Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Voice In The Wilderness?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, lately. Not a lot of writing, but a lot of thinking.

Among all these swirling thoughts, a couple of seemingly disparate factoids have come to a convergence and become a…theory?

Thought #1: I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about spirituality and spiritual gifts. There are those who possess mystical gifts, like pre-cognition, or the ability to see auras, or sensitivity to unseen spirits. I do not discount these things simply because I haven’t experienced them. But I’ve always known that these sensitivities were not among my talents. And I always wondered why. Why do some people have “the sight,” while the rest of us are destined to go through life…blind?

Back in my days as a Pentecostal Christian, much was made about “gifts of the Spirit.” (These were described somewhere in the New Testament…in the Acts of the Apostles, I think, but I’m too lazy to look that up just now.) There was the gift of tongues and interpretation, the gift of prophecy, the gift of “discernment of spirits” (whatever that means). Somewhere along the line, and I’m not sure if someone “prophesied” it about me, or if I filled out some kind of questionnaire during a bible study, I was informed that I had the gift of prophecy. Prophecy? In the Pentecostal world, that meant I would be one to stand up during service and declare aloud whatever I felt “led by the Spirit” to declare. I had never felt “led by the Spirit” to do such a thing; I was also pretty sure that if the Spirit had contrived to lead me in that direction, I would have planted my feet like a mule and clapped my hand firmly over my mouth.

Thought #2: During the final expulsion from AOL J-land, and the resultant crush to get my blogs moved, I had occasion to re-examine most of my (self-published) writing. A lot of it was decent…very good, in fact. And it did not escape my notice that I was at my very best when the subject was politics. If someone had asked me, prior to embarking upon this blogging enterprise, what genre of prose best showcased my writing abilities, political opinion pieces would not have even entered my head. Of course, I’ll have to cop to having always been opinionated, but for 80% of my life, I was not much of a political animal. (The antics of the Bush Administration had a lot to do with awakening that particular beast in me, I’m afraid.)

Most of the time, when I write, I have to pause, and think, and juggle, and edit, and cross out and re-work. But with political rants—not so much. I get a passion in my heart and an idea in my head, and the words just fly across the page. It’s almost as if I get into some kind of altered consciousness. Which leads me to

Thought #3: As my political fervor has grown, I have become increasingly mystified about the inability of large segments of the population to…GET IT. Time after time, the question has been ripped from my heart, “How can they not SEE???” WHY can’t people look back at history, if even from only a decade ago, and extrapolate some kind of understanding of why 2 plus 2 is pretty much guaranteed to equal 4? How can you forget stuff like the Vietnam War or Watergate or Iran-Contra or McCarthyism or Jim Crow or the lessons of the Great Depression or the first two World Wars? How can people be so “in the moment” that when something big happens, they have no ability to reach back into the archives to figure out what to do; they just…panic?


How do these three things meld together to form a “theory?”

Here it is: Anne asked, in a comment on the last post, what I DO to change the world. I gradually realized that THIS is what I do.

Maybe all those years ago in Pentecostal Christian land, they were right on the money. Maybe I AM a prophet.

Because maybe being a prophet isn’t what I would have thought it was. It’s not about going to stand up on a mountain and hold forth on what some Voice has told you to say.

No…prophecy is about GETTING IT.

It’s remembering the past, and looking at the present, and understanding what is likely to occur if a certain course of action is not significantly altered…quickly. It’s getting that fire in your belly and needing to give vent to every drop of conviction, persuasion, admonishment and intimidation that you can wring out of yourself… In the effort to get someone, if only one other person, to GET IT, too.

This is the only possible explanation for why mousey, afraid-of-her-own-shadow little me can become a pillar of political fire when the circumstances warrant.

Of course, I do understand that most of my ranting gets about as much credence as the prophets of old got when they delivered dire warnings.

But I can't seem to help myself.


Cynthia said...

I cannot tell you how much I love this. You did indeed find your voice in your political writing, and I think your definition of prophecy is dead on. I had lunch with a friend the other day (I know, I actually got out and saw somebody) who doesn't believe global warming is real. I sat there stunned, just wondering how does someone not get it.

JACKIE said...

Excellent as usual.

Why don't people get it? It's no accident that people who gave us the War on Terror were involved in the Vietnam War also. In the world view some of us in the journal community share-Viet Nam was a mistake; we never should have gotten involved in somebody else's civil war in the first place.

In the Cheney/Rummy universe we lost in Viet Nam because of the protesters, failed national will, yada yada yada. And they've been trying to win a war ever since. Two totally different views of the world. And neither side can change that view without giving up what defines their sense of self. Very scary: frankly some days I'm surprised that most of us agree that the sun appears in the east every morning.

I know it feels lonely when nobody seems to be listening. I think the it's the courage to speak out that matters. And you have that my friend, you do have that. :-)

sunflowerkat321 said...

I'm glad you can't help yourself because your writing is always thought provoking and informative.

Perhaps people don't "get it" because they just don't want to. They don't want to recognize that someone else might be right or that they might have to compromise, make a change, or a sacrifice. It's certainly easier to just believe what you believe rather than research, study, and analyze both history and facts at hand. In general, we the people like to be spoon fed what to think. If your outspokenness makes one person stop and say "Hmmm", then you've used your gift for the greater good.

Kathy said...

Okay,K has been MIA and may be so again in another month ... but I'm here now Lisa. And ... Let. Me. Tell. You. This style of writing is just exactly what drew me to you in the first place. Your prophecy (yes, I agree)is your talent, conviction and willingness to stick your neck out there for what you know to be true and correct from where you're standing.

I so admire that ability. When I read your political 'rants' I feel your passion ... and that makes your writing fun to read.

So, write on and spread the word, because if just one person gets it, it's worth the effort.

Bridgett said...

Hey, I love your political blogs because you write exactly what I'm thinking, only much more eloquently. :)