Saturday, June 25, 2011
A conversation between Sara and the rational thinking fairy:
Rational thinking fairy: "Hi, Sara! Boy, we sure haven't talked in awhile. How are things going lately?"
Sara: "Rational thinking fairy, you are a bitch! Life is terrible! Everything is meaningless and no one cares about anyone and my hair looks bad today! Also, I saw a boy mowing the lawn, and it frankly just ruined my whole month because clearly that boy has no meaning in life and probably eats little debbie snack cakes and thinks racist thoughts about Dora the Explorer."
Rational thinking fairy: "Wow, Sara. Those are some extreme words you're using. 'Terrible.' 'Meaningless.' You speak about meaning a lot. Why do you think that is?"
Sara: "Hmm, what a fine question. Let me take a minute to gather my thoughts. oh. IT'S PROBABLY BECAUSE I HAVE NONE."
Rational thinking fairy: "Sara, what are you preaching on tomorrow?"
Sara: "I'm preaching about how everything is terrible and everyone hates everyone."
Rational thinking fairy: "That sounds like a very inspirational message."
Sara: I say it again! Rational thinking fairy, you are a bitch!"
Rational thinking fairy: "What are you really preaching about?"
Sara: "I'm preaching on Psalm 13 -- 'how long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?" I've been walking through the cemetery and trying to think as many depressing thoughts as possible. I've been trying to gather up all the world's pain and store it in my heart."
Rational thinking fairy: "How is that helpful?"
Sara: "It's not. It's a terrible way to live life. But I think my spiritual gift is to be morose. I think that God calls me to see through the lens of brokenness. I think that pastors should be happy no more than 40% of the time. If they're happy any more than that, they're probably not doing their job well."
Rational thinking fairy: "So, you think God wants us to be unhappy?"
Rational thinking fairy: "I believe you just said as much."
Sara: "Of course I did. I do believe that as an internal reality. But our conversation is in the realm of external reality. ALSO YOU'RE THE RATIONAL THINKING FAIRY. You're helping me see more clearly."
Rational thinking fairy: "Maybe you should say something about Jesus during your sermon."
Sara: "I do. I say that sometimes it feels like Jesus body slams us into a wall and walks away laughing."
Rational thinking fairy: "Sara. Sara! Don't say that. Do you understand me? Don't tell people that Jesus hates them."
Sara: "Why not?
Rational thinking fairy: "Because that's not what you believe. Listen to me. I'm the rational thinking fairy, and I'm here to speak truth into your life. Make an outline. Make some goals. Get your work done. And then move on. Stop thinking that your sermon is going to make everyone lose their faith. That is a false reality. Also, your hair looks fine today. It really does. People really do care for one another, and if you would open your eyes, you'd see that the human condition is outrageously beautiful."
Sara: "Rational thinking fairy, it's like you are rubbing cold cream on my soul. I mean, it feels really good. Your words. Your help."
Rational thinking fairy: "It's not me. It's God working through me."
Sara: "You say that, but I know you secretly want the affirmation. Just accept it. You are a good fairy. You are good at what you do."
Rational thinking fairy: "Fine. Thank you. I appreciate that. A final word of advice, though? Don't begin your sermon with the sentence: "I'm not particularly fond of human beings." Remember, people are not THAT comfortable with your neuroses when they don't know you."
Sara: "Good advice. I will instead start with a hilarious story about Hitler."
Friday, May 27, 2011
Scene: 3 young hipster wannabes sit upstairs in a coffee shop. A jock is in the corner. His presence creates an uncomfortable tension. Mesh shorts and Powerade? Really? Nobody knows why he is there. Summer school, probably. It is clear he has read no Foucault in the recent months.
An elderly man walks up the stairs. He surveys the room and sees that he does not belong. He trudges over to the corner, sits down, and unwraps his turkey sandwich on wheat. The hipster wannabes decide this is okay. After all, ageism is not trendy.
A woman walks up the stairs with clacky heels. The hipsters are appalled. "Did she not see the sign?!? -- "handmade moccasins ONLY?!?" The woman is oblivious to any of the rules. She enters into the dead silence and shouts across the room to the elderly man.
Clacky heel woman: "FOR THE RECORD, I'M NOT LATE! Geoffrey, you know, my little dachshund, Geoffrey?? Well, we were just at the vet. Can you believe he's 12 pounds overweight? He never eats ANYTHING!"
Elderly man: (boisterous, insincere laughter)
Clacky heel woman: "Oh my, it's completely silent in here! Oh good! That means I can talk as loudly as I want and no one will care! Would you like to hear the funniest story about the bath I took last night?! Hahahaha, Geoffrey climbed right up into the tub!"
