A title should come along eventually…

I’ve been away from the world of the blog for a long time now. Some things have changed, but others (conveniently) remain the same. I don’t think I’m going to take all the time in the world to update you on everything but I will give you the following bullet points regarding life in general:

-My job ends at the end of July. It’s something that I am ready for. I’ve learned a lot on the job this year and in general I note that it has seemed to develop in me a dogged sense of perseverance. I feel like I’ve learned a bit what the apostle Paul talked about when he said “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” In other words, I reckon I’ve learned to hold on to Jesus even if that turns out to be all that I do.

I also realized today (and in a few other days past) that I am able to look back on the things that I have done and see the Lord at work in my life. I can see looking back the things that I never could in the moments. I get to notice that God’s plan for my good doesn’t appear to be hindered by my brokenness, and whats more it looks like praying and reading scripture while in community might be the only really worthwhile things that I can actually ever do. It’s disarming to me to notice that I stand upon solid ground in Christ and that the battle was never really mine to win. It’s always been the Lord’s. I’m just there participating.

-I’m going to Europe in August! Super pumped for a two month journey that will be a completely new and (hopefully worthwhile) experience. Not to mention super fun. I’m excited to meet new friends abroad.

I find that I look on the idea of going places in a different sense than many people.  I don’t really care too much about the things that I see, mostly I am excited to experience life with people in other countries and hopefully build a few relationships. It doesn’t matter to me if I miss a key castle or something, the thing that I want is to find relationships/friendships that are uplifting and beneficial. In essence if I walk out of Europe with a vast quantity of photos but few friends, I will regret not having talked to more people.

That’s the end of the bullet points. I’m going to try and blog the whole European adventure. Hopefully that will happen. The last time I did it in Costa Rica it was greatly valuable. Stay tuned I guess.

The other day I watched this movie called “Sin Nombre” or “without a name”. It’s this Mexican movie that chronicles the life of a gang and a girl’s trip to the US from Guatemala. Both things are difficult to watch. To be honest the gang part was the hardest to watch. It’s a disturbingly real portrayal of how gang members are initiated and taught that “family” means those who will kill for you.

In watching this movie I couldn’t help but feel that these gang members are mislead. In effect, they are in some ways the manifestation of the self-justification of the fallen-ness of the world. Their “family” is only a family in-so-much that it is not perpetual loneliness and death on the street, but in that space of claiming as good that which is not the film seems to point to the fact that the death on the street that they avoid results the spiritual death that they experience in life. In “surviving” and claiming territory they are really just killing the most important parts of themselves and causing the death on the street that they “avoided” by joining the gang.

The family they claim seems to be a family forged by the brainwashing of violence and the solitary togetherness of those who can’t feel the evil that they cause… or even the evil that is claiming them through their actions.

Looking at all this reality, it’d be super easy to simply walk away and say that “there is no solution, God has abandoned us.” But the most real reality in existence is not our own fallen-ness, but rather the resurrection of Jesus Christ (aka the eternal victory of the Living God over the fallen-ness of the world and the sin and death in which we are entangled). In other words: God hasn’t abandoned us. He is our Victory. The powers of darkness can twist the image of God in humans, but they cannot stifle, stop, or change the victory of God.

The victory that the church proclaims in the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the final word. The demonstration of gangland evil in the midst of our brokenness is something that we need to learn to see in the perspective of  the teacher from Ecclesiastes “This too shall pass.” Better said, maybe we need to learn to look at life through the Cross and the Resurrection, instead at looking at life as our eyes see it to be.  We can acknowledge the suffering and the reality of evil and then move on to say that this is not the end of the life to which we are called. We don’t just suffer and die. We rise again with, in, and through Christ.

The movie was worth seeing by all means, I guess that I would just make the point that it was only one perspective.