April 4, 2010

Violence Boycott: Easter Edition

I am not a very religious person at all, not even as religious as some people think I am.  I definitely count my blessings, and I am constantly amazed at the wonders and mysteries of Life, the Universe, and Everything, but as far as having the answers to anything or agreeing wholeheartedly with those who claim to have the answers, I actively run with the skeptics.  I would never say you're wrong about your beliefs and faith, and I'm not in the "Oh yeah, then prove it" camp, it's more along the lines of we'll all eventually find out, one way or another, so let's enjoy and appreciate what we have in the here and now (and that includes faith and religion).

Getting to the point, I've never been a big Easter fan.  Love Palm Sunday, riding in on the donkey amidst adoring fans, the Beatitudes, water into wine*... The poignant, heart wrenching discussions with Pilate, disciples, and the Father, taking the ultimate step...  Love the empty tomb, the incredulous disciples ( What?!? You mean he did what he said he was gonna do even though we were thick-headed and couldn't follow his metaphors? Again?!?! )  and then walking along the country road with the dudes before heading up to prepare my mansion -- great stuff.

But the whole fixation on the suffering, the pain, the blood, the torture... nope, not my cup.  It's not being squeamish, I understand that horrific drama may be necessary to get a serious point across (i.e. Toni Morrison's Beloved) but I've heard pastors talk in detail about the agony and physical effects of crucifixion every sermon for a month of Sundays, as the saying goes, and Christmas pageants turned into Passion plays.  I understand the tradition behind the recreations, walking in His footsteps and realistically portraying the sacrifice required, but does Family Night at the Movies need to show Mel Gibson's Jesus movie at 5, 7, and 9:00 ("All His Blood and Gore Now in High Def!") ?

All I'm saying is, for me and mine, let's focus on the up, on the rebirth and renewal, on the hope.  Let's be aware of the good, the amazement, the potential that Easter and Spring and Faith can provide us.  We reminisce about our ancestors by telling stories of beans in a nose, meatloaf on the satellite dish, and orphans running the streets with Babe Ruth, not constantly discussing the way they died.  We honor our heroes with ceremonies solemn and severe, but then we revel in their deeds and their lives get larger in the telling, not their deaths.  We treasure the births of our children, their first words and steps, the classroom achievements and playground victories, and we retell those stories and every graduation, wedding, and even funeral because that is how we want to remember our loved ones and our lives shared with them, because that is how we want to carry them forward with us, whether they are physically near us or not.  We want to treasure the hope of the first baby steps, the victory of young adults venturing out into the world, the satisfaction of grandchildren.  We should not wallow in the pain and sacrifice it took to create the joy, but delightfully and jubilantly celebrate the joy itself.

*I confess, I may have some of the details/timeline mixed up, didn't do much fact checking.  I think I got the gist of the events.


Slim said...

"We reminisce about our ancestors by telling stories of beans in a nose, meatloaf on the satellite dish, and orphans running the streets with Babe Ruth"

I've heard the bean story and the Babe Ruth story, but I am unfamiliar with teh meatloaf story. I would like to hear that one!

And I appreciate and very much agree with your sentiment. This is why I decided to refrain from books/movies/shows/new stories where children die. I know it happens, but I'm choosing to focus on the more positive things in life.


Joel said...

I still remember watching the Travolta/Cage flick FaceOff and almost being sick in the theater when a boy was shot and killed. I'm sure it was right after Kurt was born.
Just because it happens doesn't mean we have to accept it, like it, or use it for "entertainment"
Hugs back at ya!