Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Migraine

3:30 am - Her eyes pop open. She briefly wonders why until it hit her, the pain seering behind her eyes and across her forehead, as if a cold steel knife is separating her skin from her skull. Blinding, yet so strong, it hurt to close her eyes.

She knew better than to just lay there. She turned on the light, an evil bulb of yellow brightness. And through sheer will power, she eased out of bed, trying not to jostle her head. The dogs on the floor beneath her both jump up thinking it is time to go out.

She makes her way to the kitchen, turning on yet another set of torturous lights. Squinting, she finds the medication she needs, chokes it down, and makes her way back to bed.

Upon lying down, she realizes her mistake. She needs an ice pack to distract herself from the pain and the nausea from the medication. So again, she stumbles to the kitchen, not bothering with lights this time. But even the tiny bulb in the freezer sends her hand flying to her face in an effort to block it out. Frustratingly, she shoves frozen meats around until she finally finds an ice pack.

Back in bed the coolness brings swift relief as she maneuvers it around her face, head and neck, never leaving it too long in one spot lest numbness sets in and distraction from the pain lessens.

5:00 am - She glances at the clock.  The medication has finally kicked in and the pain is diminishing.  Sleep returns.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Musings on Christianity

Right now I'm reading the second volume of "The Story of Christianity" by Justo L. Gonzalez, a historical theologian…not sure what denomination, schooled at the United Seminary in Cuba and at Yale.  Anyway, I read the first volume this past November and December.  It’s at least giving me what I think is the big picture of how the Christian church has come about since the time of Christ.  (I have desired to figure that out for a while now, trying to understand why there are different denominations, why Catholic and Protestant, etc. in the first place).  I think it seems fairly unbiased in the way it presents both the Catholic and later the Protestant evolutions (however, whether everything is accurate from the perspectives of both C’ and P’s, I don't know).

I have learned that from the very beginning (well, even by studying Acts I saw this) that there have always been disagreements and divisions.  It certainly has been a bit overwhelming to realize how much people, especially since the time of Constantine, have used the state to force Christianity (whether C or P) on others, or how people have used Christianity as a means of prestige and power in the state…and how many wars, persecution, hatred and death have come from all that…when Jesus’ primary commands were to love God and love others.  It breaks my heart to start to understand this.  I just never realized what a violent history Christians have, and yet we try to preach love and forgiveness, mercy and respect.  No wonder it can be confusing to anyone who considers themselves intellectuals or have an understanding of this history to not see Christianity as hypocrytical.

I was never interested in history in school, and when I did have to study history, it never seemed to be in the context of Christianity – which I would have been interested in.  With that said, I am rather overwhelmed that Christianity in any form or denomination has actually survived to still be around today.  I can only attribute that to the fact that the power of the Holy Spirit is greater than whatever power man thinks he has over things…and that the Holy Spirit living in me affirms that Jesus is the truth.