Friday, March 27, 2015

Calling Out to One Another

It seems apparent that I have a new job. As of late January, I am an official Registered Nurse for Palms West Hospital. I won't bore you with the gory details, but just like any other job, this puts me around a new set of people - coworkers, if you will. Because of this, I've been dwelling a lot on how to most effectively approach sharing the Gospel with this group of people that I now have time to build relationships with. I've become conscious of what I say and how I act around these people, and the thought of misrepresenting Jesus is somewhat terrifying.

The content of my speech is of special concern. I told one of my colleagues recently that I had just been to Nashville to see my girlfriend. She then proceeded to ask me in a muted (and very suggestive) voice, "Didja get you what you went there for?"

"Uh... what?"

"Y'know, didja getcha what you went there for?"

Now, I didn't want to acknowledge the fact that there was a good possibility that there was some sexual innuendo undertone-ing happening in her voice. I wanted to avoid the fact that my brand new coworker was asking me something very, very personal, so I resolved to acknowledge that I did get what I went there for - quality, honorable time with my girlfriend. And I told her this. I don't think that either of us were thinking along the same lines, but I know what I was thinking!

Either way, the content of my speech has become heightened in importance.
"I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!'"
Upon reading this passage in the past, it never occurred to me that these angels were talking to each other. Now, upon first thought, that might not mean much to you. But think about this: when you pray to God and praise Him for Who He is, it is one thing. But when you talk to someone else about how great God is, it is another matter entirely. When you tell someone else about the character of God, you're not motivated to make up fancy words and embellish your speech to make yourself look better before God. Instead, you're just one buddy telling another about what you've observed in the nature of God.

Therefore, it is a matter of great importance to me that the angels are telling each other the story of God's greatness. It makes me wonder about what my words sound like when I tell others about God. What is it that I'm calling out to my fellow human? Is it, "Holy, holy, holy," or are my words much more insignificant?

What are you calling out to others today?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Nothing to Say

My nose is dripping right now. And I don't mean like a stuffy nose that I occasionally have to blow - no, there is not a single moment in which my nose is not pouring forth its delights. I don't have a sore throat, body aches, or fever. I am not more sleepy than normal. There is not a single thing tipping anyone off to the fact that I have some kind of disease other than the nostrils on my face.

In the course of a day, I have rubbed my nose so much that the ends of my nose-holes have become raw to the touch. Therefore, the most I can do to keep myself from leaking is to gingerly touch my finger to my nose and then wipe it on a napkin.

"Why, Nathan?" you may ask. "Why are you discussing the grodiness of your face-holes at 4 o' clock in the morning. Why?"

Well at this point in most of my blog posts, I would delve into how some ridiculous aspect of my life relates to the message of the Gospel. Then, in typical fashion, I would abruptly insert a verse into the mix, hopefully catching you off guard to make you lean in a bit and take closer attention. You ask me why I talk about my dripping nose.

The answer is, I don't have anything else to write about.

I have no witty anecdote as to why drippy noses remind me of the truth of the Scriptures. I have no great revelation to give you on the comparison between drippy noses and the ugliness of the church or something like that. Sometimes, there is nothing to say. I do believe everyday life should remind you of the Gospel, but today, I am saddened to say it does not.

I guess there are moments for silence. Moments for recognition of my own emptiness. Times to see that maybe I should just stop talking if there's nothing good to say.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Hero Moment

Keanu Reeves isn't in a whole lot of movies nowadays, and I appreciate him a lot more than your common man. Gimme the wooden acting and scarcity of any real dialogue - I think it's cool. This might also partially have to do with the fact that my brother looks a lot like the guy, but, whatever the reason, I got really excited when John Wick came out.

It's your typical "you-killed-my-dog-so-I'll-destroy-your-entire-mafia-empire" type movie. Literally, they kill his dog. And then he kills all of them. Oh, sorry spoiler alert. I probably should have told you that earlier, but let's be honest, you knew that was the case from the trailer. In any case, John Wick made it into one of my top man-movies. Y'know, the kind you watch with your dad when mom's not around with you (even though my dad actually hates this shoot-em-up kinda stuff).

Anyway, there's this one scene in the movie where the bad guy catches him. There's no hope for escape and John will be killed. In fact, they start suffocating him with a plastic bag. Then, at just the opportune moment, we see a man outside the building fire a sniper rifle and one of the baddies who's killing Keanu gets killed himself, giving him just enough leverage to be able to kill the one other guy who's choking him out.


This happens a lot in these types of movies. It's formulaic in a way. Good guy attacks bad guy. Bad guy catches good guy. Bad guy tries to kill good guy. Then, good guy is saved by something totally out of his power. I call it "The Hero Moment." Essentially, salvation occurs totally out of the hands of the protagonist, who is helpless to save himself.
"And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, 'Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!'" (Mark 15)
Man, that would have made a really cool movie - the guiltless Hero releases His supernatural strength and destroys His enemies! Talk about a man-movie. But here's what's maddening about this whole situation: Jesus, unlike any other protagonist in history, was not saved by any Hero Moment. In fact, He was the only one Who never needed a Hero Moment because He's God and He could just take Himself off the cross at any second!

No, instead He saw that the one who needed a Hero Moment was you. Was me. Was humanity. However, in this situation, we're not the good guy. We're the bad guy. At this moment in history, Jesus decides to reverse roles and forfeit his Hero Moment to give it to us, because He knew that there was no way that we were going to get out of the sin and eternal destruction that we are doomed to.

And so, yeah, maybe it would have made a cool movie for Jesus to show His strength there up on that cross by taking Himself down and destroying His enemies. But I think He knew that even better than a good movie is a Victorious Eternity.