"But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin." - Aldous Huxley
I know, that's not a "normal" christian thing to say. But that quote is how I feel all the time. I find this attitude in people a lot. This kind of push-it-under-the-rug-make-it-all-better attitude. Through this trip, I've seen real pain. I've seen poverty. I've seen disease. And I've noticed that people don't want me to talk about it. People don't want me to tell them that things aren't okay. People don't want to hear about the reality. I understand why, because pain hurts.
I have found such an intense beauty in the pain and poverty and hurting. I see beauty in the tin houses and broken people. Maybe I'm just crazy. Maybe I'm just overly optimistic. Maybe I'm naive, but to me, it seems beautiful. There's something so raw and so real about it. Something beautiful about the fact that it's not hidden under some glossy coating. But maybe I'm just crazy.
Guess what. Pain is inevitable. But we go through EVERYTHING acting like we're all ok and everything is fine and dandy. We act like there is nothing wrong and we don't hurt and we don't sin and we all live perfect little lives.
Then everything falls apart.
And everyone acts like they are SO shocked and talk about how something like that would never happen to them. When secretly, I think everyone breathes a big sigh of relief that they're not alone and that things suck sometimes.
I run into this mode of thinking that seems to say "If I just pretend it's not there, it won't be." So we do. We pretend it's not there and we never get out and conquer it. This thinking is then contagious, and we end up with a church full of people playing this big game and no one getting anywhere because of it.
Somehow.. I think there might be something wrong with this idea.
There's one other sort of "head in the sand" thinking that really gets me. It's this phenomenon where people so surround themselves with "church people", people who have it all together, that they get this idea that there is no sin left in the world. That there aren't lost and dying people out there. Of course, if you were to ask them, "Are there any lost people in the world?", they would obviously say yes. But it's like the responsibility we have to share Christ is somehow lifted when they stop interacting with anyone that isn't a member of a particular church group.
But really, they miss out. They're the ones who lose the huge blessing in just loving people. There are lessons to be learned that you just can't get without being out in the "real world." It reminds me of an episode of PokeMon (which I was a huge fan of!) where Ash (main character) battled Lt. Surge, a gym leader who seemed to be just so much better than him. They both had electric type PokeMon. Ash had a PikaChu, and Lt. Surge had a Raichu. For those of you who don't follow pokemon, Raichu is the evolved form of Pikachu. Raichu is considered to be much, much better than Pikachu.
In the first battle, Pikachu was beaten badly. Very, very badly. Raichu had better electric attacks and was far stronger than pikachu. When Ash was in the hospital with pikachu, he remembered something that Lt. Surge had said. Lt. Surge said that he had evolved his pikachu as soon as he got it, turning it into a raichu. Ash realized that there were some attacks that the pokemon could only learn as a pikachu, attacks that allowed pikachu/raichu to be quick on its feet. Ash went back to Lt. Surge, and was right. Raichu had missed out on learning the speed attacks.
We can't afford to miss out!
I've been both of these people. I try to be neither. I'm not as successful as I'd like to be.
I no longer want comfort. I want real. I want truth. I want honesty. I want freedom. I want grace. I want failure. I want messes. I want dirt. I want acceptance. I want beauty. I want people to be real people again.