Posts in Christianity
One Leg, No Name

The night was cold and still, dark save for the lights that lined the empty streets.  The moon hung its heavy head low in the sky like a watching vagrant.  The automatic glass door at the entrance slid open as we arrived.  A man in a ragged denim jacket with long knotted black hair well below his shoulders stood in the corner closest to the sliding door staring at calling cards.  His beard grew long and thick and greyed in streaks across his face.  He held no expression, but there was a weight to his tired eyes.  They were too familiar.  I felt like I’d known him from somewhere, but I wasn’t sure where. 

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One Blood

On October 31st, 2010, I hovered my heavy head above a toilet at Famous Players and waited for my stomach to rest, trying to block out the images of the Asian girl cut in half by a power saw as everyone in the theatre laughed.  On October 31st, 2010, thousands of miles away, Iraqi Catholics of the Our Lady of Deliverance Church in Baghdad were shot at, maimed and mutilated by grenades, ball bearings and shrapnel – men, women and children alike, by men who thought these people were less than animals. 

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Throw Down Your Stone

Flannery O’Connor, considered one of America’s greatest twentieth century writers, once wrote that “Conviction without experience makes for harshness.”  She spoke of the hypocrisy she’d seen within some of the congregation of her Catholic church, many of them who believed in what they were told to believe and used it as what she called “the poor man’s insurance system.”  Just in case what they believed was true, they would not go to hell.  A man who believed in what was told to him, lived in safety and never had much of a challenge to his faith, has never needed to examine his faith.  His understanding of right and wrong is factual and absolute.  The liar, drug addict, drunk and prostitute, these are all immoral people and their end is eternal destruction.  Their stories of how they became these things are all irrelevant in an unexperienced religious mind.  They are their vice, and they deserve their end.

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If You Don't Like Your Reflection

There is a core principal in my Coptic faith that states that we, as humans, fashioned from the same organic chemical compounds as dirt and water, were stitched together in our mother’s wombs by the Original Artist, created with purpose, and named and known before our existence.  Our purpose exists before we do, innate, not created, but also not destined.  This leaves us with a choice, to find a purpose that was intended to be etched into our eternity for reasons greater than our own happiness, or make ourselves with our own hands and follow the way we feel.

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Choose Fire

History has proven change necessitates a divergence from the norm (see any revolutionary since the history of time).  And though not all change is progress, all progress necessitates change.  The greatest danger of status quo is its safety.  Safety in popular opinion is undoubtedly effective at bridling the mind and sedating the heart, stripping a person of any fear of standing out, at the price of their freedom.  Art does not live in safety.

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Art Above Aesthetics

There’s an honesty to true art that pokes holes through the dynamic canopy always before us where the grime of the raunchier shades bleed through and what’s left is the hidden beauty of the world.  To an artist, an old tree on the verge of death and decay becomes a part of history that ran with the land and gave shelter and clean air and life and breath to its people.  The dirtiest beggar seen by any other is a vagrant and a drain on society’s space and resources.  But an artist sees a life broken by pain and circumstance but still fighting.  Still alive.   

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