And now, onto the INCREDIBLY PROBLEMATIC blog to a dear daughter…

Dear daughter, let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to you

  1. this is what happens when you constantly hear everything you do is awesome. Really? You think she’s never heard criticism? The girl has TALENT. She’s an actress and a singer – you don’t succeed in that business without a lot of hard work, and you’d better believe she’s been taught, instructed, gotten direction, and trained to do what she does. A person who has never seen criticism does not sing like this girl does. Also, her tiffs with her father, who is openly critical of her wild behaviour, are fairly well known.
  2. This is what happens when no responsible adult has ever said the word “no,” made you change your clothes before leaving the house, or never spanked your butt for deliberate defiance. Compelling argument for corporal punishment. Really. I’m sure this southern girl has never been spanked by her conservative Christian parents. See pt. 1 to be reminded that you clearly know very little about the public scandal of Miley’s father’s disapproval of her behaviour. (At this point can I just say that’s a really … low … move to use very limited information about a person and blow it up into a caricature of a BAD role model? It’s a rather simplistic mode of parenting that sounds like you’re just teaching your kid to judge people based on appearances…)
  3. “after I first knock you on your butt for forgetting how a lady acts in public.” Girl power, eh? Now we’ve regressed to using the term “lady” and requesting moral behaviour based on societal expectations – which doesn’t work in 2013…north of the Mason-Dixon line.
  4. Miley Cyrus is not edgy or cool or sexy. Well, actually… she probably is the definition of at least the first two. At least right now. You could always give her good role models to emulate, instead of badmouthing this one…
  5. know in your heart that they see only a body that can be used for their pleasure and then forgotten. Um, maybe? There’s probably not a lot of thought going on in a boy’s mind when he’s “gawking” at a twerking girl… if this is happening at a pre-high school dance, I can just imagine a whole lot of pre-pubescent awkwardness.
  6. I am going to fight or die trying to keep you from becoming like the Miley Cyruses of the world. And what happens if she does?! What happens if your daughter does pot. Or gets famous. Or loses her religion. Or gets pregnant while twerking?! Wouldn’t it be great – if you’re a Christian – if the message she got from her mom wasn’t one of heavy-handed moralism and behaviour modification and instead had more to say about how she’s loved, and always will be… because that’s what God says about her … and who knows maybe she won’t feel the need to seek out love the way that “Miley Cyruses” do if she knows she doesn’t have to earn it?

And after all that: apologies. Because that was harsh with some righteous anger.

Really, bloggers?

August 30, 2013

Ok guys, I’ve had enough.

I could not care less to add to the din of “this is my opinion of something controversial framed in some supposedly unique perspective,” blogs out there.

At least, not about the performance of Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus at the VMAs.

What I will say is that I cannot handle the gender stereotyping in these two viral blogs that DID talk about Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMAs.

THE PROBLEMS! OH THE PROBLEMATIC PROBLEMS! WITH YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF GENDER AND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MAN OR A WOMAN AND WHAT YOU’RE TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN. [although I know you mean well...still no excuse]

Let’s start with the men.