Hipster girl wearing brightly patterned dress: (begins directing passive-aggressive glances at the oblivious couple)
Hipster boy with floppy hair and a poetry anthology: (begins directing passive-aggressive glances at the oblivious couple)
Jock: (Oblivious; continues work on laptop)
Clacky heel woman: "WELL LET'S GET STARTED. I have such a great plan for selling cupcakes to dogs! Healthy cupcakes, mind you! OBESE DOGS ARE VERY SUSCEPTIBLE TO DEPRESSION. Geoffrey has been on Prozac for 10 months now, and I can tell that he is still morose!"
Hipster Girl: (increased passive-aggressive glances, coupled with drawn-out sighs)
Hipster Boy: (increased passive-aggressive glances, coupled with a showy exit to express his exasperation)
Clacky Heel woman: "HAHA! HAHA! RUINING EVERYONE'S DAY IS MY FAVORITE!"
Elderly man: "HAHA! HAHA! We're the only ones talking! Our ideas are so good! I bet everyone loves listening to them! I am so wise! These young hipsters must think I am so wise!"
The hipsters are disgusted. Unable to control the obtrusive man and woman, they insert their earbuds into their Macbooks and begin loudly listening to Sigur Ros. They will later write witty stories about this in their moleskine notebooks and then transfer them to their tumblr. Life is pain.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
I thoroughly loathe you. I want to cut off your appendages and eat them while you watch me and weep. I want to destroy you. I hate you I hate you I hate you.
You are an evil lover. You seduce me with your sweet success, and then you beat me late into the night. I want to murder you. My hate for you is so strong.
You know, though, that I will come back to you. You know that even as I write this, I won't leave you. I will return to you. I will always return.
But I hate you. I so throughly hate you.
Monday, May 2, 2011
This is Professor ______. I was just writing to tell you that you don't have to write your final paper for me!
For the last two months, you've had that "I-don't-give-a-shit" look on your face, and I totally understand because, let's face it, I don't give a shit either.
Although you almost never spoke in class, I could just really tell that you are brilliant, and so I am giving you an A. I'd also like to break down the walls of our student-teacher relationship--would you like to hang out sometime? Maybe go dress shopping and grab some drinks?
Hell, since you don't have to write your final paper, are you free tonight? I just find you to be a fascinating person, and I would be so honored to keep company with you.
Eagerly anticipating our friendship,
Friday, April 29, 2011
For my morning devotional, I read Katy Perry lyrics. She raises some good questions:
"Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?"
Every day, Katy, every day. I need your help.
"You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine. Just own the night like the Fourth of July. Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!" You're gunna leave 'em fallin' down-own-own."
Morning devotional brought to you by Katy Perry. Praise the Lord!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
[In regard to the King James Version]
"To all the women who read the Sacred Scriptures: We have left the male gender where the original text called for it. Please give yourself a special spiritual treat, substitute the word woman for man when you read these pages. Together we will feel that the Book was written just for ourselves."
-- Robert Schuller, Possibility Thinkers Bible
Dear Dr. Portier-Young,
He is risen! He is risen, indeed! I hope your journey to the cross was meaningful. This cross, this death, this resurrection--what wondrous love is this? Oh, my soul.
Anyway, I was writing to see if you would consider granting me an extension. I got so caught up in the death our Savior (He is risen! He is risen, indeed!) that I did not have enough time to work on my final paper (It seemed wrong to research while grieving the death of my Lord).
Let me know your thoughts,
Dear Dr. Bowler,
When I was reading your dissertation, which was so, so good, you referenced The Art of Counseling by Rollo May (1967). As your writing about this book was so lively and altogether wonderful, I excitedly picked up a copy and found this treasure:
"The teacher without empathy is like a motor car with the gears unmeshed--the motor races, making a noise as ineffectual as 'sounding brass and a clanging cymbal.'"
I have decided not to write my final paper.
Dear Dr. Wacker,
I sat down for my morning devotionals the other day and before I knew it, it was 10 pm! I guess I got caught up in an ecstatic vision of my Lord.
Anyway, I'm running behind on my work now. Would you consider granting me an extension?
1 Thessalonians 5:17 -- "Pray Continually"
Dear Dr. Wirzba,
How good is our Lord. Oh, that we might fall before our God and praise Him!
I am writing to thank you for teaching me to see the world. You have enlivened my vision, teaching me to see Christ in apple blossoms, robins, and soil. Your advice to take a break from school and walk through Duke Gardens has changed my life. Thank you for teaching me to pause and taste the world.
I have decided to continue pausing. I will not be writing my final paper.
Thanks for teaching me to see Christ!