Random Thoughts for the Weekend

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1. There is nothing not stupid about the Jenner story.

2. The Blues, whether they are manifest in song, poetry, autobiography or fiction, help us know we are not alone in hard times. They are the opposite of those awful tinny voices who want us to be positive and cheer up. The Blues are a thick echo of grace. The others? A clanging echo from the dungeon of law.

3. Put no hope in a politician.

4. The other day I remembered the utter confusion of struggling through writing a paper on a Greek tragedy while simultaneously being full of wonder. A good preparation for adulthood, I suppose.

5. I think the evangelical subculture is wrong to focus on the Bruce Jenner and think it is about sexuality and gender. It is primarily about words and language and the belief in the sovereignty of self.

6. Put no hope in a movement.

7. Once again I saw a young white pastor talk about how Christians need to interact with people who are different than them on a regular basis. I looked at the staff at his church and everyone was white and seemingly middle class like him. Most people who work in the “secular” world are already doing that big guy.

8. Wendell Berry’s poems are most likely the best $20 I’ve spent in a long time. That’s about a dime per poem. They are worth far, far more.

9. I tried to watch and fully enjoy the show Daredevil, but I couldn’t handle the violence. It’s gratuitous and pornographic.

10. Celebrity Christianity has made it nearly impossible to evaluate teaching and it has created an atmosphere where an abuse victim is a pariah who is unwilling to suffer quietly.

11. Last night I was sitting with my lovely wife at the neighborhood pool, the kids were swimming, the weather was perfect, and there was that “stab of joy” and the realization of being sustained by grace. Life is hard, but there are moments when your eyes open and a veil is lifted and His goodness is seen in a moment.

12. I cannot help but believe poetry and our need for it is part of our created-ness. The Scriptures themselves are shot through with poetry. The Prophets and Psalmists were poets. Why would God speak to us in a form for which we were not hard-wired? When our prose and the song lyrics we sing along with get close to poetry and field echoes of the craft, we can feel the electric joy, that magic of words, which can cause us to stare into the night sky and sometimes punch a hole in the very same.

13. It is hard to give things away but once done, there is an inexplicable freedom. Maybe it’s a reverse echo of the death we will all one day face. And every time we let go of something here we are dying a little in the best possible way and taking one more step into the land for which were created.

 

11 thoughts on “Random Thoughts for the Weekend

  1. Timothy Johnson June 6, 2015 / 8:15 am

    Lots of good thoughts here. One criticism: we are not all hard-wired for poetry. I have two people who I am close to who are on the autism spectrum for whom poetry is a useless mess of intentional obfuscation of the point the author wants to make. Are they less human because of it? Anyway, I think #10 about celebrities and abuse was one of the most insightful. And the Wendell Berry one.

    • mattbredmond June 6, 2015 / 8:22 am

      I have a a daughter who is most likely on the spectrum also. We will not know till after the new year. But my first reaction is to say such exceptions, because of a “disability” may in fact prove the rule.

  2. JoelG June 6, 2015 / 9:55 am

    Matt, I am somewhat puzzled by your lack of compassion for Jenner. After all the media attention is done and gone what we have here is a broken human with a precious soul that God died for. Anyone that struggles with suicide, depression and anxiety should have our compassion no matter how the brokenness plays out. Here in the Portland area this is not just an abstract concept. This is a community of people that we are trying to build bridges with.

    • mattbredmond June 6, 2015 / 10:02 am

      Criticism of a media event and the resulting think pieces – Christian and otherwise – on said event do not preclude compassion. Compassion is not a linear movement. Criticism of a particular lifestyle or choice in the aggregate does not necessarily mean an unkindness toward the particular. We are not immune to such phenomenon here in the Deep South.

    • mattbredmond June 6, 2015 / 10:19 am

      Also I would add this is not the story of a man choosing to be a woman. This is a media circus with a lot of money to be made. Even now you can count on the Christian publishing houses looking to sign on authors to “tackle” this. You can easily follow here. Be compassionate to LBGT? Of course. But also, don’t buy the snake-oil.

      • JoelG June 6, 2015 / 10:30 am

        I should’ve said perceived lack of compassion, my bad. You articulate so much better than I do my own views of life and God. Our music tastes are even the same :). That’s why I was shocked to see our differing takes on Jenner. I am disgusted with a media, Christian or otherwise that uses broken people to make money.

      • mattbredmond June 6, 2015 / 10:46 am

        I am in so much agreement on that. That’ll preach, my friend.

  3. 2charp June 6, 2015 / 4:32 pm

    I get so tired of Christians doing the opposite of #3 & #6. Try butting up against that in the family/friends circle.
    Thanks for the #7 commentary–appalling how Pharisaical pastors/churches can be.
    Compassion, yes. Even Jesus had compassion for those who chose to walk away from Him; doesn’t mean we agree with those decisions.
    And, the media circus is…. just that!

  4. Dan from Georgia June 10, 2015 / 6:50 am

    Good comments Matt! Ahhh…the blues! One of my favorite forms of music!

  5. brab608 June 11, 2015 / 5:24 am

    I like #2, wholeheartedly agree with #12 (wholeheartedly-that’s a poetic word, isn’t it?), and struggle eith #3.

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