Tuesday, June 18, 2013
day 18: our monster.
An update on Momma: For those who don't know, Momma Stewart was scheduled to have back surgery this morning. I say it was 'not a big deal' kind of jokingly, because any sort of surgery is a pretty big deal when you're not the doctor or the patient, you're the one sitting in the waiting room on uncomfortable hospital chairs waiting for any sort of news. That was my Daddy today :) Momma's surgeon was called in on a trauma case that (for obvious reasons) took precedence over Momma, so her surgery got started 2-3 hours late. But at the end of the day, it is done, successful, and she is coming home we're praying pain free :) Thank you for your prayers and support. We appreciate it so much!
I include the picture because...
(1) it's beautiful
(2) my mind has been screaming 'GO FOR OPEN WATER!!!' all day. so.
.....but it has nothing to do with today's blog post.
Today's blog prompt is a quote, and initially I was going to save it because I wanted to think really hard before I wrote about it. But in the light of phone conversations and the fact that I really just miss the lovely who gave it to me, I'm going to give it a shot :) And the quote it:
"Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, as to be hated needs but to be seen. Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, we first endure, then pity, then embrace."
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man -
My first thought upon encountering this quote was 'huh?' My second was Shakespeare, books I read to enjoy...but not to understand. But as I read it, and read it, and then read it again, I realized with startling clarity that it's not just a quote that sounds good or insightful....it's a 2 line glimpse at the creeping power of sin in the human heart. And that's scary.
Humans are the most unsettled creatures on Earth. We claim stability and unshakable beliefs, with hearts that are uncertain and accommodating. Expose us to anything long enough, and eventually we will become hardened and desensitized to it. Remember when you saw a couple kiss in the movies for the first time? You blushed and stammered, eyes scanning the room for anything else to focus on. You were uncomfortable. Today we've seen it so many times that even people in bed barely merits a shift of the eyes or a knowing look at a friend. The sacred has become commonplace....the forbidden the norm.
Sin is a monster we're forced to approach every day of our lives. Upon our first encounter with a 'vice', we're disgusted. "I'd never do something like that." or "I would never be one of those people." We fall into a trap of judgement, lined with a lack of understanding how anyone could ever do something quite that perverse. But when we're exposed to it daily, we lose some of that sensitivity. We shift slowly from "I would never" to "I wouldn't....but he can". We move from horror, to accommodation, to understanding, to sympathizing, to justifying. "I'm not going to live that kind of lifestyle...but I guess he can if he wants." Somewhere along the lines we take a wrong turn and find ourselves on a road paved with good intentions, instead of truth and life. And life stories start to reflect the former good intentions of four little words: but i never planned....
The teenager just experimenting with her friends never planned to become homosexual.
The man offering coffee to his beautiful coworker never planned to have an affair.
The woman going out for a drink after a discouraging night at home never planned to become an alcoholic.
The highschooler learning the ins and outs of poker for the first time never planned to gamble the rest of his savings away.
Sin is enticing, addicting and powerful. It flies in the face of a perfect, HOLY God, who deemed it serious enough to send His own son to die one of the most painful deaths on planet Earth, because it was the only sacrifice powerful enough to release us from sin's power and eternal consequences. And yet we reason it away and shut down our hearts to the hurt and brokenness because "if everyone's doing it, it must be okay".
The wages of sin is death. The fact that it saturates the world we live in today doesn't lessen it's power, or soften the consequences. It simply means more and more people will face them.
And I pray that in the face of a hurting and broken world, we Christians would have heart that reflects Christ's love and suffering. That we would see lost people for what they are: slaves crushed and emptied by a power far greater than their own. That we would remember that it is only by Christ's grace that our own chains have been broken and we have been set free, and because of this our lives are no longer our own to do whatever we wish with them.
And that we would never have such a superficial view of sin that we would use "but it's her life and i tried" as an excuse to turn our backs on a hurting soul.