Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Poor in Spirit -- Powerlessness, Humility, vengeance, writing

I keep thinking I've overcome pride. Well, last night I was talking to a debt collector. The guy was like all debt collectors... incredibly full of himself and his noble duty of destroying dead-beats such as myself. I disagreed with him on something and he hung up on me. I HATE being hung upon. All my desire to be equal with this guy, to get back at him, to be spiteful and do something to avenge myself... popped up. So yeah.....Obviously, I am seriously unable to deal with being powerless.

It's part of the human world, this feeling of powerlessness: the rich have more power than the poor, the borrower is slave to the lender, etc. In heaven, there is no such battling to save one's heart from the boot of another's personality.

Jesus told us in the Beatitudes that we should not be

I've read a lot of manuscripts by some black writers. There's a lot of power issues in them. But when one reads speculative fiction by Black male writers, the power issues really go overboard. It's like escapist novels put up to a vindication degree. Characters who are janitors and ex-convicts with lowly jobs by day and who vampires secretly holding their powers in...until..well "they just can't take the power structure in the world anymore."

Now I'm all for stories as a means of working out one's pain but one has to be subtle about it. One can't go showing one's neurosis without making it elegant first. In my stories, characters have powerlessness issues. But (patting myself on the back here) I try not to go overboard. I have dark skin and my light-skinned half-sister taunted me so much that to this day I can't look in a mirror. But I don't make my female characters into tragic fair-skinned mulatto (which is what one of my self-loathing black writer friends does....with green eyes to boot.)

A lot of sword and sorcery writers are truly honing in on the past lost African culture when they do sword and sorcery -- soul and sorcery-- stories. But some of them...well, there is a lot of woundedness there. A lot of them need to use the wounds of daily life -- monetary wounds, racial wounds, career wounds-- in stories to heel their pains.

Now, what power do I have? Do I have any? I guess I have the power to keep my mouth shut. I have the power not to have my button pushed or to "fret myself to do evil." I have the power to pray and bless them. I have spiritual power as well. I can do spiritual warfare. The dramatic "commanding/exorcism" type..and the inner kind of spiritual warfare where we fight against strongholds within ourselves. (In my case, the stronghold I have against rich white guys with money arrogantly telling me what to do.) I can pray to God for justice and I can pray to God to let the favored ones (the ones the world honors) turn their hearts toward me. But when I don't believe that God hears prayers for justice, or when I think that praying really will do no good....what do I do?

This is why so many people "take justice into their hands." They shoot or steal or lie or cheat. Because they want justice and because the pain of being powerless on earth is too much. We really must hold to the Lord and not give up. Or the devil will use us...to destroy ourselves in the name of justice.

I have to laugh now... I mean... if we are in the last days...and mockery is one of the big tools to be used against the believer in the last days (according to Jude's epistle) and if I have no humility to deal with the mockery of petty human men...how can I deal with the mockery that will be thrown at me and at all Christians from the antichrist?


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