First the Tooth Fairy, then Santa Claus, now this!
If you’re a Christian, and even if you’re not, you need to read Marvin Olasky’s piece (registration req’d) in this week’s World Magazine. Olasky demonstrates an aspect of why the world has such a hard time when dealing with Christians: it’s because they don’t speak the same language. Almost everyone today is so ignorant of the Bible that does little good to speak of biblical things as if everyone knew what Christians were talking about. Olasky observes:
What’s to be done? Biblical Christians (and orthodox believers in Judaism and other faiths) need to remember that to most leaders in media and academia we are speaking a foreign language; we need to be bilingual and to offer translation services. Media and academic monolingualists need to realize that understanding evangelical language and culture requires at least as much work as understanding a foreign language and culture. They need interpreters and guides. And I need to remember to be patient.
I, too, need to remember to be patient.
I did get to finish, over the weekend, The Long Walk. To say the feat that Slavomir Rawicz and his companions accomplished was unbelievable would be an understatement. To quote Sebastian Junger,
One of the epic treks of the human race. Shackelton, Franklin, Amundsen…history is filled with people who have crossed immense distances and survived despite horrific odds. None of them, however, has achieved the extraordinary feat Rawicz has recorded. He and his companions crossed an entire continent–the Siberian arctic, the Gobi Desert and then the Himalayas–with nothing but an axe, a knife, and a week’s worth of food…His account is so filled with despair and suffering it is almost unreadable. But it must be read–and re-read.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Lori and I went to Tennessee over the weekend to see my grandmother (see below). She is slowly recovering from the surgery, but is still in critical condition. Please keep her in your prayers.
We spent a few hours in the ICU waiting room, and I had forgotten what it was like to sit in a hospital waiting room. Looking around at the other people in the room, I realized that while life goes on for the world outside, for those in the waiting room, life comes to a screeching halt. Surrounded by six-month old magazines that had been read and re-read hundreds of times, I became aware of just how oblivious I am, and undoubtedly we all are, to the whole world around us.
We seldom see the whole spectrum of life. We like to hang out (understandably so) in one little corner or another, and brush aside the happenings at the other end. Granted, we can’t humanly handle the entire helping of life in one mouthful, but we do need to realize that what we are experiencing isn’t the only thing that is going on in the world. I think that God used the ICU waiting room to illustrate that to me. I only pray that some of it will stick with me.
Football season is just around the corner (Tennessee’s opener is Aug 30 hosting Fresno State), and I’m thirsting for preseason buzz. But while we’re still at the “wild speculation” point of the preseason, John Adams, one of my favorite columnists, has written an excellent piece pondering what an all ex-Vol NFL team would look like. Pretty good piece–although it doesn’t quench my thirst. I’ll have to wait until Aug. 30 for that.
Thanks to those of you who prayed for my grandmother over the last few days. The latest reports from Tennessee say that she is doing remarkably well in her recovery (she is still in intensive care). We’re driving down this weekend to check in on her. Once again, thanks for your continued prayers.
On a personal note, I’d like to ask all who are willing to pray for my maternal grandmother, 76, who just underwent emergency brain surgery to correct a hematoma. She’s in pretty bad condition, but she did make it through the surgery. The next 24 hours are critical, and she’s under close observation in an ICU. Thanks for your prayers. I’ll try to post updates here when appropriate.
I’m curently engrossed in reading Slavomir Rawicz’s The Long Walk, and I can already heartily recommend it. It is the true story of Rawicz and six other prisoners who escaped a Soviet political prison camp in the Gulag and walked out of Sibera all the way across the Gobi Desert, though the Himalayas, into India. I’m almost halfway through the book now.
Life in the Gulag Archipelago, as Solzhenitsyn similarly described in his Nobel Prize-winning book One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, was brutal enough, but thoughts of an escape over such terrain made most men in the camps shudder to think about it. Rawicz did it, and lived!
I’ll switch gears a little to discuss the yay-hoos who are suing their local Catholic church because a preist purportedly said that the deceased was headed to hell (a fact that is probably more common than not, though it is hardly ever said). Read the article here for the full story.
The “offended” party is suing for emotional and physical damage (is the physical part for the torment their loved one is now suffering–who knows?). It never ceases to amaze me how far people will go to get some money. I was told personally to go to hell once while driving, and I survived emotionally intact (sure, I do have the added security of salvation by grace alone, but I think we all know what I’m talking about here). If the priest did say such things, he used poor tact (however right he may have been), but nothing to warrant a frivilous lawsuit. Give me a break! Perhaps I’m being a little harsh, but get over it.
Yes, I am continuing this adsurdly lengthy post only because I wanted to point you to Richard Nadler’s article while I was on the subject. Nadler deals with another instance of state devaluation of marriage–the abolition of laws against adultery. Read it–it’s well worth the time.