Archive for August, 2012

an apologetic

My friend Micah Ruelle shared this apologetic with me and I thought it was pretty great. She said I could share it with you. I apologize if I mess it up at all, but I should be able to get the main point across. Actually, I’m just going to tell it in as few words as I can, you should be able to follow along well enough. Brevity is the soul of wit. Not that this is particularly witty. Or funny at all. It isn’t. Just… read it.

A journalist is captured by Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and is held in solitary confinement and tortured before being rescued about a year later. Upon returning home, this journalist needs some pretty serious psychological counseling and whatnot. The question posed is this: what worldview is capable of offering comfort to this person? Various atheistic perspectives really come down to the bottom line that there’s no actual meaning or purpose to what happened, and sometimes life sucks. Some veins of atheism would suggest that this person should kill themselves if they don’t find life enjoyable, because, well, why not? Muslims would say of this horrible experience “Insha’Allah,” that whatever happened was the will of Allah. Hindus would attribute it to bad karma, that it was punishment for something terrible the journalist did in a past life. You can fill out the rest of the list from there. The only worldview that offers hope and beauty in the face of the journalist’s experiences is Christianity, which says that this world is a horrible broken place, but God will use all things for His glory, and he can build beautiful things from the horrors this world foists upon us. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the journalist’s problems will suddenly go away, that the pain will just disappear. It does mean, though, that we can find comfort in God. The circumstances that we face in this world aren’t the point of our existence; we find our meaning in God, not in the pain and terror of the world. God made us for himself, and we will find our fulfillment and peace and satisfaction in him. We were made for a world far greater than the one we are currently experiencing. In his timing and according to his divine will, we will someday have the opportunity to experience what we were created for. In the meantime, we have to live in this broken world.

Okay, I wasn’t as brief as I said I was going to be. I really enjoyed this apologetic. I guess what I like about it is that it’s so existential, as opposed to academic or reasoned. It hits us at an experiential level. I hope it sticks in your memory as it has mine.

apologies and forgiveness

it has occurred to me recently that i don’t really understand these two things fully. my next thought after realizing that was to consider that we teach these concepts to young children, but i’m not sure children are really very capable of understanding what it means to apologize or to forgive. part of this is because at that age, most kids don’t have anything major enough in their lives to have to face apologies or forgiveness in a very meaningful manner. so my question to you, my dear reader, is this: how do we teach kids that apologies and forgiveness are more than just something you say after you do something that somebody else is upset about?

hyphenation

if two people get married and hyphenate their last names, and then have kids… what happens when the kids get married? 

say tom jones and nancy smith get married, and become tom and nancy jones-smith. or maybe tom stays as tom jones and nancy becomes nancy jones-smith or smith-jones or whatever. they have two kids, who they name billy jones-smith and laura jones-smith. 

laura gets married to kevin johnson and she wants to keep her name. does she change it to laura johnson-jones-smith? or does she drop her mother’s name and go with johnson-jones? that would be a little sexist and patrician, keeping her father’s name and not her mother’s, so maybe she’d go with johnson-smith and drop her father’s name instead. really, though, it makes more sense to keep all three, and pass all three names along to her children, so they can hyphenate even more.

billy jones-smith, on the other hand, has a bigger problem, since he marries susan keller-williamson, who wants to keep all of her names as well. so they become billy jones-smith-keller-williamson. their kid marries one a hernandez-simons and they become the jones-smith-keller-williamson-hernandez-simonses. 

parents: please, talk to your kids about hyphenation before it’s too late.