Dear son, don’t let Robin Thicke be a lesson to you

  1. I really doubt Robin Thicke will be a thing when your son is choosing musical tastes in 10-15 years. But if he is, at least you’re prepared with this blog post which I’m sure he’ll read.
  2. You dis “Blurred Lines” like it’s the only vapid, “anthem to fornication and objectification” on the radio in the last … fifty years. But ok, let’s say it stands out somehow, saying that the only people that listen to it are morons … is undermining your credibility as a person who … perhaps calls people to respect others. Possibly.
  3. The grown man did not get a pass with this song. It’s been called out. By lots of feminist bloggers. You can google it. No one who has a problem with Miley grinding against a man 16 years her senior, who is married and has children, thinks he is innocent bystander or somehow not involved.
  4. THE F DOES CHIVALRY GOT TO DO WITH THIS. We do not all abide in some sort of medieval code of conduct for the sake the protection of fair maidens and damsels in distress. You said it yourself, we have issues with sexual degradation in this society, especially of the female gender. But if you’re going to be taking a stand against this sort of thing, don’t use words that paint it as some sort of idealized fairy tale of self-righteous living. Use reasons. For example, sexual degradation is wrong because… (insert reasons here…NOT CHIVALRY).
  5. “Men in this culture need to stand up and be leaders.” Men need to, eh? Because they don’t already dominate most positions of leadership? Or are you suggesting somehow women aren’t doing a good job of being leaders? Or is there a vacuum of leadership, and the people to stand up to fill it should be men? (You see the problem with starting sentences with “Men need to…”)
  6. The girls that behave like Miley Cyrus do so because they want to attract men. And it works. It shouldn’t.” Because millions of years of evolution shouldn’t influence our behaviour…
  7. When you call Robin Thicke a pig and a pervert, other than the obvious problematic nature of name-calling before making a plea to moral living, you forget that a lot of men – that would not self-identify as pigs or perverts – treat women like garbage. You don’t have to have a foot fetish or hide in bushes (or however one might define “pervert”) to disrespect, consciously or unconsciously, women.
  8. “They take advantage of emotionally broken, self loathing, confused young women, and they are rewarded handsomely for it.” Miley Cyrus is what now, how? Sorry, I am confused. Why do you call her emotionally broken? Her emotions don’t work? What is she confused about, exactly? Because that’s a pretty big claim. Especially the self-loathing. Do you just assume she’s self-loathing because she’s a woman? Most people I know that loathe themselves don’t have the confidence to act as outlandish as Miley did, in front of an audience of famous people, and millions of viewers. It’s fair to say that a depressed person is more likely to be promiscuous, but before you go making assumptions on Miley’s emotional and mental state… maybe just don’t?
  9. “the nature of true masculinity” WOW. You’re going to go there and claim that you know what that is, eh? HAH. Jee.
  10. “Son, there is nothing glamorous or fun about being a man of low character and no integrity. What you see on TV is a facade. It’s a sales pitch. It’s poison. You see the bright lights and the sexy women, but you don’t see what happens when the cameras are off and these pop culture gods return to their lives as mere mortals. You don’t see them in their big, empty, lonely houses. You don’t see the emptiness in the pit of their souls. You don’t see all the alcohol and drugs they have to use to dull the pain of living a life devoid of real, committed relationships. You don’t see the hatred they have for themselves and for humanity. You don’t see the jealousy they have towards normal, decent men.” So well meaning. So misdirected! Glamour and fun are probably guarantees (at least some of the time) for men like Robin Thicke and other hustlers, playboys, what have you. TV is a facade, it is fake, they’re selling stuff… and it can poison you if you believe it all. But there are a lot of normal, everyday folk that suffer from loneliness, and empty houses, and substance abuse, and some of those people are even in real, committed relationships. There’s no guarantee that being famous means that you hate yourself and humanity … or that you’re jealous of “decent,” “normal” (again, word choice, what is normal?!) men.
  11. “Men are loyal. Men are honest. Men respect and honor women. A man goes out and finds one woman, and he vows to protect and love her for the rest of his life. A man would never betray that vow. Even the weakest and most cowardly man — if he is a man at all — would die for the woman he loves.” Can you please stop saying that your son should do these good things because he’s a boy? Because every time you tell your son “Men are like this:” you’re also saying, “Women are not.” It’s subtle, and unspoken, but it’s a subtext that implies that men are different than women on a moral level. That somehow these moral characteristics are for men to act towards women (and each other), and not for human beings to act towards one another (are men in the same category as women? Because they should be, morally). Also, you’re warping your son’s sense of self (what happens when he is not honest? Is he no longer “a man”? Why is it important to “be a man” as though his actions determine his gender and not his biology? What’s the alternative to a “man”? A pig?
  12. You sound Christian. Here is my suggestion: Be like Christ. Don’t be a man, don’t create some sort of idol made up of piecemeal ideals from across the ages – just be the image of God you were created to be, by following Christ.

The blog for daughters…

God is good, right?

May 31, 2013

So we pulled over to photograph the sunset, at one of those “historical markers” between Magdelena and Socorro, NM, and there was a little dog running up to us. Shorthair, white and brown, dirty as anything but wearing a harness collar with a dog tag that had “Biggulz” on one side and two phone numbers on the other. He was so happy to see us, and while Will warned me not to get bit I rubbed his belly and he practically exploded with puppy wiggle excitement.

He was clearly someone’s pet. He was also clearly far from home.

I pulled two cactus needles from his muzzle and the poured water into a cup for him which he drank as fast as he could. I eventually left him at the side of the road with a couple piles of Sun Chips (Cheddar Harvest). His soamch had growled when I was petting him so I knew he was hungry.

