Thursday, December 22, 2011

A taste of evil

My post today will be a somber one.  Because my heart is grieving.  Not because of anything going on in my own life but because of something I saw today that I still cannot wrap my brain around.......and I sincerely hope I never do.

I have spoke often here of the Joy of Truth.  And I will continue to speak of this Truth till the day I go Home.  But today, I experienced the Pain of Truth.  The Truth that this really is a fallen world and it is increasingly becoming more and more broken, twisted and insane.

As a family, we have decided to discontinue mainstream TV and satellite services.  Instead, we have chosen to hook up a computer to our flat screen TV in order to choose more freely the things we want to watch/listen to.  As Jerry was setting up some desktop icons for our most frequented "stations" on the internet, he ran across an international one (can't remember the name of it now).  They were airing a portion of a Dutch TV talk show.  I read the headline that was scrolling down below, but I could not process what it said.  Because what it said and what I was seeing were completely incongruous.   They were showing 3 normal, everyday looking men, in suits, on a normal looking stage, with a small kitchen setup (think Rachel Ray) in the center.  There was a table set out in front of this countertop/stove setup and it had a white linen tablecloth on it complete with place settings and a beautifully lit candelabra in the center.   The talk show host was behind the kitchen counter thing talking to 2 other men who were preparing things with the stove and a frying pan.

Then the camera panned over to the left, and there were 3 more men and a long table draped in white sheets.   One man was lying upon it, on his stomach, his head covered in a hairnet and body mostly covered with a white sheet.  He was talking to the two other men were standing on either side of him in doctors garb complete with face masks and latex gloves.

I read the headline again and my skin started to crawl and my stomach churned acid.   I quickly pushed it away and went back to the video, desperately seeking some sort of normal explanation.  They zoomed in on the frying pan and you could see that the small amount of cooking oil that was in it was beginning to sizzle.  They panned back to the man on the table and zoomed in on where the surgeons were focusing.

At this same moment, I heard the talk show host say something about "I was just curious....."

Once more, I read the headline scrolling below.  It said:

"TV show host curious about the taste of human flesh"

And then the full Truth of what was happening hit me and I burst into sobbing tears of shock and grief.

The man on the table was donating a piece of his flesh (an audience member?), from his buttocks, to be fried in the now sizzling pan because the talk show host was curious about how it tasted.

His reason?   (do not expect a true "reasoned" answer.....)

Because he had heard a story of some plane crash survivors that lived because they had eaten the flesh of the other passengers who had died.  And he wanted to know what it tasted like.

And all of this was being shown on live TV.  

I watched as the doctor sliced a piece of the man's flesh, picked it up with a tweezers and carried it over and, with camera zoomed in, dropped it into the sizzling pan.  Then the camera zoomed out and showed the serenely smiling face of the host as he watched it cook.

These were not raving lunatics, drooling with insane eyes and babbling incoherently.

No.  These were coherent, professionally dressed men, casually discussing the process they were going through to prepare this flesh for the host to satisfy his curiosity.

On live TV.

All of this occurred in about a minute's time (before Jerry blessedly turned it off) but I think it will haunt me for the rest of my life.

I cannot even fathom the level of desensitization one must be at to even be present as an audience member or to watch something like that on TV and not be affected.   Nor the particular state of insanity one must be in, in order to plan, air and be a part of such a show.

And I sincerely hope I never do.

Dear Heavenly Father,

My heart grieves today.   And I need your comforting Presence around me.  It's one thing to know of the fallen nature of this world, but quite another to experience it so starkly.  Please do not ever let me become desensitized to such things as I fear much of the world is now becoming.  It's inconceivable to me how I used to believe this world was moving to a better place, rising to a higher state of being.  I was so, so wrong.  And so I cry tears of shock and grief at the depths that sin can twist the human nature.  It also causes me to wonder in awe at your long-suffering nature. You, who is perfect and righteous and just, to patiently wait for Your plan to come to fullness while sin/evil appears to gain the upper hand.  And also knowing that without Your restraining hand, what I saw today would be but a fraction of what fully unleashed evil would look like.

Thank You Father for your plan of redemption through your Son Jesus to save us from the inevitable dark death that sin leads to.   I am forever, and eternally grateful for this precious, precious gift.

In Jesus's Holy Name,


Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm back!

Well hello there again!  It's been awhile, hasn't it.  6 months, I believe.   Well, my summer happened to take off about that time and I found myself immersed in new activities I would have never dreamed I could do. I grew a garden for the first time in my life, (and was apparently quite successful according to other seasoned gardeners).  As a result, I also spent much time learning to can as well!  I actually have a pantry now stocked with home grown food!

I also spent an inordinate amount of time on my hands and knees plucking creeping charlie out of our lawn.  

 Yea, I know.  It probably began because we had one section of our yard relandscaped in order to shore up a side of our house that was vulnerable to rain water leaking in. Our yard always became a running river whenever it would rain and run right up against the house.

