Stories that Matter

What In The World?

The past few days I’ve been reading news stories, blogs, Facebook posts and Tweets, and I shake my head.

The first story that grabbed my attention and won’t let go is this one – African Rock Python Escapes, Kills Two Boys. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2013/08/09/nb-illegal-animals-campbellton-snake.html

Say what? How the heck does this kind of thing happen? It’s so tragic I can’t get my head around it. It’s so unreal. Unbelievable. And there seem to be a lot of unanswered questions here. I just can’t stop thinking about those two innocents, and the horrific agony their parents are now dealing with. 

A few days ago, a friend of mine shared this link – which I posted on my Facebook page today.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml8bQDnnkKk]

I’m really scratching my head here. Is THIS how the world perceives the Christian Church? Is this how the Christian Church WANTS to be perceived? I mean…really? I’m just asking.

If that wasn’t enough, yesterday morning, the same friend posted a clip of what she and her young son had seen during a commercial, while watching Good Morning America. Morning being the operative word here. 8 AM to be precise. You can read about it here – Rebeca’s Blog

Then there are kidnappings, murders, mistaken identities…the list is endless. Another example, Game of Thrones. I likes the premise, checked out the book and it seemed okay – I enjoy a fantasy series and I thought this would be something similar to Lord of The Rings. So we purchased Season One. Um. No. There are scenes in some of the episodes that are just pornographic. No other way to put it. The story? I would watch it. I would keep watching it because I like the characters – there is good and evil and you want to see who is going to win. So why do we need to be accosted by graphic images that do absolutely nothing to enhance the story or plot? They are simply there to boost ratings I imagine, but quite frankly, I’m disgusted. And annoyed because HBO has ruined what could have been a good story.

Yes, I realize this is 2013. I realize there are many, many instances like the ones above that go on daily, minute by minute. And I shouldn’t give a crap because there isn’t anything I can do about it. Right?

Wrong.

I believe I am held accountable to a higher power. I believe that when I see something wrong, something I disagree with, my response should not merely be turn off the television, put that book down, switch off the radio. My response should be a call to action. I should be so flipping mad that I want to pick up the phone and call ABC, HBO or whoever has offended me. Most of the time I don’t. I shrug and say, yup, that’s the world. I have become apathetic.

And that’s not right.

The thing is, we’ve all been given different gifts. Some of us are gifted musically, some of us can paint beautiful pictures, some write poetry, others write books, others put written words on the big screen.  There are so many beautiful things we can create in this world. Why are we settling for this junk? The dregs, the bitter coffee grinds that somehow made it to the bottom of the cup and now swirl around your mouth. Swallow or spit?

Spit, dammit. And spit hard.

It’s too easy to stay in the shelter of our homes, shut the windows, bar the doors and ignore the real world. Don’t make friends who don’t share your beliefs. Don’t read anything other than Christian fiction. Don’t listen to the radio unless it’s KLove or some other Christian station that will play feel good stuff and turn your eyes toward Jesus. Don’t… There are so many DON’Ts here…but what are we DOING?

How can we change the world if we refuse to live in it? The world will tell you it doesn’t want to be changed. People will tell you they don’t want to hear you talk about your faith. The Christian Church has lost credibility in recent years because of our refusal to take our heads out of the sand. And that is me being polite.

I’ve struggled a lot with the issues within Christian publishing lately. What’s acceptable, what’s not. And I’ve finally found some peace with it. Christian publishing was created for Christians. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I believe that’s the bottom line. We’re writing to entertain ourselves. And given all of the above, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. We do need a certain amount of safety when we open a book or turn on the television or go to a movie. But if you are a Christian who wants to make an impact on the world, I’m starting to think that sticking within the confines of CBA  is a lot like preaching to the choir. Don’t get me wrong, the choir needs preaching to. They need challenging, life-affirming, Spirit filled messages that will not encourage and equip them to be in the world but not of it. But what about the folks out on the street? They won’t come into the building so they won’t hear the message. Are we okay with this? They’re okay with it.

They don’t know anything different. 

For God’s sake, can we give them something different? For their sake.

I don’t feel I can close this out without sharing one more thing. Another news story. You’ve probably seen it plastered over Facebook – the mysterious priest who showed up at the scene of an accident. Why do we need an explanation? Why must we explain away the unexplainable?

I am instantly reminded of words Beth Moore spoke during her Believing God series, that have stuck with me. We see little because we believe little. We believe little because we see little. 

I don’t know about you, but I believe God can do miracles. I believe God can change the world.

One person at a time.

And maybe it starts with me. And you.

Take a stand. Do something.

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4 Comments

  1. Rebeca Seitz on August 9, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Thanks so much for this post, Cathy. I agree. We’ve GOT to offer something different. We can’t just be a people of, “No.” That’s why we created SON: Spirit Of Naples – to help get good content created and distributed. Would love to have you join us! (spiritofnaples.com)

    • Cathy West on August 10, 2013 at 11:33 am

      Thanks, Rebeca! I’m so glad there are folks like you out there vying for much needed change in how Christian fiction/movies are viewed. 🙂

  2. Denise Morgan on August 10, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Hear!Hear!Well said!! God has emboldened you to speak what should be spoken. Blessings on you!
    We are to be in the world but not of the world. We are to be engaged in the culture and do whatever we can to be light and salt and point the way to Christ. It is not easy not pretty.
    I have put down and thrown away the book, unplugged the TV and use much discernment in what I involve myself with.
    With that said I do what I can in my corner of the world to be an example of Christ to all – Christians and non-Christians alike. I too often fail and miss an opportunity but that is the great thing about God – He is the God of second chances. And third, And fourth. Etc. And I thank Him for that because I am human.
    What God has called you to write is what you should write. Just because it isn’t pink cotton candy fluff and they lived happily ever after shouldn’t stop you. We need to hear that in spite of all of our failings God still loves us.
    He forgives us and wants us to keep on becoming more like His Son Jesus.
    He cares about us but He never promised a perfect life this side of heaven.
    In fact, it is stated quite clearly that once you become a believer that Satan will increase his attacks and life will most assuredly be difficult.
    We are to do what we can with what we got.
    So keep on doing what you can with what you got.
    I am so looking forward to what you write next.
    Thank you for what you do and God bless you and yours.

    • Cathy West on August 10, 2013 at 11:35 am

      Thanks, Denise! I agree, it’s really hard to live in the world and still strive for righteousness, but God does equip us. I think we need to figure out where each of us is meant to be. It’s an exciting journey for sure! 🙂

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