Monday, 15 February 2010

Cynicism, bitterness, sarcasm. The easy way out?

For those of you that know me, the title of this blog will make you laugh.
I thrive on cycnicism and sarcasm, I find it funny, it's easy and sometimes can make a serious point. I remarked recently that positivity is my kryptonite.
But nothing ever got done through sarcasm.
A clever quip won't change the world.

A show like 'The West Wing' is a great example of that. It's well known for its sharp, pacey dialogue, but that is the superfical layer of what's going on.
The life of the show comes from the heart of the characters, and the desire for real change in the Bartlett administration, and its when these characters interact on this deeper, meaningful level, that stuff is done, tasks accomplished and change brought about.

Haec credam a deo pio, a deo justo, a deo scito?
Cruciatus in crucem
Tuus in terra servus, nuntius fui; officium perfeci.
cruciatus in crucem,
Eas in crucem

My personal favourite moment in the show comes in the series 2 finale 'Two Cathedrals.' In one stunning scene the President (portrayed by Martin Sheen) is seen screaming at God in Latin after a close friend of his dies whilst he is forced to let killers on the other side of the world get away with it. His calm, focused exterior is stripped away in a scene of real passion and hurt about how unfair this all seems. And it is in this moment that Bartlett's decision to stand for re-election, against the odds, is made.

Am I to believe these things from a righteous god, a just god, a wise god?
To hell with your punishments!
I was your servant, your messenger on the earth; I did my duty.
To hell with your punishments!
And to hell with you!

These are honest, unashamed, broken words. A million miles away from wit and smarts.

And its this scene, more than any other, that has stayed with me, and millions that have watched the show. Because when it's all stripped away, we see the real thing don't we?
In our brokeness, our hurt, our longing, God can stick us back together, heal us, and use us to impact the world around us. It's in the hurt where there is healing, it's through the pain that there is change.

There's a worship which says 'When the music fades, all is stripped away, and I simply come.'
It's so easy to cover ourselves in stuff- to hide ourselves, to make us feel safe, to cope. For me, I do this through being funny, in bitter and cynical ways. It's easy, it works for me, and it enables me to hide whats going on underneath. Now I believe God created me to laugh and with, occasionally, the gift to make others laugh, which in some situations is great. But I know there are times when I use this to cover stuff up, to make myself feel better and hide away the real issues.
But what makes the difference, what changes situations is when we're real. When we strip back our layers and come to God, to others, and to ourselves with honesty.

I was reminded today what it really means to be a friend.
It's not just being able to hang out, make each other laugh, and having stuff in common. It's about sticking with each other through the crap, supporting one another in the tough time, and loving them no matter what. I want to be that kind of friend.

I want to be that kind of disciple.

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