Tag Archives: Galatians
Aside

meditation 10: ‘Spirited Away’

12 Aug

meditation 10: ‘Spirited Away’

fruit of the spirit, kind gentleness-Beauty is…kindness & gentleness, working together as one fruit

People can be raised, born with gentleness, with ‘kind’ touches, voices and seeing yet not probing eyes. Their ‘kindness’ comes in large part from their gentle characters. Some are even born with this ‘gentle’ gift. Some are raised to be gentle. Christians, though, are to be ‘spirited away.’ We are fruit; and we are made, ‘spirited’ by a gift. Then we become one fruit with multiple rich, exotic tastes. Our lives are what are being tasted, by others, our lovers, our children, our family, our friends and community. Ourselves. We are to become gentle kindness.

As I practice the kindness I am not borne but gifted with, I become gentle. Spirited kindness creates gentleness in me. I was borne neither gentle nor kind. I was raised with wolves. Niccolo Machiavelli said in ‘The Prince@ that ‘a man who strives after goodness in all his acts is sure to come to ruin, since there are so many men who are not good.’ Yes, Nick. Quite correct. If I strive, I die in ruin. But if I am ‘Spirited…

Slowly I am reformed in another, His, image. This is the practice of a Christian walk; it is practice and fruit of the spirit. I cannot do it by my own will for any sustained period. If I try on my own, if I strive, l become a Real Zombie soon enough; created by my own sinful desire, without His Spirit. A hallow man. A Zombie who can’t feel; can’t taste. I devour what I see more and more. Even the desire to be ‘goodness’ will devour. I taste nothing. I become Zombies, yes Zombies in the plural. Multiple, real real aspects of my own sinful desires that seek to become flesh, my own flesh and blood. Zombies. And I battle them every day. Sinful desires that also want my Spirit. And I lose some days. But other days I am healed. I become real, living, Spirited.

Paul speaks of how a hurt brother or sister is to be restored in Galatians: ‘Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted’. Galatians 6:1

Paul is telling us, me, a Real Zombie can come back to a living being. We Zombies just need gentleness, kind gentleness. How? Who heals?

Gently, as a physician setting or putting in place a broken bone. That is how. That is the meaning of the English word “restore.” ‘Restore’ translates a Greek word (katartizein), a word with multiple meanings. Its primary meaning as a Greek word is ‘to set a broken bone.’ A broken bone is both painful and useless. The broken leg doesn’t walk. The broken hand doesn’t hold. The broken limb simply doesn’t work. And it is painful. Pain needs, thirsts for gentleness, kindness. My definition of ‘restore’ is Spirited. Physicans gently restore spirit by the Spirit. That is my thirst, a desire to taste His Spirit.

Years past I was hit by a car when crossing a street. My leg was shattered in two places. After many months I started physiotherapy. I will never forget my first day in the physio office: directly across the way from me in an adjoining room sat a woman gently caressing her leg, recently broken and slowly healing. There was, there is something about a gentle touch that heals; even if you do it to, for, yourself. And we, she, did not do it once but many times, back and forth her hands moved over her scarred leg. We need this touch to be, to become human. And then we need the Spirit’s touch to become more than human, but never less than ourselves. We need the Spirit’s touch o become like Him. A living touch that is not afraid to reach out and heal, even a Zombie that threatens to devour. A gentle, kind touch.

This is fruit: gentleness and kindness working together. One is begetting the other; kindness growing as a child forming other acts of kindness. This is His Spirit.: fruit bearing fruit, gentleness forming/engendering kindness. Kindness, in its turn creating gentleness. Goodness ruining evil.

Taste and see; taste and envision; taste fruit of His Spirit and live. This is living fruit that gives life. Good Life. His life. He is good.

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meditation 8: acts of the sinful nature, fleshly worship of real Zombies

10 Jul

“Bling Ring & Act of Killing”
Fleshy worship, Zombies

“World War Z”; “The Walking Dead”; George Romero’s black and white “Night of the Living Dead” are not Zombie movies. No way; no how.

Real Zombies walk among us. No grunts, no soft moans. They speak in affected accents. They move quickly when they see flesh they covet. Their only thought is to consume. Real life walking breathing semi-living Zombies are the fruit of one desire: the worship of their own flesh.

Two recent pseudo film documentaries attempt to give “Zombie” portraits, “The Act of Killing” and “The Bling Ring.” Both fail miserably. Why? Both give our Zombies what they so desire: eternal images of their own flesh which they can consume eternally. Both end with a main character watching themselves in media, dressed to the 9s. One character encourages us to go their web site which has “4ever” in the address. The older other film’s main character wakes his grandchildren from their sleep so they can watch his “torture” and “death” on film. In the end both films themselves become “Zombies”: worshippers of their own cinematic flesh. How?
Each film glances uncritically at the images, the surfaces, created and recreated over and over by the Zombies. One has a teen group that steals in the same way with the same method repeatedly; the other has older murderers recreating their crimes over and over for the cameras. What makes both groups Zombies is how they unthinkably worship of their own images. Young and old alike. They can’t stop watching themselves. They are eating their own flesh. (Oppenheimer’s Zombies re-enact their crimes for the cameras; Coppola went Hollywood and used “actors.)
Both character groups “dress up” for their parts. They create images from their views of the world: movie “gangsters” (or “free men” as they are called in “The Act of Killing”) and celebrities, such as Paris Hilton, in “the Bling Ring.”

Both films’ Real Zombies eat with their eyes. First, their sight is taken and absorbed by the world around them. But they want your eyes and souls too. The films fail because they give Zombies what they desire: their own created flesh absorbing mages. The films do not question, or offer a counter point, another voice or image. Only Zombies speak and are seen. The film genre itself is the first victim.

And the filmmakers, Sofia Coppola and Joshua Oppenheimer are the second victims.

Both directors are captivated by a “real story.” Coppola by the “Vanity Fair” story about a teenagers in California who went from house to house stealing whatever was immediately at hand . Oppenheimer’s criminals are murderers. In 1965 Indonesia they murdered thousands of Chinese and communists and trade union workers/organisers. They go from house to house to torture and murder.

Each director places these Zombies and their stories before us. They let them speak and eat for themselves. And for us. There is no critical discussion of their “stories.” Tellingly, in both films, the victims’ voices are never heard or mentioned. The dead, whether physical or spiritual, do not speak. This is both directors’ ultimate failing. But…

Why and how we’re these zombies made?

Paul in Galatians speaks,

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself. “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh are obvious…”

Zombies use their freedom to indulge in the flesh. They worship themselves and images of flesh, the world. Ultimately, they destroy, they eat each other.

Real Zombies are not obvious. But their acts, their worship is: our fleshly world. And they are coming for me and you,

Our only escape? Walk not with the dead, the flesh, but in the Spirit. Walk in love with the living. Listen to their voices; let them speak. Their voice may surprise you.