Saturday, October 31, 2015

Psychologically Soft??

While lounging around on my fainting sofa this afternoon, alternating between doses of smelling salts and laudanum, imagine my surprise when I was rather rudely interrupted by a blog post that suggests, “Girls are Psychologically Soft.”

You don’t say??? Also, peel me a grape will you, and hand me the chocolate bon bons?

Obviously this is a matter that requires some serious thought, as I am somewhat torn between a desire to promote that very beneficial idea of how women are possessed by psychological softness, versus a faint twinge of guilt that seems to suggest it is my duty to rid the world of all its foolish deceptions. Every last one.

Alas, a rabbit hole has appeared here on Easy Street, one that has left me contemplating the nature of Steel Magnolias versus what should perhaps be called “Iron Poppies.” To tell you the truth, I rather favor the humble nasturtium that springs forth from the cracks in a baked California freeway or in my darker moments…. the parasitic nature of an orchid feasting off a rotted log.

Oh, speak to me of fragile flowers wilting in the sunlight…

If I thought for one moment that girls being smaller, weaker, and psychologically softer, would somehow translate into the idea that life (and men) should show us even greater kindness and charity, you have no idea how often I would play the girl-card. Sadly, it is seldom true however. Something always seems to get lost in translation. In some odd quirk of human nature, “small, soft and weak” tends to just register as, “oh look, perfectly legitimate and morally acceptable…….prey.”

Don’t ask me to explain it, human behavior just is what it is, and as this blogger so clearly implied, “girls are psychologically soft,” therefore…..feel free to exploit the crap out of them. He’s a charming specimen, let me tell you, as in some people have a screw loose, but this one done lost two bolts and Teh Stupid has come spilling out.

I am torn between a desire to mercifully try to scoop it up before anyone sees it….and the urge to look away politely, like one might do when someone’s zipper is down. You may not be embarrassed. I however, am embarrassed for you.

In my most gracious and charitable state however, I realize that there may be two different worlds going on here, that perhaps my hysterical cackling over the very suggestion of psychologically mushy females has something to do with the fact that that is just so not my world. My fainting couch and laudanum are not real, nor has it ever been real for anyone in my family. We are far more likely to have been slopping for the lady of the house….or for the pigs.

Somewhere in the midst of dying in childbirth, child sexual abuse, dead babies, heroin addictions, run away men, and indentured servitude, the women in my family all seem to have gotten their “psychologically soft card” revoked, not unlike our credit cards often are today.

I used to think this was a bad thing, that I somehow got dealt the short end of the stick. I don’t anymore, it turns out this was the very inoculation we all needed and not unlike a vaccine, it seems to have steered off that terrible contagion called, Teh Stupid.

Only one suffering from a terminal case of Teh Stupid would be so unobservant as to even suggest that girls are psychologically soft, although if you should wish to hold that view for the purposes of treating us with extra gentleness and charity, that would be most lovely.

If not, at least make yourself useful, pass the bon bons and peel me a grape.


Lord, I lift them up in prayer...

Lord, I lift them up in prayer and beg you to show them the same mercy and forgiveness that you have shown me. Those men whose hearts are hard, who wallow in hatred and unforgiveness, who may drive people away from Christ with harsh words and misunderstood scripture.

Lord, I fear for those who misuse your Word and pray you wrap them in your steadfast patience and mercy. Forgive them Father, some know not what they do.

I do not wish to shame or silence these men with my prayers, Lord, instead I pray their eyes to be opened and the love of Christ to fill their hearts. I pray their wounds to be healed, their broken hearts repaired, and their sins forgiven.

I pray for them to be freed of their bondages, their eyes cleared of deceptions, and for them to come to know you as I know you, as a loving and merciful God, both gentle and strong. I pray for healing of those broken and fractured relationships with fathers, the wounding often done to them by mothers, and that in that healing work you do so well, they come to see themselves as you intended them to be, as sons of a most high God, having such worth and value in His sight, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I pray for those still wounded by divorce, walled off and bitter. I pray for their freedom from condemnation because in Christ there is no condemnation, and I lay their shame at the foot of the cross where it belongs, where so long ago you suffered and died for us, despising the shame on our behalf.

I pray you lead them to forgive themselves and to help them see the wisdom in your words when you taught us, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. Help them to understand that forgiveness and love walk hand in hand.

I pray for the Lost Boys Lord, the red pills, those with broken hearts, those filled with fear and pride, and those who do not yet know You.

