Sunday, April 02, 2006

All in "God's Plan" huh?


"It's all in God's plan." she said with a sort of arrogance one could almost buy at Neiman Marcus. Her nose pointed into the air and filled me with disgust as she tipped her pinkie out, sipping, sipping hot tea on a muggy spring afternoon. Who drinks hot tea when it's almost eighty degrees outside anyway, I asked myself with irrational frustration and dismay. This entire meeting was unnerving.

Then I realized it. It is not in "God's plan" for human beings or any other creature to suffer. What loving, "totally in control" God would purposely cause a child to be molested by a perverted uncle? What kind of "totally in control" God would allow a loving, nurturing, pure & giving person to be continuously screwed over in every aspect of their life?

No, it is irrational that a God who is full of love & personifies love itself would purposely cause suffering. "No", I responded to her with tardiness, "It is NOT in God's plan for these people to suffer or be in pain or to go through hardship. I think that all these horrible things would sadden a God of love. Where God comes in to play is if and when one chooses to bring God's divine light, goodness, or positivity, (which are all aspects of a God of Love) into their lives in spite of their hardship. I see God as more of a clockmaker. He makes the clock and winds it up and lets it run on it's own. The only time he intervenes is if the clock stops ticking altogether. It makes him sad if it doesn't work as well as he wants it to but he chooses not to fix it and to let it run its course on its own, in hopes it might fix itself."

The conversation grew completely silent and I saw a hand raised in front of my face. It was her hand as she said "no more". Why is it that she didn't want to hear more? Was it making her think too much? Was it making her question her blind faith? Good. Blind faith kills a lot of people in the world. Thorough, responsible investigation and analysis, and weighing of evidence helps to prevent extremist views and keep hate from spreading.

So, you may ask yourself Why I seem to feel so much contempt for people who take their religion so fundamentally? Is it because some tend to take their beliefs to such a literal state where they forget the human aspect of life here on earth? Is it because they have been taught that their way is the only way that is correct? Is it because they see their religious doctrine as a reason to single out people and hate? Is it because they tend to see their doctrine as a literal, word-for-word incarnation of God's very own words instead of looking at the context clues that surround the writing of it...meaning fallible men with their own personal, varying life experiences and agendas writing THEIR interpretation and political opinions of the times in which they live?

It's because for years I was forced into attending a church that did not focus on what was important. Never do I remember even once doing anything for charity or thinking of the poor or the unfortunate. I remember being isolated, because I didn't wear the right brand of jeans or because my parents were not doctors or lawyers. Sure, kids can be cruel, but that's not all who were cruel. Adults were just as bad. I remember sitting in the pew, watching men with uptight grimaces, shaking hands, then wiping them off on their pantlegs, or passing out business cards...at church. One time, a black man, wearing traditional African clothing came into our church, bowed with respect and sat quietly to watch the service. People got up and left. This is what I don't understand. It's the hypocrisy, the blind faith and being there for the wrong reasons. The anxiety the church put me through as a child...the constant, on-going talk of hell & brimstone, punishment and death, sin, sin SIN!!! Never did anyone focus on the positive things God or Christ did in existence. It was always about death, hell, sin, and the cross. I appreciate the sacrifice on the cross but let's focus on the good Christ did in his life and ACTUALLY make a TRUE EFFORT to follow that instead of mourning over the cross. I mean, that part is over, right?

Needless to say, I never felt God there. I never felt God anywhere until now. That's because, until a few years ago, I was told that God was in just one faith...one belief...and I thought I was right about that. I thought that might be true. But, now, I have found that it is not. God is everywhere. God is in everything. You have to think on a higher level, however, than black vs. white/good vs. evil/right vs. wrong...and you have to understand that life is full of disappointments, pain, and suffering and that it is not God trying to punish you for something you may have done wrong in the past. I truly believe that. It is because bad things happen in this universe to good people....very good people. It's how you deal with it, how you choose to bring some inkling of positivity into it...break into the divine light...that's what makes the difference.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Transition...

Transition charcoal on paper

Above is my most recent drawing, done yesterday. I was inspired to draw it because of a very close friend who has found herself in a very hard time. However, she has handled her hardship with courage, strength, and confidence. Whether she has noticed it or not, she has grown into a much stronger woman because of it. So the woman in this picture, who looks asleep or in a trance is finally coming out of the darkness and feeling the light shine down upon her skin. It's the moment of transition, the glimpse of the first light with a promise of more to come. This one's for you Dee Anna. I love you!

Do I have a favorite song?

