Friday, May 6, 2016

Tell it to my Brother

Let me introduce you to my personal crap detector. He's a 35-year-old man with Cerebral Palsy. I grew up with him, five years apart in age and basically on par in sarcasm. My brother's physical appearance can be off-putting, if you're not used to the trappings of severe physical disability. If he senses you're trying, he will help you out by flashing his gigantic grin. If he senses you're uptight, he will flash you "the Hairy Eyeball," which basically consists of clamping his lips together and rolling his eyes back in his head. Then you feel like a jerk for being uncomfortable, even though he's purposefully contributing to your sorry state. His assessment is instant and infallible. Many a cute guy bearing mix tapes and youth pastor bearing Silly String have have been bested by the Hairy Eyeball. One boyfriend passed immediately, overcoming the fear of meeting a person who can't speak by the power of an earnest heart and natural propensity for doing all the talking. They are brothers now.

Growing up, we got a lot of laughs out of the Dustin Test. But now I'm learning that the test was philosophical too. Just like new friends, the ideas we encounter must be tested to see if they'll prove false. Yes, we can use our logic and our knowledge of the world to filter out some bad ones. But some others require a road test. If put to reality they simply don't work, then we know their attraction is folly. This is why Jesus told us that merely hearing His word is like building a house on sand, but actually doing it gives your house a firm foundation. If you want to know the truth of the Bible, go on and test it out. 

When I hear, "I choose to be blessed!" or, "Suffering is a state of mind," I always want to say, "Tell it to my brother." So many of our philosophies just don't ring true in the face of hard realities. I don't dwell on this aspect a lot, but guess what: it's nuts to have a prognosis that you'll never walk, never talk, and never escape daily physical pain. It's a lot of mental work to accept that it's for real, and won't be overcome in this lifetime. The ideas, and friends, that I adopt must be ones that pass for this kind of circumstance. This test weeds out a lot of crap, and a few simple truths remain. Does your worldview work this way?

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