Our cell phones don’t work in the States it was an hour and a half until w got to where we were going and I was able to call the numbers on the tags. Amanda picked up. She was excited. “Are you missing a dog?” Yes. “Biggulz?” Yes! “I found him today at the side of the road”

– I told her pretty much everything above.

She thanked me. She then left with her daughter to go look for him. They had lost him two weeks prior while camping. They thought he was dead. She thanked me for calling.

The anxiety I felt – knowing he was lost and that we couldn’t take him – followed me all night and into the next day. I tried calling the number again to see I they had found him, but no one answered. I felt some relief, but I had no confidence that Biggulz the puppy was going to be found by his family. I simply don’t know. There may have been a time in my life that I could have done some mental acrobatics and convinced myself that somehow everything was going to be fine. Kinda like this:

This is out of our hands but in God’s and God is good and just have faith in God’s goodness.

But knowing that God is good doesn’t leave peace. Because God isn’t my definition of good. He is His definition of good (which isn’t arbitrary but ultimate, supreme, based on perfect judgement and the fact that He is God, etc.). So he might allow something because ultimately it’s good but whether or not it seems good to me is irrelevant. Unfortunately, my happiness feels quite contingent on whether or not it seems good to me.

See if they don’t find their dog – that lost puppy dirty and hungry in the desert – I think that’s bad, not good, evil.

But God could allow that to happen. Which appears at first glance like I don’t believe God is all good.

He’s not all of my good. So whether or not he’s ultimately all good feels a bit empty as a promise. I can have faith it’ll all work out in the end but the present is painful, sad, involves suffering and lacks hope.

To be happy seems like you have to be…long-term minded. That’s difficult. There is the rub.

My thoughts on Death

May 12, 2013

I finished a course last week on death.

I reflected on death a lot. On the theology of heaven and hell (ultimately somewhat uninteresting).

I don’t often dwell honestly with death. It’s a bit unreal when you shoot zombies for fun, watch the Walking Dead (with knowledge of the production and critics in the back of your head). Death is always 2D. And of course, there’s the fact that death is always this thing I want but don’t want. This answer but not an answer. An impossible possibility. I don’t want death, I want the end of my suffering. I want happiness and friends.

 

 

I write suicide notes on a regular basis. I just wrote one now, but felt like it was too long and boring. I can’t really entrust myself into anyone’s hands. It’s too bad honesty is so ugly and unpleasant. I avoid unpleasantness chronically. Hence the desire for suicide. So I assume everyone else does too, and has no desire for me, in all my unpleasantness.

 

Death is unpleasant. Life is unpleasant. Hence the dilemma when one has become chronically avoidant of unpleasantness.

 

And I don’t believe in purgatory.

Tonight I was browsing through Facebook when I saw a friend from university had commented on a post about how Rick Warren’s son had died. He was 27, and had succumbed to mental illness. He had taken his own life.

I read the article. It was sad. It was familiar (dealing with mental illness myself, I’m drawn to the stories, and they seem to be drawn to me). It felt familiar. But it was in a new context. It was in Christendom, Evangelical Christendom. The mainstream. America.

I am sad for Kay and Rick. Parents of three adult children. This child of theirs, twenty-seven, had been sensitive. Had benefitted (they mention) from medication, doctors, counselors, prayers. But…had nevertheless chosen to take his own life.

It’ll sound like words I shouldn’t say. Another language. Foreign. misplaced. But I say them anyway: “I get it.”

I get why.

I get that pain of mental illness. I get the suicidal thoughts that seem to set up camp in the brain and come back, time and again. Sometimes I feel like I look at my life and think, “Will I become a statistic?” Nothing keeps my friends and family – my husband – from experiencing tragedy. And I see this son, who just so happened to have the mental illness, and the stars aligned in a sad array and his end was tragic. “Suicide.” The stories of such an end stand out in memory. I know of a friend of a friend. Someone’s cousin. The brother of a T.A. I’ve read articles, books, blogs. Maybe you haven’t read stories like this but I read them. My eye and heart are drawn to them and I read.

Battlestar Galactica  Do you remember the character who killed herself? She had a night of fun…and then there was the quick, unexpected pulling of a trigger. And as much as you didn’t like the character (as a selfish consumer audience member), you realized… she was loved in her world. She was missed. It didn’t make sense to those she left behind and they didn’t want life to be without her. You felt the void she created by dying. Credit goes to their performance. I felt it. It was awful.

Suicide marks the lives of all those who know the self-killed.

