Wednesday, June 01, 2011

What Shocks You?

I don't really enjoy reading the paper or watching the news anymore. I do it because I like to stay informed and up on current events, but let's be honest, its depressing.
A few weeks ago I read about a mother killing her children. I wasn't shocked.
It's getting old.

Every few weeks here in Bermuda now we hear about a shooting. Sometimes they miss, lately they're getting better. Young men are dying.
I'm not shocked anymore.
I've resigned myself to the fact that this is what my island home has been reduced to. The politicians don't seem to give a damn. The police appear to be chasing their tails because that's far more exciting than actually coming up with a concrete plan to stop the gang violence, and the rest of us...well, I guess the rest of us are thinking of Plan B. When it all goes south, which it will at some point, we'll get out.

Sad, isn't it?

Things that angered me, made me shudder and want to rise up in some kind of protest against them just kind of breeze over my head now. Perhaps when you're bombarded with dirt, filth and just plain evil day after day, eventually you inoculate yourself against it.
Maybe that's why so many movies are filled with explicit sex scenes, violent killings and language that would make your Great Aunt Gertrude turn over in her grave more than once.
Maybe we've become so used to the lack of respect that today's young people have for the older generation that we don't even notice it.
Maybe we accept the rebellious teenager or the abusive spouse's behavior because we just don't see any options. And maybe there aren't any. Counseling costs too much. You'd go to the church but the Christians are too busy fighting with each other about what kind of music to play on Sunday or what words should or shouldn't be included in a Christian novel. They didn't even hear you knocking on the door.

Does that shock you?
It should.

I don't know what the answer is. I do know Who the answer is. But I don't see many folk turning to Him anymore.
Faith takes too much work, I guess. You can't text Him and get an immediate answer. Can't meet up at Starbucks for a good old gossip session. We are too busy chasing the things of this world to worry about chasing after God.
He knows where we are, right? If He was that interested, wouldn't He do something about it?
I hear that quite a bit and it makes me smile. Because I know what its like to be hit over the head with God's two by four. Be careful what you ask for.

So I don't know. I don't know why our society is simmering with the stench of rotting garbage. I don't know why those of us who say we believe, who say we stand on the side of grace and mercy and justice aren't doing much about it.
I don't know why I'm not doing much but writing out my feelings through words I can only hope will touch the people who need to read them. Perhaps, in the scheme of things, it is enough. Most days I feel its not.

I do know that the more accepting we become of the things that maybe even a year ago would have made us cringe, the more prevalent they will become.
So today I have two questions for you.

What shocks you?

What are you going to do about it?


Katie Ganshert said...

Powerful and convicting post, Cathy. Most days, I'm still trying to figure out what I can do. It's like....I read stuff like this and I think, "I have to DO something." But then I go about my day and get sucked into my own selfish world. :(

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I'm taking a Bible study that has been shocking me into action...Becoming a Good Samaritan.

So powerful.
~ Wendy

Maggie said...

I call this desensitization, and it is very real. When I was about 18 I decided to not watch rated R movies any more, and the good news is, after a few years, our innocent-ness tends to return!
My husband and I accidentally rented a "non-rated" movie a few years back thinking it was PG-13, we were SHOCKED within the first thirty minutes and promptly returned the video to the store without watching it.
Just think if everyone started taking tiny steps. Maybe, just maybe, media folks would stop making things so shocking, if no one were watching it anymore.??

Walt Mussell said...

It's hard to know what will shock me. I think what shocks me the most is that my kids deal with a lot more at their ages than I did at their ages.

Heidi Willis said...

Really great post. I totally get this.

I'm shocked by the kind of language and sex that's considered acceptable in kids and teens books.

I admit that when my ten year old had to read a book in class that she brought to me a week later and showed me the language in it, I didn't go yelling to the school. I used it as a teachable moment with her, but I feel like I've let her down.

Do I shelter her, or teach her to be godly in an ungodly world? I'm still struggling with this.

Catherine West said...

We have had a couple of movies lately that we've had to turn off. I have to conclude that 'baring it all' is perfectly acceptable to Hollywood nowadays as it seems prevalent in almost every movie they make - and a lot of times you can tell it's just to boost ratings. Sad. Language is the same. I don't know about books so much as the ones I read only have miid language, which I can deal with. I guess it's all about knowing where your limits are and what you're willing to put up with and what you can't. I'm learning this in my writing as well.

Michelle DeRusha@Graceful said...

I'm shocked that more than a billion people in the world live without access to clean water -- and I'm shocked by how much water I waste, especially in light of that terrible statistic. I'm getting on board with an org. called Charity Water, which is aiming to raise $1 million during the month of June. Sounds like a big challenge, I know. But all things are possible for Him, right?

Really, really good post, Catherine.