Musings of My Mind

"To a great mind, nothing is little." Sherlock Holmes

Month: July, 2014

Den of Geeks and Men of God

The other day, I happened to find myself in the comic book store after work.(No idea how that happened.) I haven’t been into comics and comic culture for long, but I’ve been a geek forever and I practically live on the internet; so I know that there’s often a bit of an attitude toward women who are interested in nerdy things, especially comics. So, walking into the store, I braced myself for the worst.

There were quite a few people in the store. I was the only female, but the guys only glanced in my direction. I may have been interesting, but not nearly as interesting as the new issues that came out this week. Besides one slight encounter with an employee who told me I totally didn’t want what I was looking for because it surely wasn’t my taste (I told him a thing), I had no issues. I was an anonymous stranger in a store, just like everyone else.

I left the comic book store slightly disappointed (they didn’t have the thing) and really starving. You know what I passed on the way home? Chick-Fil-A.

An aside on CFA: I know that their CEO supports things that we don’t
want him to support. So, I apologize to my LGBTQI friends that
sometimes, my love for really good chicken overwhelms my moral compass.

So, I stop at CFA, bastion of Christian service and light. Eating there practically counts as tithing, that’s how closely related Christians see CFA and the church. I’m standing in line, waiting to order, when a guy gets in line behind me. No big deal, right? Wrong. First, he gets WAY TOO CLOSE to me. Then, he decides to comment to his friend about my purple hair. “The weird girls…they’re always the freaks in bed.” And then, dear reader…”She’s got a good ass too. Purple hair and a good ass? I’d do her.”

Be proud of me, friends. I did not punch the guy. I did not yell at him. I did not kick him in his manhood and laugh while he cried. I ignored him, waiting until we were side by side at the counter to risk a glance. The guy was wearing a mission trip t-shirt. You and I both know that church attendance is no reflection of inward thought. We all know Christians who make our Christ look terrible. But we also know that they are a really loud minority. I’m confident that most Christians are amazing, loving, accepting people. Please don’t comment about how awful Christians are or how I’m being mean to Christians.

The point of this isn’t to make a value judgment on one group of people or another. It’s simply to remind Christians that everything we do is a reflection on the Christ we claim to serve. May it also serve to remind us to never judge people based on what we know of their kind of people. People, I’ve found, will surprise you.

If you’ll excuse me, I have new comics to read.

Why Dolores Umbridge Is Worse Than Satan

The story of Lucifer is actually one that I find incredibly interesting. Any of you that have known me for very long know that I’m obsessed with angels and this therefore comes as no surprise. For those that may not know the story, Lucifer was an angel of God. He was a beautiful creature, destined for greatness at the right hand of the Father.

So what happened? Lucifer got so wrapped up in how amazing he was, how smart he was, and how beautiful he was that he decided he needed to be raised to the level of God. (We’ll save how much I relate to this pride for another post but…geez.) Lucifer’s pride is what caused his problems. It was only after he was cast down that the real problems started. Lucifer’s issues were all self-centered.

Dolores Umbridge was prideful, don’t get me wrong. She saw herself as the savior of wizardom. But her evil was not based in pride or narcissism. Umbridge was pure, unadulterated vitriol and prejudice. Her goal was not to raise herself up. What the Lady in Pink did is tear everyone down, inch by inch. This is a subtle but very important difference.

These are also the people that are hardest to spot. Umbridge seemed so sweet and normal to those who weren’t suffering at her hands. Had Harry reported her abuse, no one would have believed him. Take it from someone who knows: women that seem sweet and well-meaning can get away with murder as long as we do it with a smile. If you add a Southern accent, you’ll get people to help you hide the body.

The moral of the Umbridge story is two-fold for me. On the one hand, it is important to keep your eyes open. Be aware of what is happening around you. You never know who might be suffering at the hands of someone seemingly innocuous.

More importantly, Umbridge and Lucifer remind me of how key it is to be aware of my attitudes toward myself and others. Pride goeth before the fall, but falling is preferable to dragging down an entire group of people with me. Am I lifting myself up or pushing others down?

Dolores Umbridge climbed to notoriety on the broken backs of those around her. May I use my intellect and talent to build a ladder out of grand ideas instead of crushing other people to achieve success.

The Gospel and The World Cup

GUYS. I love soccer.

In May, I didn’t know anything about soccer. When the World Cup started, I watched because obviously that’s what you do.

BUT GUYS. I love soccer. It’s amazing and exciting and challenging and so much awesome packed into 90 minutes.

One of the things I like most about watching the World Cup is seeing the teams and fans interact with one another. Soccer players will finish playing hard against one another and then hug. Often, they even trade jerseys as a sign of respect and camaraderie. The fans will bond over the mutual experience of sport, win or lose. Soccer/football is a community. It is a lifestyle. Our teams may fight one another on the pitch, but when the 90 minutes are done, everyone is once again on the universal team of sport.

Can anyone remember the last time we saw that much community in the Church? When teams didn’t matter because we are all playing for the same goal?

Me neither.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that Christians can’t be sports fans because we need to be focused on Jesus and not on how Olivier Giroud gives the best hugs or how Tim Howard needs to be canonized. What I am saying is that we, as individual believers, need to focus more on the ties that bind rather than the thorns that tear us apart.

Let us greet one another with the unity and respect that only love in a common thing can bring. After all, what we have in common in undeniably the most important commonality there is.