I have never really been able to pinpoint a song that I would call my "favorite song" but I believe that the song by The Verve "Bittersweet Symphony" is the closest thing to it. It moves me and I can identify it, plus it has some gorgeous music in it. The song emotionally charges me and makes me remember the good in my life and the bad in my life from which I can learn.
'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this lifeTrying to make ends meetYou're a slave to money then you die...
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places where all the veins meet yeah...
No change, I can't changeI can't change, I can't change
But I'm here in my mind I am here in my mind
But I'm a million different peoplefrom one day to the next
I can't change my mind No, no, no, no, no, no, no,no,no,no,no,no(fading away)
Well I never prayBut tonight I'm on my knees yeah
I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeahI let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now
But the airways are clean and there's nobody singing to me now
No change, I can't changeI can't change, I can't change
But I'm here in my mind I am here in my mind
And I'm a million different peoplefrom one day to the nextI can't change my mind
No, no, no, no, no, no, noI can't changeI can't change it'
Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
Trying to make ends meet
Trying to find some money then you die
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the placeswhere all the veins meet yeah
You know I can't change, I can't changeI can't change, I can't change
But I'm here in my mind I am here in my mind
And I'm a million different peoplefrom one day to the next
I can't change my mindNo, no, no, no, no
I can't change my mindno, no, no, no, no,I can't changeCan't change my body,no, no, no
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
Been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
That you've ever been down
That you've ever been down

Thank you for your prayers for rain!

Thank you all for your prayers and meditations for rain. It obviously worked! We got a decent amount of rain which, as I am sure you heard, extinguished the fires. Now we are supposed to get snow today! Can you believe that? Snow in Texas in March? Well, it does happen!

You are all wonderful people! I am sorry I was gone for a little while! I needed a break. I will be back creating and sharing more art & writing with you now!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Wild Fires in Texas

To all of my online friends & readers. Please pray, meditate, or send positive thoughts in my direction. The prayers are not for me but for people living not too far for me. I live in the panhandle of Texas and we are experiencing two wildfires currently due to our extreme drought and high winds.

There are two fires burning currently, not too far from me. Six people have died already tonight due to reasons directly and indirectly related to these fires and high winds (car accidents because of poor visibility, smoke inhalation, etc). Many small towns east of my area are being evacuated and many homes have already been lost.

So, your prayers, thoughts, and/or meditations would be greatly appreciated for people in danger in my area.

Thank you all!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Spring!

I don't know about you but I am ready for some springtime weather. I hope, wish, and pray for thunderstorms (but no tornadoes), flowers, and rain. Spring is such a natural, fertilizing time of the year, such a renewal of hope & youth. New offspring of many kinds of animals are born. Beautiful flowers of all shapes and colors are born. Lush colors are born on the ground and in the sky. Life is in the air!

A time to renew, cleanse our souls, cleanse the ground, and simply breathe...



Spring Rain
by Marchette Chute


The storm came up so very quick
It couldn't have been quicker.

I should have brought my hat along,
I should have brought my slicker.

My hair is wet, my feet are wet,
I couldn't be much wetter.
I fell into a river once
But this is even better.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Caged Bird...




When she entered the room, everyone noticed. Her aura filled everyone with joy and excitement. Kindness poured from her fingertips & her smile was gracefully given to all without limit. In her hair she wore beads of many colors...carefully chosen by hand and woven in with love. Breezy skirts seemed to dance against her body when she walked with confidence. Wherever she was, laughter was nearby.

Until last week. Last week she spoke of her new "love". Excitement filled her voice for a day or so. Then she began to change...quickly. As her aura darkened, the laughter faded. After only a few days, she stopped her kind gestures. The beads came out and her hair became neat but unoriginal. The skirts that once flowed around her spirit disappeared and were replaced with sensible slacks. Her smile was gone.

Now she sat in the far corner, studying a Bible with deep solemnity. Almost rude remarks were all we heard from her. Concerned friends flocked to her side to check on her but she pushed them away with irritated looks and cold replies.

I offered her my ear, my shoulder, whatever she needed but she denied anything was wrong. Subtly, I hinted at a change in her disposition. Her responses were that she was trying to get closer to God. Closer to God? Does she not see that she was already close to God? She spoke of God often and seemed to really live his love, his compassion, his energy.

Why then is this once-free bird now caged? It seems the closer she thinks she is trying to get to
God, the further away from God's love she gets. Who holds the key to her shackles? And why does organized and especially evangelical religion so often blind us and force us to seek that which we should be avoiding in to begin with? Is someone forcing her into this plastic mold of forced uniform religion? How can I free this bird?


***photograph by Jesse Chan-Norris @ www.jessechannorris.com.
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