listening, I came to see that his perception is not irrational. A black person might indeed have bad feelings toward the near unanimity of a European looking Jesus on the walls of homes and churches where African Americans were inhumanely treated up until the 60’s. Quite honestly, I would hate to let a white Jesus stop a person from believing in the real Jesus.
In a world where most people get their news from social media, anyone with a cell phone is an amateur cameraman, and individuals take to Facebook and Twitter to inform each other of current events, is it really a wonder that we have a hard time discerning what is true? Even our major news outlets read more like opinion than fact, intentionally leaning into overt biases and promoting their own agendas. In a recent interview on Hardcore History Addendum, former journalist Dan Carlin points out, “the democratization of the media has led to the democratization of truth.”
Hangs there. Invisible to the eye who looks upon. Heavy upon the chest of those who breathe it. She tries not to inhale that quiet air that she cannot see. It stings the back of her tongue thickly swamping shallow into her lung. Drowning in the quiet air, gasping at the hidden tears bleeding down the back of her throat. Concentrate and no one sees. Metal air in, hope breathed out.
Waking up this morning I felt that sick stone pressing on my lungs again. Breath a little short, metal spoon-like keeping me from inhaling the bright dawn. Throbbing pools held back just behind the shell of my face. Not enough power to let it down, to let them fall, to release.
Graduation season is upon us, and with schools closed, ceremonies cancelled, and celebrations postponed, we’re seeing a lot of talk about the Class of 2020 online. This includes many celebrities and political figures pulling out their video cameras to deliver virtual graduation addresses. The thing that all compelling graduation speeches contain is an emphasis on what you (the student) are capable of accomplishing in this world. We are all foundationally good people with the ability to do amazing things if we put our minds to it. But, are we?
Being a mother is wonderful and terrible at the same time.
This task is wrapped up in experiences and expectations not only passed down from her own mother, but from her ideals, friends, and mentors. Even in the Church, we have highlighted the vocation of mother, that this office is necessary and an important service to God and neighbor. There are plenty of blogs, books, and podcasts to guide one in the ways of being a great mother, secular, Christian and otherwise, but there is something critical they may not tell you about mothering. Because, if you considered this little piece of advice, the parenting paradigm may crumble.
A new story always begins with the spirits of hopes and dreams. Leaping and flying, spinning and whirling, the tale is bound to go anywhere. In a fictional world of no consequences, the story can take shape any way the spirits lead. Creative heights, unthinkable depths, there are no boundaries where she can go. Soaring away from reality, another world is unveiled where deepest desires and questions are allowed to surface. But silently driving the distant words of story, truth and reality press her upon unsuspecting souls.
Two weeks ago, when I wrote about The Seventh Seal, I had one kind of response to it. Kyle Smith (and his commenters) at National Review had a very different response. Over the past year, people have had strikingly opposite reviews of movies like Joker, The Irishman, A Hidden Life, and Parasite. No doubt preference and taste account for some of those differences. Probably the egalitarian and democratic nature of the internet accounts for a few more (as “reviewing” movies is not limited to experts). When it comes to classic movies—cult or otherwise—some of it is inevitably nostalgia. But in terms of my own feelings about movies, I am more and more convinced that current circumstances play a determinative role in the experience of watching something.
There’s something about pastors not acting the way people think pastors ought to act that attracts people—if not in real life, then at least on the screen. From Pale Rider to Machine Gun Preacher, people like to watch preachers pulled out of the regular ruts of how we imagine their lives and into some extraordinary action. Maybe pastors like to watch so they can live vicariously through the actions of guys in collars doing things we ourselves would never do!
Diving into the great sea of knowledge, I am drowning. Wave after wave of fact and fiction, feeling and experience crash over my head as I fight just to take a breath. Pummeling pressure keeps my eyes just below the surface, so that I can’t quite see clearly. Swell after swell, small and distant, grows deeper and more powerful the closer it gets to me. Endless fathoms of knowledge washing in and out, burying me deep below understanding.