There is a part of me glad…

That the statistics worked out that someone famous would have a son who died. Not because I have anything against Rick, or the rich and famous. Not because I want anyone to reach that point of despair where they’re pushed beyond the brink. But because I know that because it’s Rick’s son, more people will feel less alone when it happens to their son, father, brother, sister, wife, child. Perhaps the conversation will happen, about mental illness, about suicide, before it’s too late. Maybe lives will be made better due to better understanding, familiarity. Because it happened to the son of a famous, influential pastor, perhaps guilt will have less of a foothold on those left behind.

This young man, although life became too much for him, through his death can bring others awareness of suicide and the dangers of mental illness. How amazing that even in our greatest weakness, God can shine light in darkness, heal, restore, redeem. But we shouldn’t be too surprised, after all, God’s greatest victory involved bringing salvation out of death.

Come, Lord Jesus.

& Thanks. For being here with us.

Thinking Goodbye

March 10, 2013

Walking down the street tonight with my dog, I thought, not for the first time, “life is good, I can see that now. But I am not.”

And it wasn’t a moral judgement passed – I think I’m wise and mature enough to recognize that we all do our best, which is full of missteps and mistakes but there is forgiveness.

No. I meant that the world is good because it is ordered, it works, it functions the way it was designed to. I am a part of this created world, but I am a broken piece. I do not function as I should or work the way I was designed to work. It’s my mind. It does not fit in this grand creation.

As I walked I saw that yes, this feeling, of a milder – yet still cold – March night, was good. Walking felt good in my legs. The air was fresh, the neighbourhood trees were “upside-down lungs,” like lace across the sky, and the dirty snow was still a reprieve from the dirtier mud underneath – and spring was coming. My dog was sniffing everything and being a cute, furry, curly- tailed, slightly-overweight dog on a walk. And I am ready to die.

Life is good. But I am tired. I have experienced so much goodness, I am ready. I am satisfied. I don’t need more. I’m not greedy. I have been tremendously blessed and even in my sufferings I’ve appreciated and witnessed kindness and friendship. But it’s enough now. Keeping on keeping on feels like too much. I don’t know what comes next, and I am not the all-seeing, all-knowing, Wisdom of God, but perhaps this soul can go to that eternal place now and this broken body can cease its suffering? Before it hurts anyone else. It can only get worse.

There. That is what I could put my finger on. Hopelessness. It sounds like such a severe word, how could I ever claim such a thing? The second it shows up in my mind I should stamp it out and cling to hope. A red flag waves and tells me, “this is a lie, this is depression talking, this is never true.”

So I talk around it.

Hopelessness just means that I don’t think things are going to get better. That’s realism. That’s taking what I have before me and behind me and saying, “Now, here is enough.”

The saddest part about being hopeless and being ready to die and feeling like giving up …is when you are completely at the mercy of God and God doesn’t want to kill you. I feel like there is a noose tied around my neck with the other end going up into heaven and all God has to do is a little tug and there I’d go. It wouldn’t be suicide, it would be God saying, “Yes, I concur. It is the best time for you to die.”

But death is rarely painless, is it.

It’s slow. And sad.

And so I look forward and walk slowly but there are bright and colourful full lives around here and it’s painful not being one of them. It’s painful in this solitude and isolation even with love close by. Can’t we turn the lights off? Close the blinds and closed my eyes but I can only sleep so much and I would like to dream forever now.

That’s how I know I’m done. I see happiness and colour before me but I can’t move to grab it for myself. The brain is broken, it’s a cruel cage. To see life passing by when you know you belong in that stream, swimming with the other colourful fish. Instead I’m stuck. I want to get out. I miss my friends, and miss having friends, I miss being strong, and doing hard things.

Now. Now is enough.

I’m ready to go.

Please pull me out, up, God.

Reflecting

February 16, 2013

[I've reread this at least twice in its entirety and I'm not sure if it is coherent but I'm going to tag it as "babbling brook" and then no one can judge me]

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately. I guess you could call it meditating.

One of the things I like about the Anglican church is the liturgy (you read prayers from a book). It’s like guided meditation in some ways. I don’t come from a liturgical church background, so reciting the creed on a weekly basis, lighting candles in a certain order because they symbolize things (which is part of my job if I’m a greeter at the Eucharist service – the service where you eat the bread and drink the wine), and praying aloud the Psalms, or confession… there’s just so much meaning behind it all. So much to think about. Even confessing our sins (something I must admit I did not do on a regular basis) has added so much depth and meaning to my worship experience.

