Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Mental Myopia

I love watching winter happen on the other side of a large, sunny, coffee-shop window. As the deliciously warm caffeine started affecting my brain, I looked across the table at my brother who was talking about something less interesting than my own thoughts as I wondered what he looks like without glasses. Then I thought, "What if he were thinking the same thing about me?" And then, "What if we both took our glasses off to see each other and then neither one of us could see the other?" Then I smiled with very poor timing in relationship to what he was saying and betrayed my inattention. Then I said... never mind. It wasn't that interesting.

Humanity is Myopic. No telescope or microscope ever sees far enough to quench our interest in seeing further. We also can't see as far or as clearly into the past or future as we would like. Every evolutionist and creationist would love to have the time-lapsed, prehistoric surveillance video that shows things happening just as they say. And then they would love to fast-forward that video into the future at least far enough to beat the stock market and rule the world with the iron fist of empirical truth. No. Wait. I think I got my groups confused.


Anyway, as the empirical ruler of this blog, I'll use my bully pulpit to bludgeon all five of my readers with the magnifying lens of scripture and you can judge for yourselves whether it's in focus or just lighting a philosophical anthill on fire. As far as we can see in any direction, "his eternal power and divine nature are clearly seen" and that's the only thing getting clearer as science extends our vision. We're discovering an ever more complex universe that's already beyond our ability to understand it, or even see it. Not strange to those who already know "his paths are beyond tracing out." That should temper your expectations but not dampen your interest.

Sometimes I run without my glasses and enjoy how the world sparkles in the sunlight when things are a little fuzzy. Sometimes I trip on rocks, too, and curse my crappy vision when I'm not paying good enough attention to my limits. Being myopic isn't all bad and you can't avoid it anyway. So don't be afraid to enjoy that fuzzy sparkle past where we can see clearly. And don't overlook what is clear.  If you can't see God when he's close enough to focus on, he's the stone you'll trip on every time. Now I should go apologize to my brother for telling him he looks better when I'm not wearing my glasses.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Et Tu Lady Macbeth?

"Come, you spirits. Make thick my blood; Stop up the access and passage to remorse, that no compunctious visitings of nature shake my fell purpose!" - Lady Macbeth from Shakespeare's Macbeth.

You're on your own to figure out what compunctious means. Could be another one of those words Shakespeare made up to say what there wasn't a word for yet. What I do know is it's more than fun listening to my sweet-hearted daughter trying to embrace her evil side well enough to deliver such a soul chilling line in this year's Shakespeare co-op. This morning, I caught her on the couch with that distant, nearly teary thoughtfulness in her eyes and I stopped to ask where her mind was at.
"I was just thinking about how God gave us the knowledge of good and evil."

Not exactly what I was ready for.

She continued, "It's good to know Him with the knowledge of both so that good means something."

Since I couldn't keep up with intellectual rigor of the conversation, I did the fatherly thing and said, "I'm proud of you" and walked away before it became obvious I was out of my league.


I felt my feet come back underneath me a little later as she was struggling to give into her dark side for Lady Macbeth. Now this I can help with!
"Remember that time when you where really angry at your brothers for calling you a name?"

"Yes."

"How did you feel?"

"Angry," she answered patiently wondering how I could say she felt angry and then ask how she felt in nearly the same breath.

"Did you have any thoughts of wanting to do something to them?"

Can't you just picture Satan wearing my skin and masquerading as a real dad right now? With a slightly evil edge to her sweet-hearted laugh she slid her pointer finger across her throat with the sound effect of a juicy cut and finished with the necessary tongue hanging out of the mouth and to the side.

"Now you're Lady Macbeth," I said and her smile broadened.

Before you worry about me creating a junior sociopath, my wife and I encouraged her take the role against her objections by focusing on the good character that the play promotes through the victory of prince Malcolm in the end. The greater the bad guy, the greater the good guy who beats them, right? And there it is again, "It's good to know Him with the knowledge of both so that good means something."

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Ring Box


“I hate this shelf,” the ring box said, “this dark and lonely place.”
As once again the door slid shut that sealed his daily fate;
It opened oft but never long and mirrors glimpsed above
To accent lights and window glass that showed the treasures off.


But, yet again the door would shut and yet again the dark.
But yet again a jealous soul and yet another mark
Upon a box already black, another mark unseen
Another foolish hope to mourn, another shuttered dream.


“What luck,” he quipped in bitterness “to be the box beneath.
I curse the mirror on the wall whose glimpses that I see
Of treasures I will never hold and lights that never bathe
A lowly box, an empty soul, a shadow yet to fade.


“Is something wrong?” the ring would doubt herself more every day.
“A million eyes have stared and yet a million looked away.”
A few would ask and fewer still would ask to see her close
So that the fear of even being known began to grow.


“What flaws must rest within my gems. What dross within my gold.
What warmth there is upon a hand to make my place feel cold.
My place beside these gems and rings that hands have whisked away
With smiles beaming brightly as the lights of my display.


How foolish I should hope that there is yet a hand for me
Or even that, upon one, it would care that I am seen.
Invisible in plainest sight, this light and lonely place,
Relentlessly esposing what I must so lack in grace.”


Then came the most discerning eye that longest on her stayed,
That made her wish for dimmer lights perhaps her flaws to fade.
Away from such a cold embrace, such calculated stare,
A piercing focus seeing past the surface and the glare.


Then out she came before the eye that withered all her pride,
That scrutinized her every cut from every single side.
“Yes. It will do,” the critic spoke with tone that matched the eyes.
A price was paid. A box was pulled. The ring was put inside.


“I can’t believe it!” cried the box. “Not only am I free
But how long I have loved that ring they placed inside of me.
How many fools have passed her by but better has that been
That I of all the boxes hold her beauty here within.”


And safe she finally felt when hidden in that velvet shell.
That steely case where darkness hid the flaws she knew too well,
That shelter from the storm outside that every threat be quelled,
That shield securely fit around the band so few had held.


And jubilant the box now felt to travel in the light,
Renewed of heart and purpose with his treasure safe inside.
What things he saw along the way! What grandeur they did pass!
How marvelous his prize must be! How far above his class!


The nicks and dings he gathered on the way, he proudly bore,
The injuries he’d taken on behalf of what was stored
Within his care until they reached the place where she was meant
To be revealed as worth the price that on her had been spent.


She bid him, “Please! Don’t open up to such discerning eyes!”
He bid her, “Know you not that you have not a flaw to hide?”
She bid him, “How can you be sure of what those eyes have planned?”
He bid her, “There’s a crown upon the head above this hand.”


“A crown!” she gasped. “You must be wrong. So many passed me by.
So long I cringed beneath the gaze of every critics eye.”
“No imperfection stayed their hands,” the box laughed with surprise.
“It is the King and no one else who could afford your price.”