Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Devil Made Me Do It

Sometimes I know that what I've lived through helps others. A phone call or a note or a talk that helps another. And those are the days when my grief and hurt and loss don't feel as heavy a burden. Every once in a while, the compassion that despair carved into my soul is the perfect comfort for someone's pain. Then I thank God for the heart he gave me that feels their hurt so keenly...and for putting the words they need to hear in my mouth.

But the same hurts that forged me are the ones the Devil has used against me.

I told someone once that the devil lived in the dark. I knew he did - because that's when he spoke to me.

You are not loved, he said.

God has found you unworthy, he sneered.

God has left you...alone, he whispered.

No one is going to help you, he told me.

You will never make it, he chanted. 

In the light of day, I knew his lies for what they were - the great deceiver attacking my vulnerable heart while I was down and out.

But in the dark, in the lonely quiet of sleeping children and a traveling husband...

When all the chores were done and there was nothing left but to be still...

That's when he came. And he hurt me. His voice was accusatory, his words felt like truth. Because don't we all wonder sometimes, what did I do to deserve this?
  
Then we hear him. He steals in and speaks to our greatest fears and hurts.

Peter likens the devil to a prowling lion. Slunk low to the ground, stalking us...ready to devour us. A lion observes his prey. Attacks when it is most vulnerable. I don't think Peter picked that simile out of thin air. The devil has power, and he uses it on us.

Be wary of the voices that hurt the most. Those are not love, they are not of God. They come from darkness, from our own pain. And if we let them gain the upper hand, they can destroy us.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Let it Go!

I'm shaking my head, dusting off my hands, and taking deep breaths while counting to like...100.

Because I'm done - absolutely DONE - with this internet controversy that's sprung up in my Facebook feed and email inbox.

You've all seen it...well, most of you probably have. A mother wrote a blog post about girls' provocative photos, and about 1000 people wrote hateful responses.

They've accused her of "slut shaming," "endorsing the rape culture," and "confusing her sons' sexuality." She's been called creepy (for noticing the sexy photos), a hypocrite, and more.

And it WON'T STOP!

It just keeps popping up in my world.

Now, I've written about my daughters. How I want them to value themselves and how I want them to dress modestly (as much for themselves as anything). I want to teach my son, too, how to respect women and treat them well.

But we have to acknowledge that in our world...we've sold objectification as empowerment. And we've told young women that their sexiness has more to do with who they are than their talents, smarts, and very real beauty. We've made sex about instant gratification instead of love, commitment, and very real joy and pleasure

And then we complain about our kids having sex too young and the teen pregnancy rate. We bemoan the fact that they have hidden online lives, and hundreds of people feel the need to excoriate a woman who's involved in her children's online interactions.

Let's be 100% honest here.

There is a difference between a snapshot of us (women) in a swimsuit at the beach and one with a fully made up face, blown out hair and pouty lips while posing scantily clad on a bed. Come on! Who doesn't get that?

Disagree with the woman's policy if you want, but don't be disingenuous. None of us (at least the people I know) want our daughters posting THAT kind of picture.  The kind that is specifically intended to provoke a sexual thought, response, etc. in a boy/man.

Not because men can't control themselves, and are lustful beasts, but because there's a time and place for exploring our sexuality. And Facebook just isn't it.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Techno Talk

"If there's one thing we should have learned, it's that..you know, our brains have always outraced our hearts. Our science charges ahead while our souls lag behind."  Lee Adama - Battlestar Galactica

Who knew? Wisdom in Sci-Fi.

It's true, though, isn't it? Our technology and ability outruns our hearts and souls to an alarming degree. It outpaces our debates on whether or not something is right, wrong, beneficial, harmful, or just a bad idea. We forge ahead with ideas without considering the long term consequences. All we see is the next horizon - the next breakthrough.

One of the most interesting things I studied while obtaining my Masters degree was the Internet. It's history, growth, organization, etc. Amazing! Fascinating! Exhilarating! And SCARY. Because the internet has (like anything else) a dark side.

Cloning. Engineered everything. Weapons and War.

Usually the very things we develop to benefit people are used to harm them as well.

We are all raising children in that world. Let's practice a little kindness for one another as parents. Because the world, and all the ways our children can be hurt in it, are a little scary sometimes. And we are all doing the best we can in the face of some big questions.