Sunday, April 15, 2012

Yosemite playlist

For this weekend's trip to Yosemite, I made a playlist for Brittany and I. It mostly stems from some people I've been recently digging, but also with some relevant themes. A mixture of mello and merriment:
  1. Keep Your Head Up - Ben Howard
  2. Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men
  3. Down In The Valley - The Head and the Heart
  4. Holecene - Bon Iver
  5. We Are Young - fun.
  6. Only Love - Ben Howard
  7. Ho Hey - The Lumineers
  8. Mountain Sound - Of Monsters and Men
  9. Home - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
  10. Metal & Wood - Tyrone Wells
  11. The Fear - Ben Howard
  12. Airplanes - Local Natives
  13. Lakehouse - Of Monsters and Men
  14. Awake My Soul - Mumford & Sons
  15. River And Roads - The Head and the Heart
  16. The Wolves - Ben Howard
  17. Six Weeks - Of Monsters and Men

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The God Who Suffers

Nicholas Wolterstorff, highly respected Christian philosopher at Yale University, lost his 25 year old son to a mountain climbing accident in 1983. Four years later he wrote a book called Lament for a Son, where he lets the reader in to his thoughts as a grieving father. I highly recommend the book for any of you who have experienced the death of someone you loved or will ever experience the death of someone you love...meaning, I recommend to everyone.

One thought from the book that is especially relevant this week, as we begin thinking about Good Friday, is his thoughts on the God who suffers with us, the God of sorrows:
“God is not only the God of the sufferers but the God who suffers. The pain and fallenness of humanity have entered into his heart. Through the prism of my tears I have seen a suffering God…

And great mystery: to redeem our brokenness and lovelessness the God who suffers with us did not strike some mighty blow of power but sent his beloved son to suffer like us., through his suffering to redeem us from suffering and evil.

Instead of explaining our suffering, God shares it.

But I never saw it. Though I confessed that the man of sorrows was God himself, I never saw the God of sorrows. Though I confessed that the man bleeding on the cross was the redeeming God, I never saw God himself on the cross, blood from sword and thorn and nail dripping healing into the world’s wounds.”

Monday, April 02, 2012

Abuse is worth being sad about, mad about

I've been thinking about abuse a lot lately. One reason for this is that I am in a class here at Fuller called Pastoral Care and Abuse. Through the lectures and readings just over the last week, I'm learning very quickly about the prevalence and the horrors of all kinds of trauma and abuse.

Also, last night, Brittany and I watched Martha Marcy May Marlene. It was an intense and powerful movie about a girl who gets involved in a abusive cult. She goes on to suffer from severe delusions and paranoia because of the sexual abuse that she had experienced there. It was a very sad visualization of the atrocities being committed, occurring much more than we think about, as well as the life long psychological effects that come from these traumatic events. For Brittany, the movie also brought up recent conversations with someone in therapy who has been the victim of incest at an early age. I can't imagine a more horrible form of abuse than that.

Brittany and I cried together last night. My sadness then morphed into a sort of anger. I don't understand why all this has to happen. Doesn't God care about this? Can't he do something about it? My theology tells me that he both cares and can do something about it, so why does it still exist? I think these are questions that all of us have or will one day wrestle with, and I think it's okay to do so.

The answer to these questions for me right now is "I don't know." But I do know that part of what we are celebrating this week, the death and resurrection of Christ, is about God's concern about the evil and abuse in the world. Christ's death and resurrection are a proclamation that the world is not as it should be, and a demonstration that God cares enough about us to enter the world and be subject to its abuses. The cross reveals that there is healing for the abused, and even more radically, that there is forgiveness for the perpetrator.

Being sad about abuse and mad about it is something that reflects the way God thinks about it. I wanted to close this post with some thoughts from a song I've been listening to the last couple of days by High Society Collective. It's called Mad About. It's a song that expresses anger about the many injustices going in the world right now, including abuse.

The line that gripped me this morning as I was running was about sexual abuse. I'll end on this, hoping this line illustrates yet again the horrible reality of abuse going on all around us, and that it's worth being sad about and mad about.
She was only eight when they threw her in the trade/Abused in her youth now a slave of this rape/Uncle prostitutes the niece before she got through puberty/And its hard for her to pray ’cause she’s dropping to her knees for a priest/Geez, the cross that he wears is the cross that she bears/Pedophiles is what Im mad about.