17 julio 2009

memento mori

thought one: Google's Chinese Censorship

"In a Freedom House report, China tied Cuba for last place out of 15 countries
studied for online access. The report said the government often blocks foreign
sites, but it notes other sites like Google have agreed to self-censor to
satisfy government demands in China. But even if Chinese officials censor
images like the lone man facing the tanks, the moment was sealed in 1989: The
world had witnessed the desperate defiance of a muted people against a crushing
system. "
~"The Tiananmen generation," world magazine, 6 june '09

visually, that means this...

what we see:
"tiananmen square" : google.com (google.us) pics from link in heading

what they see:

"tiananmen square" : google.cn

1) ... and i think, "what could be censored by google (et al.) here in the states? after all, i'm sitting in america reading about Chinese censorship. doubtful Chinese citizens know what all's not showing up on their bright little screens... how do i know what's not showing up on mine? makes me want to search for subversive things, like... ???

2) how do we know history is not just like any other story? how do we know the news is not pure 1984esque propaganda? i mean, we know it's biased, but how do we know it's not lies? [oooh. maybe this is how conspiracy people think.]

3) my word, but we depend on multiplicity of witness. and truth. que vivan los eyewitnesses... and que viva la truth."

thought two: sustainable faith, part i (from Mother's Day '09)

on this here day of motherly rememberment, i'm reminded of something i've wanted to post for a good while. this idea has haunted me since it first started pillaging my head: what will it take to have sustainable faith?

sustainable faith... i'll go from particulars to an attempt at a universal at the end. but simply put, sustainable faith is just the Faith... but heavy, not lite.

~ It is being woken up [early!] day after day in Peru to the voice of a hero in the other room praising God with full heart, "mi alma te adora, Jehova mi Dios... bendito sea Jehova..."

~ it is witnessing two men of God, par excellence, preach the word to near empty churches "as a dying man to dying men, and as if sure to never preach again." and then watching them go home and live it.

~ it is my mother's habit of waking up at 4:30 a.m., with or without insomnia, simply because she wants to spend time with Jesus.

~ it is a sister-in-law who cries for the people that others only gossip about. whose floor and whose God only know the tears she's shed and prayers she's lifted for... me and my salvation... for so many more.

~ it is also the college-kid run discipleship house i so loved to go to as a child. it is guitars and laughter and praise choruses and friday night Bible studies.

~ it is fellowship sunday and how everybody won't go home after the meal because they can't seem to stop talking.

~ it is talking to brethren for hours about... God. the flesh. salvation. the harvest. fasting. prayer.

~ it is The Compound and making subversive plans to promote a kingdom that can never be destroyed in the midst of a dying republic. oh, that and planning strategic ways to destroy the works of satan, punch in the teeth of the wicked, and snatch the helpless from the jaws of the oppressor.

~ it is that completely folksy, unabashedly evangelical, and how wonderful "holy handshake" where someone grabs your hand, blesses you, and walks away leaving a hundred dollar bill in your happy palm.

Sustainable faith is the faith that shames me. the faith that first arrested my attention and convinced me, "i am nothing. God is everything. and... i want THAT." the faith that gives worth to little mexican 8 year olds who don't do capitalization and only occasionally believe in punctuation. Sustainable faith is Christ and everybody that looks like Him, on good days, but on really, really dark days as well. it is early morning faith. hard floor faith. cold air faith. communal and oh-so-alone faith. it's that faith that makes me believe i'll ever be an 81 year old Christian. it's the faith that makes me wonder if i'll ever become an 81 year old Christian. it's impossible faith. it's so hopeful. so diligent. so generally unrewarded. so patient under tribulations faith. so self- denying my flesh breaks out in hives just thinking about it.

Sustainable faith is that walk with God that can both train and addict the little ones. it's a faith that will convince any progeny i might ever be entrusted with that God exists, He has spoken, and that is the biggest deal in the universe.

yes, salvation is in God's hands. but i will dread to be in His as well if i ignore the fact that the salvation i have received is to be passed down... not by magic. not by wishing. but by grace fleshed out. morning after morning. with a headache. at a party. when people get on my nerves. when i can't keep my eyes open. when i've had caffeine. when i'm depressed. when i'm giddy. when i have no money. when i have abundance. God, grant me a faith that walks in hard times just as steady as in good ones.

thought three: sustainable faith part ii- what will it take?

so. what will it take? let it be known i'm generally a very happy Christian. especially with coffee, i can take on the world. but i am also 21 years old and in excellent health. i have the most minimal demands upon my time and emotions that can be imagined in this day and age. i have a great job that i look forward to going to every day. my church is loving and full of truth. my family... is unrivalled in wonderfulness. i am offered three square meals a day. i can buy or order virtually any food my heart desires. (*accept for ceviche from a certain kitchen in the Andes. but even then, at this exact moment, i could go to kayak.com and order a ticket to get myself there, and be there within the month.) ditto books. ditto gadgets. i could get a credit card and get even more. i have a degree. i have minimal debt. i have no problems.

so what is my faith worth? is it sustainable? how on earth can i tell when it's never been tested? how do i know that this stuff within me would survive a day in a concentration camp? could bear to attend the funeral of a loved one? could outlast personal assault or injury? could endure through a disease? or a famine? or persecution? or abandonment? how do i know it's real?

i really don't know.

but try to tell my flesh "no," firmly, to any little thing it really wants and see my happiness and devotion come crashing down. see the monster unloosed that is me. oh. i thought she had died. ech. word, but she stinketh.

how to deal with that? is it possible to be a world-class Christian in the 1st world? to have a faith that translates, travels, and endures?

we shall see...

03/2011 post thought: this post, in video and song