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13 August 2006 @ 09:21 pm
Capote, Jesus, and Larry David sit down in a bar...  
It has been a while since I have blogged my thoughts, and I have had quite a few good ones today, so here we go…

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I am watching Capote right now. The movie makes me feel a bit uncomfortable because I often feel that some of my closest friends look at me the way that Harper Lee looks at Capote. He will be saying something that will seem brilliant or charismatic or caring but she will see right through it, into his heart and motives, and look upon it with pity – and yet she accepts him anyway.

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At church, we have recently been going through various stories throughout the Book of Matthew. We’ve been going through three stories each week, but it sometimes seems a bit much when each one digs up so much. Today’s seemed especially sobering and insightful. The stories were from Matthew 8-9 (I won’t recount them so look them up if need be). But I especially reflected on three things:

1. Jesus’ ministry to the “unclean” and marginalized.
2. A sick man asking to be healed if Jesus was “willing”
3. God often choosing to work through the unlikely

I’m only going to reflect on one of these, which is Jesus’ ministry to the unclean and marginalized. Our church services have been very interactive lately, and the pastor asked us to think of ways that we are unclean and marginalized to the outskirts of community with God and others. Someone then mentioned drug addicts and homeless as modern-day outcasts, but the other pastor rightly pointed out that that is too often a copout.

We often choose to either ignore or serve the outcasts of our society. But either choice often keeps outcasts in the margins when we choose not to identify with them. The truth is: there was no difference between the lepers, the poor, the prostitutes, and the religious leaders. All of them were in need of reconciliation with God, and yet those more wealthy or powerful or pious could ignore their need as long as they had a scapegoat in the outskirts. In reality, they were living in numbness. It’s safer there. And so today, it is easier to live in our own numbness when we keep others on the outside, so that even our good works, when coupled with self-righteousness, hide our true depraved nature and ultimate need for total surrender to God.

I recently heard that the Church in China prays for our persecution. Despite being oppressed and impoverished, they realize that our noise keeps us numb to our true reality and potential.

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This is a scary thought, but I think my new favorite drug of numbness is Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry David is the co-creator of Seinfeld. George Costanza was based a bit off his real life persona, though Larry doesn’t seem nearly so self-conscious. I’ve enjoyed watching the show, but realized it’s a bit like someone who lusts and whistles after women going home and watching porn – it only feeds my sarcasm, cynicism, and bitterness. I’ve actually begun asking my self, “What would Larry do?” I don’t know if I can just stop watching the show, so I think I’ll just have to do a few nights and weekends rushing through all four seasons…

…I guess that means there’ll be a few more Harper Lee looks over the next couple weeks.