Batman. Big deal.

Amy and I saw the new Batman movie.  John Dobbs strongly disagrees with me but I was less than impressed.  I confess I’m a sucker for feel good movies and happy endings.  If I’m going to pay to see a movie I don’t prefer watching those that leave me feeling numb, dumb or depressed.  I want to be entertained in a way that leaves me feeling happy.  If I want to feel dumb and deal with numbness or depression I pay for therapy.

Batman gloried in the power and dominion of evil.  Poor Batman!  The Joker is always one step ahead of him.  He’s more intelligent than the entire police force- more intelligent than  the massed technological capabilities of the entire government and Wayne Enterprises.  Bruce Wayne/Batman couldn’t even keep the Joker out of his own penthouse.  What’s up with that? Batman could never return the favor because no one knows where the Joker lives/hides.  They can’t even figure out where he’s from.  In fact all the good guys appear to be clueless and powerless in the face of the Joker’s overwhelming darkness.

For me Batman wasn’t satisfying because the Jokers eyes never registered surprise or fear.  He was in total control at all times.  His evil nature ruled the entire movie.  There was nothing redeeming about the story.  For me.  And to top it off the good-guy was the one running for his life at the end.  Bother!

To make it a good movie the city of Gotham should have left Batman hanging in his cave.  They needed the one character Steven Seagal played in every one of his movies.  That character would have broken the Jokers fingers one by one before shooting him in the head.  Right before death dragged his soul to hell the Jokers eyes would have communicated the one truth we can all be sure of- evil is always trumped by goodness.

John Dobbs told me I was the only one he knew of who didn’t really like the movie.  If you liked the movie don’t read this post.  It might make you mad.

Have a great day.

On top of everything else…

I got sick.  Real sick.  It started about seven or seven-thirty on Thursday night two weeks ago.  I became violently ill.  And when I say violent I mean VIOLENT.  Did you see The Exorcist?  Remember the scene when she/it began to spew partially digested projectiles at the priest?  Well, I can honestly say my partially digested projectiles were spewed with much greater force- sans special effects.  And mine lasted all night and into the next day.  In a remote part of my somewhat funtional brain I saw a silver lining in that I was too sick to clean up the mess (many times I either failed to or lacked the energy to direct my mess into a suitable container).  Poor Amy.

The last thing I ate was at mid-morning.  Doughnuts.  Although they probably had nothing to do with why I became ill I will probably never again eat that variety again.  Funny how that works.  And they were my favorite kind.

Anyway Friday morning Amy took me to our local doc-in-the-box.  We waited forever.  The doctor saw me for all of a minute or so.  He felt my stomach and asked me if it hurt.  After a night and morning of hurling cake donoughts the muscles hurt quite a lot.  I said so.  He promptly declared it was my appendix and I needed to rush to the hospital.  This is the same place where three or four years ago they told me they didn’t think I was having a heart attack but wanted me to get to a hospital asap.  Next thing I knew I was being rushed to St. Francis in an ambulance for a non-heart attack which turned out to be non-heart attack (as I knew it would) which turned out to be a very expensise night away from home in a hotel where they wake you all night long to jab you with needles.  But that’s another story.  I do think we need to find a new doc-in-the-box though.

Needless to say this time I was willing to do anything to avoid another night like the previous one.  Seldom have I been so miserable or sick.  To make a long story short- it wasn’t my appendix.  Or my gall bladder.  More than likely it was just a virus that had to run it’s course.  Unfortunately, it ran like the old men you see “jogging” from time to time.

I missed a week of work- had to postpone one trip and cancel another.  This past Monday and Tuesday were perfectly awful.  Still fighting nausea and fighting a pressure in my stomach that distracts me from all else.  Yesterday, however, I finally felt like there was some hope I’d ever feel better again.  The despair began to lift in proportion to the diminishing pressure.  Today I feel good- somewhat.  But I’ll take it.

Thanks for the comments some of you left while I was ill.  Thanks for the prayers too.  Thanks to Rick and Linda for visiting me in the hospital.  Thanks to Daniel for relieving Amy overnight.    And thanks especially to Amy- for cleaning up my mess.

Still Living

Wow!  I guess I took the Summer off.  Actually the last month has been anything but a vacation.  My heart and mind have been overwhelmed  by the dark shadows in the lives of some of the people I love.  I would do anything to lessen their pain, answer their questions or quell the storms they face.  Instead I have felt awkward…painfully inadequate.  Sometimes the contrast between the reality of my  meager helpfulness and what I wish I could do leave me spiritually exhausted.  This is one of those times.

So many are hurting.  Lord, won’t you help them!

Lord save me from contempt for the things which make me strong– Rich Mullins

I don’t believe bad things happen for a reason.  I do believe Adam and Eve began a chain reaction which continues through the dozens of personal choices a person makes in a given day.  From that day in the garden to this one the billions upon billions of bad or selfish free-will decisions that have been made loom over humanity like a towering tidal wave of grief and pain.  The storehouse which contains the accumulated harvest of every bad choice ever made is groaning under the weight.  Every second of every day someone is crushed by the overflow.  Bad things happen to everybody.  No one is spared.  Rain falls on the bad…and the good.  God shows no favoritism.  At least there is an equality to suffering.

However, when I am the one suffering…or you are the one suffering it is so very difficult to not take it personally.  Why is God doing this to me?  Why didn’t He effect another outcome?  Why didn’t he prevent this event from happening?

I don’t believe any of us will ever know how hard it is to be God.  Although I often feel as if I would trade my free-will  for a trouble free life He insists on honoring my autonomy.  I may not understand why, but I can admire Him for His sense of self-control.  In a weirdly twisted way His seeming refusal to help change a particular circumstance can be seen as a badge of honor.  However bad our circumstance might be God believes we can handle it.  More than ever He believes in us at the critical moment we think we have more cause than ever to doubt Him.

Hard stuff happens to all of us.  There may be no greater purpose to their happening than they merely happened.  Just because.  Of greater importance-what gives the event a divinely spiritual meaning- is our response to the event.  While we gallantly struggle with hurt and loss we have no greater cheerleader than our Father.

My flesh still prays- Lord, save me from contempt for the things which make me strong.  I have to pray that because my heart lags far behind my brain in making sense of the hard stuff.