Thursday, March 29, 2012

"The Hunger Games" and the modern day Christian.

I have to admit, I read the books because "everyone was doing it".  However, from the first page, I was hooked and ended up reading the 3 fairly long books in 4 short days; neglecting my family, laundry, mealtime, and everything in between.  When I read a book, my mind marinates on the subject matter for days, weeks, maybe months.  I allow the psychology of things to resonate within me, I imagine a world similar to the one I just entered into through the readings, and I am gripped with emotion similar to the characters on the pages.  It is probably weird....I don't care.

I am sure (although he hasn't said it out loud), my husband was completely relieved when I was finished.  Life resumed and order was reestablished to the parsonage.  I even went to see the movie with a friend and was impressed to have seen a pretty good adaptation of the read on screen.  

I was truly surprised (caught off guard), when confronted (not to my face) of the morality issues of reading these books and seeing this movie.  I felt a tad bit ashamed when I heard things like, "Christians shouldn't be interested in these books or this movie," or, "violence is something that God wants us to stay away from viewing."  I thought to myself, "Have I become so desensitized that I have done something to offend my God without even a second thought?"  

I am still working through the logistics of this thinking.  I am still kind of reeling from the fact that I may have truly sinned without even knowing it.  I am still sort of flabbergasted that Christians attack each other on all fronts, (especially women).  And I am still wondering what is the big deal!?!?!

This story replicates what a society would look like upon becoming desensitized to trauma and each other's pain. 

  • The story demonstrates games where kids are chosen and fight each other (ultimately to the death) to bring honor to their district.  
  • The story demonstrates the demand of watching people hurt each other, and the need to look good while doing it.
  • The story reflects a nation's desire to eat until they can't stomach another bite and drink until they stumble, while people everywhere else starve outside their selfish radar.
  • The story puts into words what a world with extremely wealthy and extremely poor families would look like.  
  • The story shows what length individuals will go to cover their imperfections.
  • The story permeates a Godless society where wealth, prestige and physical attractiveness matter more than the oxygen they breath.
  • The story puts on display what humans will do to eliminate existential boredom.
  • The story demonstrates a society where common people can become famous overnight by participating in reality television.  
  • The story demonstrates a people so desensitized to nudity, that they feel totally comfortable within an arms reach of half dressed, or naked men, woman, and children.
  • The story follows a young girl, forced to mature beyond her years by loss, oppression, poverty and burden.
  • The story demonstrates a society where they want to see death, they have to see the proof.
  • The story magnifies how some children are raised desensitized, demoralized, detached and prepared to do anything to "win".  
  • The story exemplifies the tempting distraction of mindless entertainment.
  • The story shows a child's loss of innocence. 
When I read this list, the plot doesn't seem so far-fetched.  Truth is, this nation of "Panem" has been lulled to sleep.  They have been tricked into believing that this practice of taking children and sending them to their death will somehow keep them safe.  They have convinced themselves that it will never change, only get worse and they have to follow suit.  They have subscribed to the insanity because it is what has been going on for 74 years and why buck the system?!?!  The people of the Capitol, have no idea of their acts of terror they inflict on innocent lives.  They are happy,fed, rich, beautiful (or doing anything they can to be), and oblivious.  They sit by and watch it happen....kind of like us.  Us Christians, who by nature, become so comfortable that we are more worried about the movie choices of our brother's and sister's in Christ then to the actual injustices taking place all around us.      

These books are fiction.  They are meant for entertainment.  They are created by a woman who does not profess or denounce Christianity.  In my research, I have not found any proof that she is following ChristianityBuddhismScientology, or you on Twitter.  Maybe she had an agenda, maybe she was disgusted with society, maybe she, herself, was bored...I don't know and I really didn't think about it until my Christianity and moral compass was questioned.  

I do know, that a nation described in bullet points above, doesn't differ too greatly from one I live in now.   Like the citizens of that dark world, we are lost and hopelessly oppressed without a Savior.  Even as we fight for a more just and loving world, we must not only find hope in Christ, but also follow his example: "In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Jesus who took "the very nature of a servant" and "humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:5-8).

I will let you know after I pray some more if I feel I am a big sinner for reading and seeing "The Hunger Games".  But, before you worry judge me and my Christianity, allow yourself to marinate on this:

I am concerned with a person in the year 2012;  a society where we watch school yard cat fights and bums fighting for their dinner on YouTube - who can say that "The Hunger Games" are merely filling innocent Christian minds with images that are completely removed from reality.


Thursday, March 1, 2012


I love my husband.   I see him daily working to better himself.  He works all of the become a better follower of Christ, husband, father, and Pastor.  I am exhausted watching him.

We love this place called, "The Melting Pot".  It is a restaurant where you cook your own food....fondue!  We think it is awesome because it takes forever to eat.  Like almost 3 hours.  During those 3 hours, you can talk and visit with the person your with.  You are forced to talk!

After returning home from a GREAT date with my love, I realized that we haven't had a conversation, uninterrupted, since I don't even know when.  I mean, don't get me wrong, we have had conversations.  Conversations about time commitments, laundry, weather, the strange sound the car is making, the ridiculous medical bills that keep coming in the mail (I guess they want their money), the amount of dust under the couch accompanied by all the toys I found, the gym, how the kids are feeling, is Nora wheezing, what we are eating for dinner, how long we have until it is time to be at the church, poop (the kids, not ours), the color and frequency of it, spit-up, bath time, etc, etc.   What I didn't realize until last night is that we were lacking true conversation.  Married stuff.  Stuff that makes us feel connected the way God wants us to be.  The surprising thing was that it took about an hour to get into that conversation.  I almost felt awkward without 6 different distractions calling my name.

This whole revelation totally freaked me out.....I mean, why was it so hard to TALK?!?  He is my husband.  He has seen the best and the worst.  He kisses me hello and goodbye numerous times a day.  He knows how weird I am and still loves me and wants to hang out with me. :)    

I have heard and witnessed certain things pertaining to marriage during our calling to ministry that make my heart feel heavy.  I have seen very capable, wonderful people crumble under life's not so pleasant pressure to succumb to: "We just can't make it work."  I have waited and watched marriages fall apart because of pride, arrogance, and stubborn behaviors.   

Remember in the beginning of your relationship when just brushing up against each other by accident would cause shortness of breath?  The excitement of the phone ringing could send you into an emotional tizzy?  Thinking about that person was your favorite thing to do and you would actually lose sleep, caring not if you had a busy day ahead of you in the morning, to gain 2 more hours of phone time?!?!   

I recently found this on Focus on the Family:
In fact, a few years ago, 2 doctors actually presented at the Congress of Internal Medicine in Wiesbaden, Germany  the idea that lieberskimmer – love sickness – is a definite medical ailment complete with physical symptoms. 
At this point in your marriage, are you wondering where the "symptoms" went?  
Sustaining the emotional excitement of romance, or "being in love," can be difficult at best – and physically draining at worst.  The shimmer of courtship is often replaced with the realities of budget crunches and dirty diapers.

No one starts out thinking in about 4 years (after about 20-30 pounds, stress of children, stress of life, disappointments in life, disappointments in each other, diapers, exhaustion, bills, poverty, and/or sickness), "I will want to leave this person!"  Everyone thinks they are immune to this....or above it.  Truth is, it happens without you even knowing it is taking place, and Satan thinks it is funny.

Why all this?!?!  I realized that I wasn't working hard enough!  Date nights are important, conversations are essential and romance can be created and maintained through hard work and selflessness.  God cares about our marriage, He wants me to care about it, too.    

Marriage requires hard work.

......The harder the climb, the better the view....