But anyway…

 

Ash Wednesday.

Stephen Colbert - nice ash!

Stephen Colbert 

I got ashes “imposed” (rubbed/smeared) on my forehead for the first time on Wednesday. It’s a symbol of the ashes we come from (dust!) and the dust to which we will return. It’s a symbol of mortality, and a reflection on our sin, which has caused death. And since I’m also studying Romans, I’ve been reflecting on that new life that is to come… that resurrected life (which I have never really thought about or been taught about, and kinda considered irrelevant).

I’ve started to be a bit more content with the “now and not yet” reality of the Kingdom of God. I’ve started to realize that the Kingdom of God is not the church (thank God), but the church is a sign that points to it (to the best of its ability). And that uneasy feeling I have, that sickness I get in my stomach when there is such injustice and REALLY NEEDY people are ignored by the EXCEPTIONALLY RICH (a.k.a. Torontonians)… is an appropriate uneasy feeling… and a feeling that shouldn’t get resolved, and won’t get resolved, in this pre-Christ’s-return world.

 

One of the really important things I’m learning is to look at Christ for affirmation. So basic, and not profound, eh? My friend Jon just wrote a blog about it, sort of, about how people will hate you if you follow Christ. I mean, people hate everyone, and even if you close yourself off into a teeny tiny community of people who only think and believe the same things you do (it would have to be an exceptionally small community) you’d still have haters. How incredibly awful and discouraging… but anyway…

One of the reasons I never wanted to be a teacher (despite going to Brock, land of the teachers, and getting an English degree, which has few uses except as proof that you know how to read and write, and probably are well-read enough to teach others how to read and write) was because growing up I kinda hated my teachers. Not all of them, but I had some livid hatred for a good handful of them. Never was one for authority. Didn’t like them making me be quiet, didn’t like them imposing their will on me. RAR! I am ONLY CHILD, HEAR ME TALK TO MY FRIENDS ALWAYS!!!

And I never wanted to be hated by a child as much as I hated some of my teachers.

I guess I looked at my emotional response and thought, “They are awful people, because I felt this way about them. I never want to become awful like them.” I think I’ve reached the age where I’m recognizing that perhaps my hatred wasn’t the truth about them. I’m learning to doubt emotional responses. Emotions are real, but they shouldn’t be the foundation to our decision-making process. They are transitory, and not how we should judge truth.

But anyway…

 

I’ve slowly… slowly… slowly… started changing my mind about teaching. It’s surprised me. I’ve come to acknowledge I most likely will teach one day. Not as a teacher who has gone to teacher’s college, but in some shape or form. Especially if you view preaching as a form of teaching. And I want to preach.

And preachers are not 100% liked ever.

If you stand up to say something, people won’t like you.

Some will, some won’t.

And there’s no way, no matter how much you tell people what they want to hear, that you will get people to like everything you say.

That’s terrifying…

…to a people pleaser.

But if you look beyond your audience, if you look beyond your detractors, and if you look – dare I say – beyond your loved ones’ opinion, and look to Christ, then you will find love.

Christ, when you say what he wants you to say, will be like, “Holy high five!” (Hah!) You can be assured that in this world of people who are not in line with Christ’s will, you have spoken a truth that needed to be said, and your ultimate refuge, after the critical attacks, is the love of Christ. You are doing the Father’s will. Christ did that too, and his closest friends left him at the point of his greatest success/failure (salvation for all/death). It’s a painful road, but it leads to the salvation of souls… it is worth travelling.

Christ, when you say something wrong, is gunna be like, “Whoa, no. No. Repent.” And then you can humbly admit to your audience you were wrong, and that you hurt people, but you are STILL LOVED. Maybe they can’t forgive you. Maybe they’ll never agree with you. But it’s not ultimately their forgiveness or approval that will provide for you the courage to get up and keep going. It’s Christ’s.

Looking to Christ. That’s where you will find love, and encouragement, and correction, and through it all, love. Both for yourself, and for those who hate you. Keep looking to Christ.

Wah.

 

Those are my thoughts.

 

My comment on this blog. The “Evilest App Ever”.

This is a bit sensationalist, don’t you think? “Never before?” Is there anything new under the sun? Especially the technological sun? It’s been a while since I’ve browsed the internet without AdBlock plus on, but I’m pretty sure those ads that sell “Hook-up with singles in your area” are still showing up in the sidebars and banner ads of email accounts everywhere. The internet has been making sexual immorality easier since the beginning.

