I was thinking today about how our image of God (if you have one) colors who we are and how we think. If anthropology tells us correctly the images of God dug up from very old civilizations were mostly feminine. Women with bulbous breasts and often pregnant. The idea that women created life brought about ideas of their sacredness.
I don’t know that I have ever read any study that gives a step by step progression of how and why that image changed. Might be fun to look that up but I suspect it had to do with the shift from a hunter-gatherer society to a less mobile farming one. As civilization progressed roles continued to be defined and somehow the God as woman shifted. In many cultures there were multiple Gods connected with the perception that Gods controlled the vagaries of the earth and could be appealed to to bring good outcomes.
As God, melded into a single entity in several cultures that entity was primarily male. Our Christian beginnings, linked to the Jewish culture, were firmly entrenched in a male image.
All this being said how does this affect how we think? If we see a male, patriarchal God we will expect a male dominated society. Our society has had this aspect for quite a long time. If we believe in a God we have to learn to see God as more. God as feminine, God as neutral, God as gay, transgender or whatever allows us to feel connected with the divine. This idea can be offensive to some but the point is we connect with a God who is like us for right or wrong. That is why some people have had a difficult time with images of god. The image we have definitely colors our thinking. It is time we espouse a very broad image. After all, we can’t possibly grasp the infinite. Don’t put God in a box.
This is a re-blog of something I wrote a while ago. It came up recently and so I thought it needed to be said again.
People can say stupid things. It is amazing to me that they don’t really think about what they are saying. When I ran a grief support group I heard some goodies.
You can have another baby (to someone who just had a miscarriage)
God needed another angel in heaven ( to someone who lost a child)
Your husband wouldn’t want you to be sad (to a new widow)
I’m sure things are better now (to someone whose wife died a few months ago)
God never gives us more than we can handle (to someone who lost two teenagers in an accident)
Everything will be alright (to someone diagnosed with a fatal illness)
Sometimes when we don’t know what to say we can fall into the trap of saying something stupid or offensive. We may not mean it that way but that is how it comes out. When people are going through tough times they don’t need to hear these kind of answers. They need to hear
Can I bring dinner by tomorrow?
I’m going to a movie tomorrow can I pick you up?
I am so sorry
I will call you soon (only if you really will)
Give a hug
Cry with them
Solid concrete help is what is needed. Only say what you mean. If you can help try to do something specific. Don’t just say “how can I help?” Instead ask if you can pick up children, run an errand, offer a day out. Each individual needs different things. You have to gauge what will help.
Most importantly offer compassion and love. Nothing is more needed. If you have suffered a similar loss you may understand better what they are going through but don’t assume it will be exactly the same. Just being there is critical. Don’t just say something…..do something!
I don’t know how many of you have good friends but I sure hope you do. A good friend, a lifetime friend is a treasure beyond compare. Most of us are blessed if there is one such person in our lives. Some people in our lives are friends and they may be kind a caring but they are still not the one who would back you up if the whole world was against you.
I have been thinking about this because three years ago in January I lost one of those friends. We knew the good and bad about each other and it didn’t matter. We didn’t live close for quite a while but on the phone it was as if we had seen each other the day before. Nothing ever changed the link we had with each other.
During her illness I was blessed to live close enough to help her and was with her when she faced her death. She was the kind of person who drew people to her and many mourned her passing. She, like me, was not perfect but she was my friend.
Following are some excerpts from Proverbs that have to do with a wife but they apply to her friendship with me also.
A good wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
20 She opens her hands to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
When my son was engaged he asked my husband ( a gifted carpenter) to make a bed for them. He made a beautiful four poster bed. I wrote the following poem about it.
Its posts are silky
as the sanding is done
each coat of finish
a step of love
as loving as the lives
who will rest and love
in its grasp
the work of finishing
will be done
but the love nurtured in its depths
outside the flag whips in the wind
bleak and grey the skies loom overhead
the tide in the river fights to retreat
but the wind pushes up waves to impede
my view causes me to shudder
as if the wind can slide into the room
and bring its chill within
cold, cold, its mood is bleak
cold, cold my mood in response
mirroring the withering view
waiting, the kind sun to return
and bring its joy to lift my soul
© Suzanne Boyd 2018
This may not be a very popular thing to say but recently I have realized that we live in a dictatorship. It is no longer what it set out to be. When the people who govern the nation, even though elected, make laws that do not apply to them, raise their own salaries, have their own healthcare and retire with all the benefits they have been living under while in office then it is not a democracy or a democratic republic. It is a dictatorship by a group.
Dictatorship in this instance refers to an autocratic form of absolute rule by leadership unrestricted by laws, constitutions, or other social and political factors within the state. (I found this on the web with no attribution, sounds similar to what is happening.)
This is certainly not what the founders envisioned. They thought that representatives of the people would serve for a while and return home to their lives. There was no intention that they would live out their lives in government.
Too bad it didn’t work out that way. The congress and senate have the reigns in their hands and there is no safeguard in the constitution to revoke the process. It doesn’t seem to be an issue for the Supreme Court, our third safeguard, but maybe it could be in some way. I am not a government expert but I have asked some who are if there is any way that the people can demand a national amendment by themselves. They have told me no. If this is so then the only recourse is revolution which none of us want.
