this past week, i had a take on life…on reality…on theology…and my preaching…all wrapped up in one event.
as some of you know, i have been working hard to embrace my inner texan. i’m getting there. having our friends come from california a month ago certainly provided the opportunity to make huge strides. i became a texas tour guide and realized that i am a proud resident of the great state.
i extolled the virtue of chicken fried steak. i pointed out the beauty of bluebonnets and the great logic of service roads. i was strangely proud of the arlington deathstar. very strange. i’ve even made a commitment to going to billy bob’s for a concert. yeah, i’m getting there.
this past week, i made another step. i shot a gun.
on thursday, my friend mario took me to a shooting range with his whole arsenal in the back seat of his pick up. because he didn’t bring the right kind of ammo for his rifles, we only shot his hand guns…a 9 mil and a forty-something. what do i know?
anyway, mario taught me basic gun safety and how to load it and hold it and shoot it…and then i fired a bunch of rounds at some paper targets. i wouldn’t say it changed my life or anything. i especially didn’t realize how expensive bullets are. golf balls are less expensive and at least you get to hit them more than once.
unless you drop them in the drink like i have a tendency to do…
but i had a moment at the firing range that i was completely unprepared for. completely.
when mario opened up the small case for his handgun, i noticed something on the inside of the cover. it was made by Israel Military Industries (IMI, Ltd.). israel. god’s chosen. the jews. the family line of our savior.
it was the strangest moment.
mario went on to tell me that it’s pretty much a consensus among gun owners that the very best weaponry is made in israel. they are recognized around the world as the elite manufacturers of artillery that kills. they are the makers of the uzi, for crying out loud.
and there i was. holding a gun made by the direct descendants of the prince of peace. for the express purpose of killing people. talk about irony.
i’m not going to get all moralistic on you. i think i get the sport of shooting. it was kind of fun to fire at the target… although it did creep me out…a lot…that the target i was shooting at was the silhouette of a person! had to put that out of my mind.
i also don’t have a problem with eating meat. i know that animals have to die if i’m going to continue to extol the greatness of chicken fried steak. i just don’t want to be the one who looks them in the eyes right before i put one right between their eyes. sorry for the hypocrisy.
no. my struggle was theological and this whole role that god’s people, the jews, are playing on the world’s stage. they have forged a reputation for being the most ruthless and well-trained killing machine in history. i suppose they have been forced into that expertise by a lifetime of abuse.
but i can’t help but think that god’s heart is broken by this.
hence my comment in yesterday’s sermon about how ridiculous it would be for jews and the palestinians to drop their weapons and start singing. hey, we can dream, can’t we?
you had to be there. or you could listen to my sermon online.
really. is it so ridiculous to believe that god’s way of doing things is better than the plans of men? really?