Tag Archives: God

Vengeance is mine?


ImageSeems to me someone said that once, and it wasn’t about all of us just wandering about blowing each other’s heads off.

But things are getting out of hand.

I was working out in the gym the other day, happily listening to some be-boppy music and watching the TVs in front of me, rather idly, through the sweat running into my eyes. I dunno, but I think I saw on CMT (Country Music Television) a set of songs involving women’s vengeance on men. It was all helpfully subtitled so I could read the words, and the visuals swam by rather horrifically. 

The first one was about a woman whose man beat her up, so she planned to stand behind the door, light a cigarette, and shoot him through the head with her gun. Sweet.

The next one showed a woman carrying a draining gas tank through the town to where she saw her guy in bed with another woman. She lit the gas trail and it whipped through the town, ending up by burning down his house. Maybe he was in it. I don’t know.

Doesn’t this seem a bit extreme? Why not just leave? Heck, if you are strong enough to go to all that prep, you surely have the moxie to move on and find someone worthy of your attention, right?

Of course, it seems more shocking since it’s a woman doing all this – we’re so accustomed to the male “You done me wrong so I’m going to kill you” meme we barely blink an eye. I always have hopes that women will turn out to be better at things than men. After all, we have the capacity. We just let men think they’re in charge a lot of the time because they can’t cope with the alternative. We could be in charge, but we don’t want the hassle, right?

Turns out we often are better. At vengeance. We women step up to the plate and are nastier than the men we deride. The other day in church, a woman who feels above us all called out our minister in public for some perceived slight. She explained that she had a much closer contact with God than the rest of us, so she needed to move on. Fine. Move on. But spreading discord in your wake? Needless and hurtful. 

Other women compete with friends, put them down, run back end sorties to scoop the sand from under them and rejoice in their fall. It’s horrible. Like the men we accuse, we spend out energies getting even, instead of starting over and living positively. At least men just punch and move on. Most of the time. Not that that is okay, either.

In any case, the whole vengeance thing is flawed. We often don’t have all the information, we are muddled by our own thoughts and desires and fears and inadequacies. Judges have a tough time assigning blame, and they have a rule book and are not personally involved. We’re hot under the collar and hurt and filled with incorrect information and phlegm, and direct energy negatively instead of positively. 

Like the women in the videos, maybe the problem isn’t so much external as internal.

As Despair.com says, maybe The only consistent feature in all of your dissatisfying relationships is you.

Why not leave vengeance to those responsible for it, and instead move on, forgive, not forget, not repeat, learn, make a new ending?

I love the quote from Joyce Meyer: Harbouring unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping your enemy will die.

There’s enough violence in the world to go around: physical, structural, emotional, financial. Let’s not get into it or sponsor the idea that it’s empowering to attack others.

It isn’t.

The true power and strength is in not attacking others.

 

God’s Call of Duty


It’s Christmas time and one expects to see a bunch of unusual people out at the places you regularly visit – all the people who hate shopping and are only there because they feel they have to spend some serious dollars on their family and friends or else be shunned.  Me, I’m spending on myself this year. I’ve gone a while without things, trying to cope on a small income, and I’m tired of working with broken equipment and wearing old clothes just because I am too poor to purchase new ones.

In any case, I was wandering through Best Buy today to pick up some accesssories for my new little mac Mini when who should I see, transfixed, standing beside a chubby young man trying out the new motion activated exercise programs (more power to him) but a grey-bearded older man with a serious look and a mean hand with the weaponry with whatever shooter game was up. The young lad kept bouncing around to the endless counting “5,6,7,8” – I have no idea where 1,2,3,and 4 went and it was getting pretty irritating so I suppose that explained God’s blasting at everything with huge weapons that resulted in lots of fake people parts being left lying all over the place. At one point, a Best Buy Guy came by and tried to speak to the figure, but there was no response, only more aggressive killing.

Now I’ve always enjoyed the fantasy that God takes a day off now and then and pops down to check on us, see how we’re treating each other, maybe do a little skeet shooting a la Dogma.  It does two things, this fantasy – it humanizes a big scary cloud-like thing, and it makes me behave. If you don’t know where God might be hanging out, you don’t really dare skim the waitress or yell at a clumsy grocery store stocker (oh, my life sounds SO exciting).  You figure you should be nice to everyone, JUST IN CASE.  After all, that could be the final tipping point for the decision for the slide downwards or the “deluxe apartment in the sky….” Far better to be safe than sorry.

But this God-figure killing things with so much enthusiasm on the screen was far too Old Testament for me. I prefer the kinder, gentler God of the New Testament, filled with all that loving your neighbor and stuff.  The smiting, not so much.  It sounds uncomfortable. This guy was definitely into smiting.

I couldn’t help it, and crept closer.  The guy was muttering to himself. “And that’s for Darfur…,” he muttered, blowing up a weapons repository.  Animated characters screamed in low GI Joe voices. “And Pakistan.” More shouts. “And not neutering your animals – geez, you think you’d learned nothing!  All those poor pussycats freezing in the cold…” He blammed away, pausing only briefly to glare at the young lad intermittently bouncing to the 5,6,7,8.

God was breaking into a sweat and I was a little worried that the game might become too real, if you know what I mean.  I was worried about the kid, who kept bumping into God by accident. It didn’t look like God was in a forgiving mood.

I wandered closer, thinking I could maybe pull the kid to safety if needed. Hell, I’m old.  The kid had lots of being irritating left in him.  I’m getting tired of it. Fortunately, kid’s mom came by and dragged him away, glaring at God as she did so. He didn’t notice. He was too busy blowing up a tank or something.  This time the screams were higher pitched.  I looked at the screen.  He was using a flame thrower now.  And laughing.

I’d had enough. “Merry Christmas!” I said, loudly, to the air. There was a pause in the killing, the merest pause. “Are you buying that for your kids?” I asked God, smiling brightly and a bit as if I was some deluded den mother who would be clued-out enough to think a game where you can choose “extra chunky” for body bits to be appropriate for any age child.

“No,” grunted God.  “They already have this one. They play it all the time.”

“Maybe they’d like the Sims? It’s so much fun to raise little families and send the kids off to military school and…”

God sighed, and slowly put the game controller in its holder. “They play that one, too,” he sighed. “But they seem to like this one better. The other day I was online and I couldn’t believe how many adults were playing.  Doesn’t anyone work any more?”

He looked at me. “What did you say before?”

“Merry Christmas!”

“Humph.” God turned and headed off, but I could swear there was a tiny smile under his beard. Nah. He was still in smiting mode and I was just damn glad I had parked in front of a different store.  I wouldn’t want to be in the way when he backed out.