Saturday, January 28, 2012

"I can't stand your religious meetings"

I used to make fun of the Message paraphrase Bible. Okay, well, I didn't make fun of it... but there was a passage that I thought was funny.

Psalm 6:1-3 ESV

"O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord- how long?

Psalm 6:1-3 The Message

"Please, God, no more yelling, no more trips to the woodshed. Treat me nice for a change; I'm so starved for affection. Can't you see I'm black and blue, beat up badly in bones and soul? God, how long will it take for you to let up?"

Now, that, I simply found funny.

But I was also "against" The Message. I've changed my mind now. Though it's important to view it as what it is. A paraphrase. It's one man's, Eugene Peterson, thoughts and interpretations of the scripture. Most translations have nearly or more than 100 different translators working together. The Message would never be my sole version of the scripture... but reading it along side a more accurate translation can be beneficial.

I still think The Message wording in Psalm 6 is funny. However, a lot less funny, in fact, it seems to step on my toes til it hurts, is a passage in Amos.

Amos 5:21-24 The Message

"I can't stand your religious meetings. I'm fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I'm sick of your fund-raising schemes, your public relations and image making. I've had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want justice- oceans of it. I want fairness- rivers of it. That's what I want. That's all I want."

Yeah. Ouch.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

i'm not a survivor

I don't think of myself as a Haiti earthquake survivor. Yes, I was there. Yes, I lived through it. The dictionary says a survivor is "a person remaining alive after an event in which others have died". So I guess that would make me a survivor. But, I think of a survivor as someone who fought to live. Who struggled through and made it out. As horrific of an experience as the earthquake was for me... my story does not even compare to others. I wasn't not in a building that collapsed. I was not injured. I was not buried alive or stuck somewhere for days. I didn't lose any family members. I didn't lose my house or my possessions. I didn't go without food or water. Those are the survivors.