Confession: I love murder mysteries, with smart alec protagonists, who seem gruff, but really are softies who have never really gotten used to the inhumanity of men. I prefer books or maybe an ongoing thread in a TV drama to everything wraps up in 55 minutes, because I have figured out that every suspect prior to 50 minutes into the show DID NOT DO IT! I also prefer an element of comic relief….life has that, needs that, so abject darkness with unlikeable characters usually turns me off….but not always. I leave room for exceptions and there are some notable ones.
Perhaps that is one reason I love the Bible, because the wisdom of God chose not to reveal the WHOLE STORY, but to present it in such a way, with so many fascinating people and stories, so many hidden treasures waiting to be found, truth found in parables and in the lives of imperfect, flawed folks like me, smart alecs, rapists, murderers, liers, cowards, loud mouths, thieves…and those were the good guys/gals.
So many mysteries to solve, but through it all a scarlet thread. Before the Great Lie that broke the World, God already had a plan. Free will was a risk I would not choose if I was God and wanted everything to stay perfect and good like I made it. Knowing all, loving man, God in Three Persons had a plan. The scarlet thread, the trail of blood, sacrifice, the Great Lie wormed its way into all creation, devestating minds, bodies, spirit, and the very earth we live on.
At seventy years of age I am still discovering the treasures and the links in Scripture. Even familiar passages become new to me as I find more clues to the Eternal. Today I am thankful for the Bible, God’s Holy Word, May it be a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path ….and help me to become more like Jesus. Amen
Following up on Jeff M. of Louisville, KY questions posted the on Facebook:
“So, I have a few questions for you: Do you think we can or should legislate tolerance or morality? How important is political correctness? Can intolerance promote tolerance? Can violence promote peace? Do you hesitate expressing your view here and if so, why?”
First, a short history lesson, in the 1960’s bolstered by academia, identity politics, feminism, etc., a linguistic turn occurred in an attempt to change social reality by changing language so that it was more culturally inclusive and gender-neutral. New terms were introduced to leave behind discriminatory language and to make older terms “taboo” often labeling them as “hate speech”.
Since that first fledgling movement introduced political correct (PC) replacements others have become popular to the point that I, no longer am short, instead I am “vertically challenged”. And even at that the initial PC terminology has evolved with the first terms becoming outdated and insensitive. For example, individuals who had cognitive brain disorders were referred to as fools or idiots prior to PC terms and admittedly these terms sound derogatory, so now we just use them as low level profanity, as in “those idiot drivers”. The first term introduced was “mentally retarded” to be replaced by “mentally challenged”, rendering the first replacement as less sensitive. Or I no longer am a redskin, a person of American Indian heritage, instead I am of Native American ancestory.
I started to write that no one in my family nor I ever used the “N” word and then I remembered the original words to “Ring around the Rosie”, so I will simply say I never heard nor did I use the “N” word with knowledge of it being “hate speech”, but I do know it now. Back in Frederick, OK where I grew up, we used the terms Negro or “colored” but as a child of the 1950 and 60’s, I quickly became aware that there was a great divide and that divide was wrong. Did the PC term “Black” which later became “African-American” bridge the divide? I think the jury is still out on that, because racism is still a “fungus among us”.
I took a course in Semantics at the University of Tulsa in the 1970’s where I came to understand that English like most languages is a living language with ever changing definitions of words and even with new words, hence words like “selfie” making the dictionary. Words change and yes, words do influence thought and behavior, but do they change the center of a person’s being? Can linguistics alter the tribe like tendencies of the human? In some ways I embrace the PC terminology because I think it centers with my Christian faith. The Bible is full of admonishments related to misuse of God’s name, calling others fools, speaking unkindly of both friend and enemy, and James puts it like this:
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. “(James 3:9-12 NIV)
And yet, the BIBLE would not past muster with PC purists. The Bible calls “errors in judgement and bad choices” and even culturally and PC acceptable life styles: SIN. And still in a time when Men truly dominated Women, the Bible tells us that in His IMAGE, He created them, Male and Female, he created them. Jesus defied the PC police of his day, the Pharisees and Sadducees, He touched women and lepers and ate with rift raft. Clearly, He loved all people enough to die for all, even the PC police of his day.
I am growing older day by day but if I can grow in love that considers how I say something and if I choose to use kind, compassionate, gentle words instead of ugly hateful speech, You can call it what you want to, PC even. But I still know that speaking the Truth is important and that to tolerate everything is to weaken myself, my family, my friends, my country and my world. Worse than that failing to identify sin as sin might cause someone to choose destruction rather than life.
So frankly while I use gender neutral terms most often, I still break down and use “cowboy” or “cowgirl” instead of “cowperson”. Likewise, I am not offended when referred to as a “short old lady” instead of the PC phrase “vertically challenged senior” or “petite woman of a certain age”. If I am missing, whatever phrase gets me home safe is the one I want broadcast, with my most recent picture and not one of that skinny young thing I was 25 years ago.
Probably because my mother and grandmother read to me, I have always loved the written word. From my first primer when I read Tip and Mitten with exciting words like “Look”, “See”, and “Come” I was a goner. The world of books fascinated me because I soon discovered that I could go anywhere, do anything, be anybody until I reached “The End.” I got my first library card at the Public Library in Frederick, OK and I still have a library card today. My Grandmother Bryant read Bible Stories to me from her illustrated Bible with a lot of gory pictures in the Old Testament especially…nobody really cared if young children were exposed to horrifying graphics like Abraham, knife poised over a bound Isaac. Somehow I survived and I loved the stories…ok, I loved the pictures, too.
Reading came easy to me and I know now it does not come easy to everyone, so that makes me extremely grateful. I have also learned partially because for over 10 years I had a job that kept me on the road that books can be enjoyed without reading. I have listened to thousands of books on tape, CD, and MP3. Libraries loan them free. Great way to pass the miles away when you are traveling Kentucky alone in a car. We have also enjoyed them as a family when traveling.
When I retired my friends at work gave me a Kindle and the world of e-Reading made carrying a library possible, but I still check out library books with paper pages. Being bored becomes difficult when immersed in a book.
Reading also led me to a fascination with the craft of writing and the people who engage in that craft. When I listen to books, I try finishing the author’s thoughts before I hear them. When I read, I pay close attention to transitions, character development, turns of phrase that paint vivid pictures. I do this when I read the Bible also, which is one reason I read one passage of scripture (God’s Word) in multiple translations and paraphrases (Human scholarship). To read Truth through the literary eyes of many helps me understand God’s message to me, which is a living work in me. I am a different person every time I read scripture and so God meets me right where I am.So today my heart is grateful for books, THE BOOK, magazines, newspapers, etc. Books have always been friends, allowing me to experience life through the eyes and words strung together by others have fascinated me. I am thankful and hope to keep on reading and writing for as long as I am able.