I really find the “never before”s problematic, too. Sin starts in our mind … and it’s never been hard to lust. All sorts of screwed up perceptions of sexuality have to be in place before an app like this can be successful. And claiming that casual sex “wrecks your life” without really qualifying what that means, and suggesting you’ll never be really sexually satisfied (what about forgiveness, healing, new creation, a transformed mind?), and waving the “prude” flag, isn’t really communicating what Jesus wants for us – which isn’t right behaviour because of self-righteousness or fear – he wants our love (which happens to result in obedience).

And “just imagine,” “consider,” “reflect on,” … you’re implying your audience would never sin like this. As though all good Christians understand why God calls us to sexual fidelity and there’s nothing to explain. But wouldn’t it be more edifying if this blog was for human being who are tempted? You’re making it an “us vs. them,” “Christian vs. heathen sinners!” thing. Instead of thinking about all the sin those sinners might do why not develop an argument about why Bang With Friends is NOT giving what it promises, that casual sex isn’t the good we (humans) (can) think it is. That might equip the InterVarsity student to talk with their friends at college who are curious about it, to help them make right choices, that point them towards what (Who) will truly satisfy, who will truly give them the connection, the self-worth, whatever it is they are mistakenly seeking through casual sex.

Eh?

Let’s redeem this as a news item and use it as an opportunity to imagine ways we can discuss this with friends that shows them Christ’s love, instead of an opportunity to shun the nonbeliever, and act like sin is this shocking thing (it shouldn’t be surprising to Christians who understand the Gospel).

Magic Piano

January 5, 2013

Because of this app I am now growing some respect for piano music.

smule1

Like many kids, I took piano lessons as a child. My mom had her grade 10. I would dance behind the piano bench as she played when I was a five or six year old. When someone is playing the theme music to The Little Mermaid on piano, of course you want to follow in their footsteps. So I started with the same piano teacher she had had. An amazing, kind, beautiful woman who I am still friends with (on Facebook).

But despite some natural talent, I did not like being told to practice every day.

(I may still have some issues with authority.)

As a young girl, I was a good kid. A people pleaser, I didn’t get into much trouble. I didn’t experience a lot of discipline, and I suspect my issues with piano spawned from the fact it was the only area where I was expected to do what I was told, always, without exception, everyday, or no fun, etc. etc.. I wouldn’t have said I hated piano. I knew the line: I hated practising. But I also hated what it did to my relationship with my mom.

I still have issues hearing piano played live; it stirs up a mixture of jealousy, bitterness, and general discomfort from hearing it (my complete disinterest in concerts, and music in general may stem from this).

When I had the chance to quit I faced too much guilt to go through with it. Don’t disappoint the piano teacher who is kind and whom you love. After I did my grade 8 exam (and grade 2 theory), I didn’t touch the piano for years.

When I was 12, I could do this:

(probably not as well, but this was the sort of stuff I was doing at the end)

Now? I can sight read… slowly. From a hymnal. If there aren’t too many sharps and flats in the key. *sigh*

But the history of piano DOES give me a leg up for making the songs sound nice on Magic Piano. And playing them (it takes one or two tries to get the hang of a hard song), allows me to gain that sense of accomplishment and joy from hearing a complete piece.

So here are some songs I like to play on Magic Piano, or Smule.

Anchor tattoo

January 3, 2013

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

Hebrews is a great book. You should read it. (Here’s a link.)

But it’s also hard to interpret. Apparently. I had to preach on it last semester. I didn’t. Had a bit of an anxiety attack that morning. Whoops.

But when you read that chapter, Hebrews 6, you start to see that hope is an anchor, and that sturdy bedrock, that foundation you hook into, that keeps you grounded, and safe from the rushing waters and roaring waves…well, that’s Jesus.

Jesus isn’t the anchor, he’s the bottom of the sea. Your choice to hope in him – to have faith, to trust, rely – is the anchor.

At least, that’s my understanding of this verse.

The concept of choosing to believe is something I’ve reflected on quite a bit since my husband left the faith. In his words, he “discovered Christianity wasn’t true.” He can’t choose to believe in God because he sees no evidence. Everything – to him – is explainable, and a god of the gaps is no god anyway (I’d have to agree).

Perhaps life is the boat-in-the-ocean metaphor for all of us. But we throw our anchors in to different things.

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