I don’t see any way to dis-empower those running the show. And really, would you vote to take all these things away from yourself? The fox is definitely guarding the hen house.
The nation is so divided at this point I doubt that any consensus could be found and most people are too complacent to do anything. Somehow no matter party or any affiliation we must make some majors changes. This is an issue for us all.
We can no longer see ourselves as a “democratic republic” but an Empowered Group Dictatorship. What do we do now?
Yesterday I had an off day. I was sick the night before with a major bout of IBSD. Details carry TMI. Yesterday I was wiped out and just wanted to crash. While I was resting I heard a comment: “When your mind has been shattered you look for simple everyday things to do.” This is a paraphrase of what was said and I have no memory of who said it. (sorry)
It really hit home. Being overwhelmed shoves us into a mindless mode where thinking is impossible. When we can’t even think we turn to the ordinary. Just following a daily pattern allows us to put aside the problem for a moment. Simple tasks like bed making and loading the dishwasher seem comfortable and bring some respite. It keeps us in “the ordinary” and that is what we need to move forward.
Sometimes mindless tasks are the only thing we can do. It reminds us of the simple world outside of our shattered reality. The ordinary can be soothing and kind. There are many times that ordinary is my solace.
My grandmother used to say that sometimes God will knock you down to make you think. Sometimes we have to be hit over the head to see the obvious. With alcoholics or those addicted to drugs it is often reaching what is considered the bottom that wakes them to reality.
Just rolling along each day we can get into a routine that pushes aside any idea that something may be wrong. We are like ostriches hiding our heads in the sand. It takes a major event to change things.
In the 1980’s I was working hard and paying little attention to my health. My IBSD was so out of control that I ended up with ulcerative colitis. I spent the next three weeks in the hospital getting my health and my life back under control. I had plenty of time to think about how I ended up in that condition. I learned a valuable lesson.
Pay attention to what is going on both in your life and with you health. Putting off see a physician or mental health professional is not an option. Pull your head out of the sand and take stock of reality. I can save you being hit over the head by God.
I recently heard about a child who suffers with Retinitis Pigementosa. This is a problem that will cause blindness. A drug company has developed a drug that actually cures the problem. The cost of the drug was the question. Below is a statement about the cost.
A US drugmaker offers to cure rare blindness for $850,000. Spark Therapeutics’ Luxturna will cost $850,000 for a one-time treatment. The gene therapy treats a rare, inherited retinal disease that can lead to blindness.Jan 3, 2018 https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/03/spark-therapeutics-luxturna-gene-therapy-will-cost-about-850000.html
The child has received the drug. I am not sure if he received it as a test or if somehow it was paid for. Already his vision is improving. The news person was interviewing the person who I think is the owner/ceo? He was asked how the company set the price on the drug. The answer was so outrageous that I was stunned to hear it.
“We set the drug cost based on the value of curing blindness.”
I have never heard such a thing. I have worked for years in the medical field and certainly realize that drug costs are outrageous…think about the controversy about insulin…but this is beyond amazing. I cannot believe that the head of a drug company would have the nerve to make that statement. Imagine if all drugs were priced accordingly.
Usually the drug companies explain their high prices by talking about the years spent in research and development. Overdone maybe, but a least reasonable idea. But to actually state on national TV that the drug is based on the value of a cure was incredible. Companies usually base the cost of a product on the cost of manufacture plus profit but that is all changing. Now we seem to be setting prices based on what the market will bear. This may be fine for TVs, computers etc. but this is a life saving drug. I hope the scientist who discovered this drug was paid well and feels good about his participation in this fiasco.
The news person didn’t even seem phased by that answer.
Where are we headed? The moral sense of this world has disappeared. Making a huge profit is more important that making life worth living. I don’t recognize the world anymore!
This is my third Sunshine Blogger Award and I owe a vote of thanks to Irene. Be sure to check out her blog https://ireneity.wordpress.com/ . Thank you so much for nominating me! It is wonderful to know that others read what I write.
- Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
- Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
- Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
- Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.
- Which is the one superpower you’d like to have? the ability to stop wars.
- What would you consider your best skill? Helping people
- Who’s that one very person who has a big impact on your life decisions and other changes? My husband
- What’s your favourite color? Blue
- What’s the one big change you’d like to see in the world? No more hatred and war
- Which is the best place you’ve ever visited? I love scenery and the beauty of nature so I think our 3 years in Panama.
- Out of Fire, Water and Earth which element do you feel more connected to?Water
- Do you think robots will ever take over the world? I hope not but they may end up smarter than we are.
- If an alien comes in front of you what will you do? Run away with your life of try to get to know them? I want to know them!
- What do you do in your free time? Write, read, be with friends.
- What is your advice for a successful life? Live every moment. Life is short
My questions are:
What brings you joy?
Where is your favorite place?
Who is your favorite author?
Why do you write a blog?
Are you in school, working, keeping a home, children or retired?
What is your favorite kind of music?
Have you traveled to other countries–if so which is your favorite?
What is your favorite food?
What do you like to write about?
Did you have a favorite teacher and if so what was their subject and why are they your favorite?
What is your favorite thing to do?
I will only nominate 6 other blogs for now: