24 October 2009

The fluidity of sin

Sin takes the shape of its container.

We live easy lives of refrigerators, insulation, and plumbing. I didn't die of postpartum hemorrhaging, our son didn't die of pneumonia. This is a comfortable historical moment, and yet we're barely keeping it together. If kids don't have tuberculosis, sin invents something or other to render them inoperable (yes, yes, kids are overmedicated--but aren't we all afraid to say it in front of the parents whose kid can't function without his meds?). Medicine beat polio, and sin crippled us with panic attacks. Develop an economy that frees people from working like dogs, and soon they're slaves to sloth. Sin has programmed us to break down under afflictions great or small. Where it cannot brutally annihilate, it inexorably aggravates.

I'll take the petty complaints of my life any day over losing half my children before their first birthdays, and I know that my trials don't begin to compare to those of our brothers and sisters elsewhen and -where. But at the same time, rich Americans are sad people, like all of sin's victims. Every person staggers under her cross, whether that cross is a relentless series of negative pregnancy tests, or a relentless succession of kids, or a deliberate two with a house in the suburbs.

11 comments:

Melrose said...

sin stinks

The Mama said...

I think there's a Febreeze for that Melrose- oh, wait!

Interesting ideas, I hadn't really correlated them together before.

Gauntlets said...

This is a really useful image. We thank you.

And I think my mankid suffers from that whatchacallit not yet listed in the DSM. I think I suffer from it, too. Now I have a good reason to keep the house dark and the stereo off. :P

Colleen said...

Another great blog post!! I am a fellow Lutheran, pastor wife and blogger, and I love your writing and stop by often!!! My blog is http://ranunculusadventure.blogspot.com/ if you ever want to come by!

Kamuela said...

I'm an atheist who was looking up the definition of parturition when I chanced on your post. Of course I don't buy the "sin" part, but it serves as a good metaphor what ails us.

Rebekah said...

Hi, Colleen. :) I'll stop by.

Kamuela, glad to be of service. For what it's worth to you, the only cure I've ever found for what ails me is a God who traded his life for mine.

Sandra Ostapowich said...

I'm trying to understand the reason for your link to the article about SPD. Could you please explain a little about your intended implication? Are you saying SPD is an invented disorder? Or that it's another reason to further medicate children? Or something else...?

Thanks.

Rebekah said...

Sandra, what I mean is that in a place in the world where polio is still an active threat, parents aren't lying awake nights worrying that their kids will be diagnosed with SPD. But to parents of a kid here who has SPD, SPD is a big fat deal because it makes their kid's life miserable (and I just picked SPD out of all the "new" behavioral problems of varying medical statuses because I remembered that article and it was easy to find). Even though our kids will almost certainly never contract polio, they are still subject to afflictions of whatever variety sin can design to fit us.

Sandra Ostapowich said...

Gotcha, thanks. :)

I'm pretty sure my son has some sort of SPD, we're beginning the diagnosis process.

I agree with you it's not a huge deal like polio or leukemia, but it does affect his social skills and ability to learn effectively in school. I have no intention of putting him on meds for it, but if there are ways to teach him (and me, and his teachers) to deal with it now in 2nd grade, I think it'll save a lot of trouble down the road.

Rebekah said...

Sigh. I hope you're able to get it figured out without too much difficulty, Sandra.

Reb. Mary said...

>>Every person staggers under her cross. . .<<<

I've been ruminating on this lately. Including the fact that I'm sometimes guilty of being too quick to assume that *her* cross is self-imposed, while *mine* is a "real" one. Right. Like that's mine to judge, and like that's helpful for anyone. Just more of that sin sloshing around in this container.