I pray too, for those men walking in the spirit already, the men who speak your word with such grace and honor, gird them and arm them Lord, and light the path before them. They are the salt of the world, lighthouses in the midst of darkness that keep us all from wrecking our ships upon the rocks. Thank you for their words Lord, for their good humor, and for their strength. Empower them Lord, guide them and lead them in the way you would have them go and watch over them. Bless them with your presence and help them to walk with confidence, trusting fully in you.

I give thanks for all these men Lord, the broken and the whole, the hurting and the rejoicing. I am grateful for what the wounded have taught me and I know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I ask for your blessing upon all these men Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ.

Ahh, the authoritarians...

For those who lament the lack of church discipline, the rebellion of wives, the authoritarians who say such unkind things to me sometimes, those who blame women for all the ills of the world, those who try to create Christ in their own image, harsh, judgmental, controlling, ready to pounce and punish us all…

I wonder however, how do you not see the tangled nature of it all, the symbiosis at play? Feminism and militant atheism for example, not something that just sprung up out of a vacuum, but an emotional response to what was often unjust church discipline. The way all those beautiful scriptures about marriage and submission, were perverted and used against women to justify abuse. All those who preached chastity from the pulpit on Sunday morning…. and yet raped our children. Those who continue to this day to shriek about whores and Jezebels and rebellion….but cannot even see their own.

We did not listen to the least of these, which means we did not listen to Him.

Oh, and speak to me of the prosperity ministers on TV with their private jets, those flying the rainbow flag high above the cross, and those who have edited Christ out of the church entirely, least He cause offense.

Or those who preach racism and hatred and pervert my beautiful scriptures..

I don’t know how you fix it all, but I watch us swing from one extreme to another, the love of Christ all but forgotten in many quarters, until I am uncertain I even want to be standing near a church when He returns.

I fear very little these days, but that I do fear, standing too close to those who do not know the love of Christ, those who misappropriate scripture. That fear does not surprise me but what does surprise me is the vast unchurched church that seems to share my fears, those believers who claim nature is their church, those stunning views more comforting cathedrals than a little building with people in it. Christ’s people. They fear standing too close to Christ’s people! I wish that truth weighed heavier on our hearts.
I think too much, I care too much, I analyze these things like a scientist, always wanting to collect the data so we can get about the business of fixing a broken world. Last week someone led a prayer for wisdom and I laughed wryly, oh be careful what you pray for, ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find…..but you won’t always like it! Wisdom is a heavy burden to bear indeed, because the knowing is not the same as the doing. There is a special kind of torment in seeing and understanding….and yet still being powerless to do anything at all except standby and watch helplessly. They didn’t call Jeremiah the Weeping Prophet for nothing.

These days I don’t pray for wisdom, I pray for the bliss of ignorance, for the freedom to enjoy the simple things, and in His kindness He often grants me exactly that, moments of rest for my soul.

And yet eventually He always calls me back, that still quiet voice whispering urgently, Listen to Me…..Make them Listen to Me…

I do not know how to speak to deaf ears, how to show eyes that cannot see, how to speak to a world that will not listen, and time marches on without mercy, closing in on us all. Time is of the essence, there is an urgency here, a deadline that will not be met.

These are the things that weigh heavy on my soul as we enter into all hallows eve, the high holiday of the dark things, all twisted up in frivolity and light heartedness, that odd merging of sexuality, death, and violence that is so often seductive, the sexy vampires and dolled up zombies, and the more serious gathering of witches, wiccans, and outright satanists right here in the 9th circuit of hell.

I am such a wet blanket these days, what should be a parade of silly of zombies is actually everyday life with meth and heroin addicts, the sores, the wasting away, the falling out teeth. I pass zombies on the street everyday and take little joy in them. And the vampires, the emotional and spiritual ones, as well as those who do drink blood, they are repulsive, not endearing.

All in good humor however, there is a half constructed dead body in my living room, yet another uncompleted project abandoned by my child. Surely my daughter, I taught you better than this! One simply does not leave their dead bodies laying about the house where others may trip over them….
Listen to Me, He whispers, lighten up and do not let the melancholy roll in like the gloomy drizzle and overcast. Do not despair, I got this thing. He does you know. He’s got this thing. All that is required of me is to be a sweet and pleasing fragrance unto Him, that soft whisper that reminds one of lily of the valley.

Those who insist on trying to perceive me as the enemy, don’t even understand the nature of the war.