Out Of Our Fish

Benjamin and I have a shared enjoyment of foreign films.  What lessons in culture and common humanity they give! I’ve taken to bringing one home from the library once a week and we sit down with chocolate covered strawberries or a colander of raw sugar snap peas and watch from the screen of my laptop. 

Last week was “Beauty School in Kabul“, a documentary on just that.  It was fascinating to listen to the insights from the Afgan women and how the instructors from the US and UK would respond to the culture. I love cultural anthropology.  Again, the theme was how women, if treated well and given oppourtunity, held the power to reform and renew the country.  True, the most margilazed and oppressed segmant of the human population are women and children, but do we only seek to minister to them while ignoring and condeming the men who advance such treatment?  Jesus never demonstrated such segmented justice or advocated such seperatist spirituality.  To me it is a terribly clever way to dismantel the nobility of the wholeness of family.  We often do the same within Christendom. Imagine if growth could occur in conjunction, apart from “men’s ministry” and “women’s ministry” (though I understand the intent and such). Frankly, at times I get weary of my feminist nature being elevated above my human one. 

Last night we watched “Zaman: The Man from the Reeds“, an Iraqi film, the first one made in over 15 years.  Imagine being fully engaged while watching an elderly man paddle through waters similiar to the Everglades here, for twenty minutes plus leaving his marshwiggle village to go into the murky traffic of Bagdad in pursuit of filling a prescription for his sick wife.  He goes from pharmacy to pharmacy to no avail and finally fills it at a Catholic hospital (you must watch to see the story behind that and what happens to his dear wife).  All throughout you see and hear his prayers, and the prayers of all he meets, to Allah.  The frank devoutness and posture of humility and desperation you see in the Muslims throughout this film shames Western Christians.  We believe they are praying to a god like Baal and we to the one true God and yet we cannot even lay on our faces in our assemblies or command the lame to walk with the authority of the One who made us all.  To say the least, I went to bed deeply moved, convicted and filled with the knowledge of God’s great love for Iraq.  Certainly no less than the love He had for Ninevah. So come now, let us get out of our fish and prostrate on our faces for a people and a place such as this…

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