Wednesday, December 29, 2010

offensive, nerdy, and awkward Christmas thoughts

i feel like the holiday rush has calmed down a little bit, if only enough to allow me a moment to blow my nose and collect [some of my] thoughts.
we even had some time last night to drink tea and play monopoly, during which time barclay had five knives fall on his head--the big kinds of knives, the ones that you might chop a ham up with.
it was kind of an odd moment for both of us, and we took a time-out to rethink the way our dining room is set up before continuing the game. [the knives are now stored in a safer, less aerial location.]
and then he put hotels on the yellow properties and i declared bankruptcy.
but the point is not that.
the point is that this Christmas i had some conversations, did some thinking, observed some, and had more conversations about the other conversations and osbservations and what i thought about them, and now i have something to say.

i realize that a lot of you reading this would much rather read a stupid little illustrated paper rant [and don't get me wrong; that'll come] because Christmas is over/not funny/doesn't mean anything to you.

and that's ok. you can come back on monday or tuesday and read the paper rant, if you want. i'm not here to shove things down peoples' throats. i'm just musing.
read or don't.

the stuff in my head, it sort of started with friday when a friend asked me to be mary in the live nativity scene at church, and then ctv news came over and did a happy little news story about Christmas Eve and there were donkeys and sheep and a beautiful candlelight service that looked like this {photos courtesy of carmen}.

and the whole thing was about Jesus.

i feel like as soon as i say that name, "Jesus", a bunch of people will get mad and others will get kind of awkward, and still others will probably make fun/make all sorts of assumptions about who i am and what i believe and how i live my life and maybe even think i'm a judgemental, no-fun saint who thinks i'm perfect and wants everyone else to live exactly the same way i do.

because i've been reading peoples' blogs and watching tv and talking to friends and just seeing life happen and i notice that even though people want Christmas holidays, people don't want Jesus.

people want to have fun. 
people want to be happy.
people want to exist, to be known, to accomplish things.
people want to be loved.


people don't want rules.
people don't want judgements.
people don't want "religion".
because "religion" is for prudes, zealots, and fanatics.

some quotes i read today from various places:

"you should always do what you think is best for you first, because in the end, that will be the best decision."
"i just didn't love him anymore. what's the point in staying with someone i don't love? i needed to do what was best for me."
"i think you just need to consider: what's going to make you happy? you only live once; take what you want."
"i had to get out of it--basically, it just wasn't making me happy anymore."

these were taken from stories on peoples' personal blogs about hefty decisions they had to make involving things like abortion and divorce and affairs and relationships. the moral of each story: do whatever it takes to be happy, because your life is about YOU.

i don't really get it.
i don't really want it.

why would people want to live in a world where everyone just goes after what they want, looks out for only themselves--regardless of the effect it has on anyone else?

sounds like eternal high school to me.

and i know there are Christians out there who don't live what they say they believe; i know there are hypocrites and judgers and ignorant jerks who say they believe in Jesus.
{those are people. people are absolutely not perfect. i know because i am one.}

but i believe that God is perfect.
 and He is capital "L" Love, and His message is Love and even the confines of His laws and His teachings are Love because if you were to follow them perfectly, you would love others perfectly.

why is that offensive? why is that nerdy? why is it awkward?
and why would it be any of those things for me to strive for that and hope for that and celebrate that?

 who doesn't want to love and be loved perfectly?
who doesn't want to be in a marriage where you know that your partner will stick it out and respect you and keep the promises they made to you through every and any thing that life throws at you?
who doesn't want to have a friend who stands up for you, stays with you through everything, who never takes advantage of you or intentionally hurts you, but makes things right if they do?
who doesn't want to be able to trust people, to be trusted?
who doesn't want to be forgiven?


Cara said...

Wow. WOW. All glory to the Lord and Savior that joins us as sisters in His holy name! I love this post. It is so innocent and simple how you went about explaining all of these truths. I admire you!


AmberDenae said...

Suzy, your words are so refreshing and piercing. Thank you for sharing these thought provoking truths.

