Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Yet another post where I claim to have nothing to say

The oceanview from the beach house in St. Augustine

I was thinking recently that the soundtrack for my inner life right now could be the sound of static. Nothing very interesting going on. That's why I haven't written much lately and why I'm just posting a couple of vacation pictures today.

I am reading two great books, though: Having a Mary Spirit: Allowing God to Change Us from the Inside Out and How Women Help Men Find God, which is by the author of Why Men Hate Going to Church. The men hating (or really, not feeling comfortable in) church thing reminded me of a post by Bob on An Eye for Redemption awhile back where he explored this topic a little bit, and I'm finding the whole subject fascinating. (Bob - I can't find the post I'm thinking about. Can you help?) I haven't talked to A about his thoughts, but the book has helped me think about how I present Jesus and God to R. The author talks about how Jesus of the Bible - the guy who cleared the temple of moneychangers, the radical, the man who conquered hell and death - is much more appealing to men than the Jesus that we are often presented with today - best friend, lover of our soul, etc. - because those are qualities more attractive to women. And, because there are more women in church than men, it's sort of a endless cycle - appeal to women, drive away men. Indirectly, the book has also made me appreciate R's super hero imaginative play more. Especially the part about hunting down bad guys.

Other than that, we've been breaking the habit of R needing us to lay down with him to fall asleep. It's been going on since last Thursday, and we've used various methods (from Supernanny, letting him listen to books on CD, me sitting on the floor next to his bed for a few minutes) that have all worked, although we haven't used any one of them consistently, which probably isn't good. But the end results are great: R sleeps in his own bed all night, I sleep in my bed all night, I don't get kicked and punched all night long, and I don't wake up R at 6:30 am when I get up to shower. All of which means that R and I are both getting better, longer sleep. So that's a good thing.

And, once again, when I say I have nothing to write about, I end up writing a mini-epic. :-)

I'll end on another vacation picture.

Part of the Castillo de San Marcos fort in St. Augustine (everything is built out of shells)


Wanda said...

I feel that way since I don't have a camera.

Amazing what a picture can say.

I love your two vacation pictures, and sorry I haven't been around much to visit.

Soon...I'll be back to normal.

sandwhichisthere said...

I remember having those thoughts about church when I was in grade school. My Father didn't go to church but he made sure that my brother and I did. We went to Sunday School right after church. It was taught by nuns. I don't remember a lot being said about Jesus but there was a lot said about Mary.
The thoughts and questions that I had concerned Jesus. He was always depicted as thin and morose. Most of the images of Jesus were painted hundreds of years ago at the request of monks and clerics. They did not have an abundance of food in those days and they led a sedentary life so I am sure that they were pleased that the images of Jesus looked like one of them.
Picture in your mind the God of the Abraham, Isaac, and Moses. That was a God of the times and the culture. A thunderer and a roarer and an earthshaker. The all powerful deity that was vengeful and did a lot of slewing. I am surprised that there is no El in the WWF.
Jesus was a carpenter in the time before power tools. That was a trade that built strong bones and muscles. The only carpenter we see now is Norm Abrams who seems like he would be more comfortable hoisting a tea tray than a ridge beam.
The wimpy, ascetic, depiction of Jesus of our day seems out of touch with reality. It would have taken some muscle to throw out the moneychangers. You couldn't do that today as where would you get preachers? You can promise to do it to get elected but, once you get to the capital city, you won't.
Picture a wino waiting at a stop light. He comes up to the car and says "Change" and most people look down their noses and offer some guilt money. Picture a candidate, high on a podium. He says "CHANGE" and everyone nods there head yes and believes it will come. Mencken once said "no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people". No one ever lost an election either.
Back to the question. Somehow, over the ages, Jesus has been emasculated. Jesus and Grace were the comforts of our ancestors but now Jesus and Grace would simply be a great title for a sitcom. Could that be the reason men feel uneasy in church? The concept of an all powerful Father, Protector, is something that men still yearn for. There is still the frightened little boy in all of us. The emphasis has shifted to the Son and the Trinity is a hard concept to grasp. Maybe the meaning of life is not the number the Hitch hiker was given but the meaning of life is "3".
There is a bunny ear repair manual in the mail,
all of my love to you and yours, daddy

Greg C said...

Those are coquina shells. I think that is how to spell it. I haven't been in that fort since I was a kid. We took a field trip there when I was in the 6th grade. Don't you just love Florida beaches? My father didn't like going to church either. I think it was because he knew he had faults and mom would use the church sermon to rub his nose in it.

Kansas Bob said...

Very nice thoughts Kristen.. I have had a lot of talks with people about the man-church thing.. many still feel that it is simply an issue of maturity.. if guys were more "spiritual" they would engage more in church.

In a sense that attitude is really part of the problem of our Christian church sub-culture. I will be anxious to read your thoughts about the book. Here is the 'feminine worship' link that you were looking for.

Blessings, Bob

LEstes65 said...

Yay on the R sleeping in his own bed thing.

A is in my prayers. I pray that God guide your words and soften A's heart. And that you find a church that your whole family can dig. Together.