Things are weird.
Not really weird, but I’m definitely in a place that I’ve never been before.
The day started with Word, Usage, and Style. After this class I met with my professor to discuss the first chapter of one of my novels. He told me I was already developing as a writer and had already learned a lot and that he truly believed I could be great. He told me I don’t have to rush to get published; I have time to learn and then to revise. He said he could see the story forming with just reading the first chapter, which is really important. I left the meeting feeling much better; knowing where I am as a writer really helps my perspective 🙂 I mean, let’s face it, whether or not I get published or become a better writer, God has a plan for me and He’s going to carry out that plan no matter what. But still, it’s nice to know.
I was privileged to eat lunch with both Charlene and Karly today after not eating with either of them for some time. I confessed to my friends that New York City is growing on me (ssshhhh, don’t tell my country friends :P) and it isn’t such a terrible place to be.
Writer’s Studio was a little deep and tad bit intense today. We were discussing the story we had to read, and, kind of like the last couple of stories we’ve read, the content involved darkness, hopelessness, drugs, and alcohol. While these stories did exhibit some honorable themes, most of it was a hazy sort of psychological drift through an ocean of detachment from reality. At first, when my classmates had begun discussing the stories, I had decided to not say anything. Everyone voiced their approval of the book and talked about how fitting it was to their literary tastes. I felt like if I expressed my opinion I would be greeted by nothing but confusion and an odd sort of admonition. Then the subject of vice came up in our discussions.
“I feel like we’ve been reading a lot about vice lately.”
I didn’t realize that I had said my opinion out loud until my professor started talking to me. I began to expound on what I meant. I asked my hidden question of why we couldn’t read about conventionally virtuous things like grace, innocence, and purity. He said it was a valid question and tried to explain his reasoning as best he could. My classmates chimed in as well. I explained that I don’t normally read the kind of content we’d been reading because it doesn’t help my relationship with God, in fact it puts a barrier between Him and I. One of my classmates presented the argument of reading these sort of stories in order to know about the low points of men and how a man can get to such a low point. He voiced his outlook on Christians as being people who are supposed to be understanding and aware and compassionate. How can they be so if they don’t have an object to help?
“That’s a great point,” I started. “but the thing is, I’ve seen a lot of people at these low points in real life, first hand….I’ve even been at some of these low points. I know they’re out there.” I went on to explain that realizing our lowest points and seeing the general hopelessness of ourselves is how we realize we need to be saved by Someone outside of it all….you need Someone to pull you up out of the pit when your own strength fails you. I should have brought up the many messed up people in the Bible whose low points made what we were reading look like righteousness. But God is revered…He’s shown as sovereign and His character is depicted properly. In the stories we’ve read, God is simply just a lifestyle, an option, something that’s not really a necessity but merely a possibility. The stories are empty to me and without meaning because there’s no truth in them.
We continued on in debating this topic for some time, and through it I was able to partially witness to my entire class…which is weird, because I had originally asked the question only to wonder why we weren’t reading themes characterized by disparity (if we’re going to look at the dark side, why not explore the light side as well?). My professor and my classmates brought up the subject of the Bible and of God and such…I really didn’t have to do anything. I have to wonder why that is….why did my classmates and professor bring up God and the Bible the moment virtue was mentioned? Is it because they know I’m a Christian? Or is it because they maybe subconsciously believe virtue can only be associated with God?
I left Writer’s Studio thinking very deeply about all of this. Unfortunately, based on the argument given by my professor, it was plain that I would not be able to do separate reading Regardless, I have been talking to some of the people at church and I think I might know how else to get around all of it…but I’ll reveal that in time 🙂
There was a book sale at the library, and, since we are writing majors, some of my classmates and I went to browse. Botany was my next class, and I was extremely nervous about giving my presentation. I thought that I had gotten over the whole stage-fright deal when I was socially awkward in high school…right, I forgot that only the setting has changed….
I was the first to give their presentation. I always end up going first for some weird reason…it’s not that I always volunteer, I just seem to be the student assigned the role of academic guinea pig. Anyway, everyone really liked my presentation, including my professor.
After all of the presentations were finished, we were discussing the assigned reading and our critical responses to that reading. There’s this plant, Cuscuta, or the dodder plant, that lacks chlorophyll and doesn’t carry out photosynthesis. In our discussion I posed the question of what made this organism a plant if it lacked chlorophyll and failed to carry out the process that makes a plant, a plant. My professor began explaining it terms of evolution. When she was finished, I asked her how it could be explained apart from using the theory of evolution.
“Why would you not use evolution?” Two of my classmates asked me. Before I could answer them, my professor commented.
“I can’t explain biology without looking at it through the lens of evolution,” she told me, shaking her head. That’s when I realized that everyone in the room believed evolution to be a law rather than the theory that it was. This knowledge was new to me.
When I finally sat down in my dorm for the night, reflecting on my day, I replayed the reactions extracted from the people around me upon my asking questions. When I did ask these questions, it seemed like no one really had previously considered them or their answers. It’s just odd how nobody stops to think there might be something other than everything they’re taught to believe. Some people might say that it’s the same for some Christians. But the thing is, I’ve seen both sides…I’ve been on the side of just doing whatever I wanted with my body, mind, and heart, and it’s exhausting. Constantly reading about heartache and terror and hazy mindsets made my mind spin around but I still believed I was having a great time and learning so much about myself and about the world. But then I went to the other side, the side God was/is on, where things like virtue, honesty, truth, love, and innocence exist. The journey that one has with God is my favorite story…that’s what I’d like to be reading, to be learning.
It’s just crazy….but again, God used situations to show me that not everything is all hunky-dory; not everyone believes the same things I do. He showed me who He loves and how He loves them and why He loves them. In my Writer’s Studio class, I looked at each of my classmates and was reminded of the love that God has for each of them. Each of my peers are eternally precious to Him. He’s just waiting for them to see it.