Well, after they relandscaped and reseeded with grass, I was amazed at the plush new carpet that grew where before it had just been scattered weeds and depleted soil.  But then I saw the remaining yard still in it's sickly looking state mostly overtaken by creeping charlie and thus began the plucking.

You may ask why I did not just napalm it all with various chemicals.  I considered it.  But after plopping down one budding warm day in June and gently prying my fingers underneath the vast network of shallow vines these ivy creepers propagate through and found how easy it was to pull them up in clumps, I decided that it was good therapy and made it a daily endeavor.  So each morning, I'd go out, attend to my garden, grapevine and other flowering beds, then I would load up my MP3 player with some inspiring sermons from pastors such as Ed Young,  Jack Graham, or Ravi Zacharius, grabbed my bucket and began plucking.

Thus ensued the BEST. SUMMER. EVER.

Prior to this, you could not find me outside doing "yardwork" for NOTHIN.  Never did a groove on my hand contain a stain of dirt nor a bead of sweat moisten my brow.   But by the end of this summer, I had permanent callouses on every pad of my palms, a tan to beat the band and muscles popping up where I didn't know I had any!   Once the plucking was complete, I realized that the soil itself (due to erosion from water runoff) was basically dead.  I needed a bunch of new dirt before I could reseed with grass.   Here again, I could have just called a contractor to haul out a bunch of it and spread it out for me. 
But instead, I found out that we had a compost place right in town (2 minute drive) where I could take all the black dirt I wanted, for free.  So pickup truck load by pickup truck load I hauled the dirt and spread it over my yard, one section at a time.  It took several weeks to complete.  I then reseeded it and spent then next 2 weeks or so after that perfecting a watering routine that allowed all areas to be covered every 36 hours.  (we had NO rain to speak of from about the 2nd week of Aug. until early Oct).  And by mid Sept. I had a lush green lawn where I had never had one before.   (sorry no pictures as I totally didn't even think about it!  And now there's snow covering it).

Depending on one's viewpoint, some may see this as just a yuppie homeowner with nothing better to do than to "Jonesy up" their property.  If you saw the state of other aspects of my home, you would definitely know this was NOT the case!  LOL!  No, this whole experience goes much deeper.  It was never about the grass, or the yard or the soil or even the weeds (although I do definitely enjoy the soft, green, weed-free blanket of plush that is now my yard).   No, what happend was from the moment I bent down to pluck that first chunk of charlie, I felt an immediate deeper connection to the Creator of those weeds than I had had up to that point.  And I wanted more of it.

The plucking became like a one long unending, joyous, intimate, very, very intimate conversation with God.  There were times when I would just stop and weep, tender tears of intimacy, as He would surround me with His presence. 
Then other times when I would be filled with awe as I pushed myself physically past where I thought I was capable, knowing that it was HIS strength that coursed through me.  He was both my cheerleader AND the adrenaline in my veins.  But mostly, it was simply an ongoing exchange where He taught me.  He would bring scripture to mind that I recently read and I would meditate on it while He revealed its meaning to me.  I learned to become oh so still inside as I asked questions and then waited for His response.  I would burst out verbally in amazement when a new revelation would come upon me. I experienced God as my Sovereign Creator and my Loving Father.  I experienced Jesus as my awesome Redeeming Savior and also my Best. Friend.  I experienced the Holy Spirit as my true Guide and source of unexplainable Joy.

And yet I know I have only begun to experience but a nano-fraction of a drop of who He really is.

What I do know is this:   He is REAL.  He is TRUE.  He is Alive!   He loves me.  He is faithful.  And He can be fully trusted.

The summer has ended, (frown) but my deepening relationship with Him has not.  And for one who usually grits her teeth through winter, this year, I'm excited to see what kinds of new things He will bring my way for us to connect through.  

Dear Father,  I pray fervently that others discover this kind of intimate relationship with You.  I pray that you illuminate their minds and hearts with the Truth of who You are.  That You would part the veil and give them even a glimpse of Your awesomeness, knowing that this one glimpse can change them for the rest of their lives and fill them with an aching desire to know You more and more.  I know so well how foreign these kinds of words felt to me before, they made no sense.  They sounded silly and cheesy when I would read or hear them.  I am still so amazed at your ability to completely awash someone with your Presence and open their eyes and ears to full understanding.  And I know it is ONLY by your revealing Presence, through the Holy Spirit, that this is accomplished.  So I pray for tender, open hearts, who may say that Your way is not theirs, but deep down, they ache for just this kind of Love.  The kind of Love only YOU can give.  The kind that says, "you do not have to do anything to earn this Love, and once you choose it, you can do NOTHING to lose it.  I give it to you freely, as a gift."   Father, I thank You deeply for Your son, Jesus, who died on the cross and made it possible for us to receive this gift.  Without this act of Love, our relationship would not be possible as you have said in Your word regarding Jesus:  I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6) and I pray that you touch the hearts of all who read these words with this Truth.

In Jesus's sweet, holy name,  Amen