Diamonds on the inside ... amongst the pigswill

Tuesday 26 February 2008

No one is to be called an enemy, all are your benefactors, and no one does you harm.
You have no enemy except yourselves.

St Francis of Assisi

Sometimes I think I'm gonna collapse under the weight of how GODDAMN BORING IT IS LIVING IN THIS TIME AND PLACE! WE ALL LOOK THE SAME! WE ALL LOOK THE SAME!

Sometimes I think living 100 years ago would have been more exciting. Sure, it would have been harder work (and my privileged position even surmising about this would probably have all the women who lived in 1908 shaking their heads at my ridiculous patheticism, sitting here with the luxury to blog on with my own blatheriness every day cos when I do a load of washing it's done in 10 minutes instead of standing at the mangle for 3 hours). But at least along with the sweat there was a bit of colour, a bit of vibrancy, a bit of texture, of shading. At least people got together in their communities and did stuff unrelated to the bottom line. They used to get together and dance and stuff! I know - how weird! (And it wasn't music you had to have taken ecstasy to access, but perhaps I'm just getting all old and ornery).

Wow, Western civilisation, take a bow. Surely you are at your glowing illustrious pinnacle. You have become a society in which nobody feels welcome in, everyone feels like a failure in, we all look exactly the same, and everyone is too scared to have an original thought. This while our leaders extol our democratic freedom. Freedom for what? Freedom to what? Goodness, we are all so damn terrified of ourselves and each other, we're gonna spontaneously combust at our own shadows. What kinda freedom? Freedom to hate each other's guts, and to hate ourselves just as much.

Surely the Body should be different. Shouldn't we, a called-out people, be demonstrating on occasions the wide vistas that are ours, the real reality of God, a reality with spiritual diamonds dripping off the trees, a reality of silver linings, where "they all lived happily ever after" is something we anticipate?

No, we just look like everyone else, and it's not even like there's a whole stack that we are losing out on anymore by buying into the patheticisms of this society. But we're hooked on the high carb, empty sugar, television vacuity that stops us from feeling our own pain. Isn't that what it comes down to? We don't want to feel our own pain. We don't see any redemption in pain. We forget the Man we follow.

We don't really believe that God is going to do what s/he says. Not really. We expect everyone else to believe it but we don't really believe it ourselves. If we did, it would change everything. If we did, we would open ourselves and him/her up to our pain because we would know that God drips redemption from every pore. If we did, we would live our lives like we have some kind of vision at all. But instead we perish along with everybody else.

Of course, my irritation this evening is almost certainly just transference outward of the irritation I feel inward. I have started really noticing how it is that when I feel irritation or anger at other people, invariably it comes back to the areas of myself I am trying to ignore or minimise. That sucks. But it is true - I can only love others to the extent that I have first loved myself. This includes most especially the parts that are the ugliest. The ugliest ugliest, leprous parts of ourselves. The parts we want to hang our heads in shame over. Get stoned over. Watch television over, get a quick lay over. Whatever your drug of choice is. The bits we want to run away from. Those are the bits we need to learn to love. Because it's not until we can learn to love those bits in ourselves that we will not shrink away in horror when we see them in ourselves and in other people. It is our strength. Our strength in weakness. It's how we get to love the world. And the world is bound up in Christ on the cross, saying, "I thirst."

And it's all totally impossible. And it's all totally possible. All things are possible if God says so.

Love yourself. Even though it opens up wounds. Love yourself. You're worth it. Loreal says so. Sure, you're full of foul smelling pigswill. So are we all. But wait - there's more. There's cool stuff under that stinking mess. Love yourself. You'll be amazed at how good you get at it. Then you can love other people. And then maybe they will learn to love themselves.

And we will all live happily ever after.

No, I am not a liberation theologist. I just sound like one this evening. I also sound grouchy, but I'm actually quite snazzy, thanks for asking :) I was, however, planning on not blogging for a few days, give myself a break. But instead I've just rehashed something I've already said 100 times before :)


  1. Sue, this one got copied and pasted and sent in an email to my wife and my oldest daughter. I just felt it would be something important for them to hear.

    This is so profound...difficult and painful and frustrating, yes...but none the less profound.

  2. Good post.

    The best ones are always nasty:)

    But of course your going to scream and spit while the empire is nailing you down..

    Called out people... light to the nations... tilling the soil... good concept:)

  3. Kent - that's strange you should say that 'cause I was feeling like it was just one more boring post about the same old stuff ... so there you go!

    Monk - if only it was the Empire trying to nail me down. It's also God trying to nail me up :) (but with better outcomes)


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