Periodically I see (oh hell let's be honest. It's with amazing regularity) a story in the news that reminds me of how far our culture is from a life guided by faith and an understanding of what God wants from us. Usually I just shake my head and think that something needs to be done.
Well I write a blog that's about living a life in faith. If I don't use this forum to comment then what use am I? So as the spirit moves me, make that as the Spirit moves me, I'm going to give you my view on the point where faith and life should come together.
Unless you've given up on the news you've probably seen the story about Jennifer Wilbanks, the bride who disappeared just days before her wedding leading to a huge manhunt. She turned up three days later with a story about being kidnapped which she almost immediately recanted (there's a link in the title of this entry, just click on it).
This isn't about her.
It's about how so many people and commentators have reacted to the story. So much of the commentary I've heard has been to make fun of this young woman and to insist that her fiancé would be a fool to marry her. That he should cut and run and never look back.
I just don't get that.
Well check that, yes I do. What passes for commentary these days is mostly smug "Aren't I clever" nonsense based on the idea that who ever can be the most obnoxious is the coolest and the smartest and the best. Color me unimpressed. Making up our minds based on minimal, usually superficial information is not what the smartest people do. It's what ill informed talking heads do. It's what school yard bullies do. If that's what makes you cool then I'm utterly content to be un-cool.
Here's what we do know:
They appear to have been in love. She appears to have gotten overwhelmed by something or a whole bunch of somethings leading up to her pretty enormous wedding. She split. Other than worrying the daylights out of everybody, making her community waste a fair bit of time and money, and making up a really stupid story I don't see where she's done anything that would cause her fiancé to want to walk away from her.
Unless you buy the cultural value that says "It's all about me". Our entire culture today has moved to a stance that makes this self-centered, selfish point of view not only common but legitimate. All the young man in question has to say is "You hurt me, I shouldn't be treated this way" then he has every excuse to walk away. All he has to do is discount any pain or concerns of the woman he supposedly loves and it's easy. Somewhere along the line we've forgotten that any relationship, let alone marriage, is supposed to be about us, not me.
There may come a time when he realizes, or the two of the them together realize, that their relationship doesn't work. But it should be the two of them caring for one another that makes the decision. I have no doubt that there are some hard times ahead for them as they try to hammer this relationship out.
What they don't need is a lot of empty headed commentary designed only to make the commentators look "smart". And the rest of us need to let the talking heads know they need to shut their yaps. In the meantime we could all offer up a prayer for this young couple. That would be actually useful.