Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Christmas Story

The Word became flesh and lived among us. Words embodied. Ideas becoming reality. Poetry in motion. Truth seen. Mystery felt. Verbal and nonverbal. Thought and action. Axis and praxis. A metaphor that tastes good.

Unto you a child is born. Predictions fulfilled. God becoming a baby. Heaven on earth. Singing stars. Wise guys. Common folk. Sorrow and joy. Good news and bad news. Dreams and visions. A story that never gets old.

Jesus is the reason for the season. Economies stimulated. Christians becoming defensive. Living in America. Worn out cliches. Trivial pursuits. Carols and cars. Glitter and gold. Food and drink. A holiday that takes more than it gives.

Friday, November 05, 2010

My secret heresy

I'm color blind. I don't think about it much except during this time of year in the Ozarks. Many times I hear, "aren't the colors wonderful this time of year." I know what they mean; they're talking about the reds and oranges and yellows (and variations of the same?) that color the fall foliage. Most of the time I simply say, "yes. It's beautiful." But what I really mean is: "I don't agree with you because I don't see the world like you do."

I dread what usually happens when others find out I'm color blind. It's the endless, "what color is this? . . . and this? . . . and this?" Sometimes they laugh, amused by my answers. Others (the more sensitive types) empathize, or speculate, "I wonder what it would be like to see the world through your eyes." My children once mused, "Maybe Dad is the only one to see colors as they really are, and we're the ones who are confused . . . . Nah!"

I used to make comments about the colors of the world. (For example, when our folks visited us in the U.K. years ago, we took them to Scotland during winter. I made the comment, "Aren't the green hills beautiful?" Later, my family confessed they said to each other [under their breath], "poor guy. He doesn't see that everything's dead and brown."

I can't tell the difference between blue and purple, green and brown, pink and grey, red and brown. I'm told my "rods" are misproportioned--we see color through the triangularization of the RGB color scheme--each rod (Red, Green, and Blue) must be equal length to see color "correctly"). Some of my "rods" are shorter than others. So my color vision is imperfect, slightly eschewed, off color--if you will.

I've recently wondered whether my color "world view" has colored my theological "world view." That is to say, I seem to have the same feelings when I hear others speak rather confidently about the inherent beauty of certain theological ideas. Sometimes I say, "Yes. It is wonderful." But most of the time I feel like saying, "I don't agree because I don't see the world like you do."

I'm rediscovering a simple idea: there are many things about God that I don't want to believe about Him; but I do anyway. Like, I don't want to believe in a God who said, "Kill the Amalekites." But, I do. I don't want to believe in a God who didn't spare His own Son from the horrendous evil of crucifixion. But, I do. I don't want to believe in a God who shows mercy to my enemies. But, I do. I don't want to believe in a God who made imperfect "rods" so as not to see the "natural" beauty of what has been made. But, I do. I don't want to believe in a God who gives sight to some and not others. But, I do.

Perhaps it's because I can't see things "as they really are." But, I do.