I agree with you wholeheartedly and I don't even profess my faith as much as I should on my blog due to comments I have received in the past. My intention has never been one of offense yet for whetever reason when I talk about my Jesus, people get offended. It's quite silly. To be quite honest though, I shouldn't care that anyone takes offense at my words of faith and belief. They are who I am.

You are so right and it's so simple. I love the way you write and make your readers think. You have a gift, my friend.

Thanks for this beautiful reminder and for being "real"- it is very much appreciated and admired.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and that your New Years is just as wonderful! :)

By the way, I'm loving the Nativity photo! Beautiful!

Shelby said...

amen sistafriend. that's all I have to say.

AmberDenae said...

Clearly I do not wish that you "have" a very Merry Christmas as Christmas has already passed. What I meant to say was "had". I'm sure you've already figured out that much but to not make it look like I was wishing you a "Merry Christmas" a whole year in advance, I am correcting myself. Although I do hope that next year's Christmas is very merry as well as the next one and the next and well, you get the point! ;)

Zack said...

I couldn't agree more! Never fear the name of Christ, for it is by His grace alone that we are able to even speak His name. Even if all the world stood against you, having God at your back is everything. Thankfully, all the world does not stand against you, especially not me.

I would hate a world where everyone lived for himself. However, a world where everyone lived for and watched out for everyone else would be great!

Jillian said...

dearest Suzy,

I'm glad that you are "speaking" some great truths, about Jesus and life and Christmas. But I hope that you have not become hard and prone to worry (although I completely understand if you have...) Because regardless of what someone might have to say about this post of your faith--and about how they don't want to be judged (etc)--it doesn't change that it is the truth!

My pastor recently said, something to the effect: that we don't need to be offensive--that the gospel is offensive enough and will handle that job itself. We just need to present the truth in a loving and honest way and through our testimony of faith.

And my dear, you are doing just that. :)

Repeat the sounding joy,

Amyschmamey said...

THIS. WAS. AMAZING! Glad you posted this. because I needed to heart it... and I am sure other people needed to hear it.

Hope your Christmas was very amazing.

Amyschmamey said...

P.S. I am very glad that Barclay survived the knife incident in once piece. The knives are better off where they are now. ;)

Mrs. Wilson said...

I like this muchly, muchly. I hate the "put yourself first" and "look out for number one" things (unless it's on an airplane and you HAVE to put that mask on yourself first or you get in trouble). They get you nowhere. The whole world is looking out for number one and it really pisses me off.

Pretty sure this is my favorite post I've read all week.

Chantelle said...

SPEAK IT!! Amen!! ((((hug)))) "Only one life, 'twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last"!

Kayla said...

This post makes me happy. And not like "oh what a cute polar bear!" happy, but the nourishing, soul-filling, Holy Spirit kind of happy.

And my thoughts exactly. And the world IS kind of like an eternal high school because most of us "adults" don't really ever grow up and most people sadly never realize that their life is not all about them.

And you know, knowing someone else out there (you) understands that loving and living for Jesus isn't oppressive or awkward, gives me the strength to better stand behind my beliefs. So thanks, and Merry Christmas!

Alan said...

Thank you for this post. I haven't read your blog, or anybody else's, for awhile. You have a good attitude about life. You obviously have a great time living it, and you're not afraid to say what you feel. God is great, and we need to tell people about Jesus whenever we get the chance. May God continue to bless you and your husband. And please keep him away from sharp objects.

amylou said...

Wonderful post Ms. Suzy!
I needed to read this.

Cara said...

Ps, I hope you don't mind but I took part of this and wrote this on my "hello 2011" blog post. I credited you, too!

Happy new year!

danny.elle. said...

you're smart. and put the words the had been fighting in my head down on paper. only better than I could have I think. I should post a post on my blog that says: see suzy's blog.

every day.

:) thanks for being oh-so-real.

suzy said...

thank you all for your feedback. :) it's always so nice to be able to write something out that i've been thinking about a lot. i know i left things out that i wanted to say--this post could've been a million years long--but those can be for another time.
the point is simply that Jesus Christ came at Christmas and that because of that, there is hope, even in our twisted, us-centered world.
and hope is one of the best words i know of.