UBI CARITAS ET AMOR. DEUS IBI EST.
UBI CARITAS ET AMOR. DEUS IBI EST.
Friday, 16 August 2019
How do you feel?
A phrase used often by reporters on TV when interviewing someone is, "How do you feel ... ?"
A celebrity wins an Oscar or whatever other award and the reporter puts a microphone to their face and asks, "how are you feeling right now?"
Someone or other wins a prize on the lottery and they're over-excited and the reporter asks, "how are you feeling about this win?"
There's been a tragic disaster, people have been injured or killed, and the reporter asks a crying person, "how do you feel right now?"
I guess this obsession with peoples' feelings at different times in their lives, whether happy or sad, is to bring it home to us, the viewers, the very emotions that people are going through at the very moment that it happens. We share their joys, or sadness as we see them on the screen. For a moment perhaps we touch their very souls as they undergo the emotions of the moment.
OK ... let me try this on you. Here's the microphone in front of you and I'm expecting a quick response and reaction to the question.
"You are a Christian, what is your feeling about this?"
Are you ... Happy? Joyful? Glad? Nonplussed? Nonchalant? Blasé? Sad? Worried? Fearful? Other?
What does being a Christian mean to us in this day and age? Is it something to be proud of? Something to hide and shy away from? Or just a label we use for convenience when someone asks, or when we are filling an application form or a census form or such like?
Not long ago I ran a small discussion group in our church and we were discussing a Bible reading. I asked, "If someone with a microphone asked you in the street who was Jesus, what would you say?"
The responses I got was, "He was a teacher, a wise man, a healer, He performed miracles, ... and so on."
No one said, He was/is the Son of God.
When I pointed this out they responded, "We don't say that sort of thing in public in this country. We don't talk like that about religion and things!"
Now I may have been in a cocoon these past few years. Either comatose or completely sheltered from this world. But it was not ever so.
Time was when men took their hats off when entering a church, or when a funeral cortège passed by. Women used to cover their heads with a scarf or hat when in church. People used to kneel before taking a seat in the pews. Time was when being a Christian was a good thing.
When I worked in London people there knew I was a Christian. I did not go around preaching to everyone or waving my hands in the air shouting "Praise the Lord!" Talking about religion and politics was strictly forbidden at work; but people knew I was a Christian.
I was in business, made business decisions, tough ones at times that were not palatable or popular. Often my decisions were diametrically opposed to that of others. I fought my corner and lost friends as a result. I made mistakes ... many. And was most probably as good or as bad as everyone else.
Once a colleague and I visited nearby St Paul's Cathedral at lunchtime. It was/is a tourist attraction and as we entered the huge building my friend waved his hand in the air, pointing to the ceiling and all around and said, "Tell me ... do you believe in all that?"
I replied, "Yes ... as a matter of fact I do!"
He said nothing.
I hope that if the same scenario happened today I would reply the same way. I don't know. Pointing the microphone at myself I ask, "How do I feel about that?"
How do you feel about that?
More important ... How does God feel about that?