Thursday, October 6, 2016

Daddy Had a Bad Dream

I woke up this morning at just about ten past seven in the most wretched state. My body was shaking, wracked in sobs of absolute despair, and tears streamed from my eyes. I awoke gripped in a soul crushing sorrow the likes of which I have never before even imagined. I suppose that this must be what true heartbreak feels like because I could feel that very organ itself defined within my chest beating as though squeezed within a cruel fist.

In my dream, I remember standing inside a building speaking to a woman. The building was some sort of last century high school or perhaps a town hall with its block construction and its marble floors and large wrought iron railings encircling the stairs. The steps had been worn down through a century of scuffed feet and the windows reached far up toward the high ceilings.

The woman was a counselor of sorts. But not a guidance counselor for a high school junior trying to decide on what college to attend. I guess she was a "grief counselor" in a way. Though not one for those who had experienced a tragedy. She was a counselor for the dead. She was counseling me. She was explaining to me the rules of how to die, what to do now that I had died.

It was time, she said. It was time to leave the building and make my death known. It was time to leave the ones I loved behind.

I didn't want to go. I wasn't ready to go. I was terribly, terribly sad. And more than anything in the world, I was worried about how sad I was going to make someone else.

I remember walking down the large granite steps from the building and into a yard. There were people in the yard standing about, talking quietly, mostly off to the sides in the periphery. I didn't heed any of them. I walked past them toward the person I had to face. The woman followed me several steps behind quietly reminding me of what I had to do. Up ahead I saw him. He was playing in a sandbox all by himself.

He was just a little boy. A toddler I guess. Not quite old enough to talk in sentences, but he could point and make you understand what he wanted and what he needed. He was beautiful. He was innocent and carefree. He was everything to me. And I had the smothering sense that I was about to make him very, very sad.

"You can hold him," she said, "but you must take him to a corner of the yard that has no memories for you and him. You must take him to a place in the yard you have never been before to say goodbye."


"Because what is happening cannot be linked to his memories of the past with you. He has to let you go and that has to be something that he knows is quite different from anything he has experienced with you before. He has to know that this is the end and that he cannot keep you."

I guess I nodded.

I approached the little boy and he smiled as he saw me coming. He ran up to me and I picked him up and held him tight. He was perfect, just a perfect bundle of little boy within my arms. He pressed his face against mine in joy and perfect love. I started to carry him slowly away from the sandbox, to some foreign corner of the yard. But he resisted. He leaned away from me and pointed earnestly toward the sandbox where his yellow plastic shovel and Tonka truck lay.. I dutifully carried him away to the edge of the yard near some sapling maple trees. He looked distressed. This was not our normal play space.

He took my hand and pulled me back to another point in the yard, to a place where he and I used to play together, to the big tree and the rope swing. He tugged me along and smiled more as we got closer.

"No," I said. "Let's go over here," and I led him to another place in the yard that was strange to him.

He began to cry. I picked him up and held him tight, as tight as I could hold another human being. For all the tears he cried, they couldn't keep pace with my own. He didn't understand. He was sad and scared and a little bit mad. He wanted me to go back with him to our accustomed placed, to do the things that he loved to do with me.

What I was doing to him was unbearable. He couldn't understand. He couldn't know it wasn't my choice. This was not what I wanted, but all he could see was that this is what I was doing. I could feel my heart ripping inside of me.

I just held him and cried. A few feet away the woman spoke again in quiet tones. She spoke like a perfect professional, factually, with empathy I suppose, but with no emotion. She continued on with her explanation of what was happening and why it had to happen. This parting was necessary, she said. It had to be. He needed to feel the break from what he had known with me and to recognize that nothing would be the same. She droned on.

Her words were repugnant to me. In them, I felt this reality -- this goodbye -- crumble away . I was no longer merely uttering an unspeakable goodbye to someone from whom I could never bring myself to leave; it had become far worse than that. I was now feeling the malignancy of sorrow dredged from the utter darkness of my very soul. Within my heart, I had isolated the very essence of grief from death itself.. I was feeling pure sadness distilled as it were from pain as though it was water wrung from a cloth. It hurt. God, it hurts. It still hurts now an hour later.

Slowly the awareness that I was no longer in the yard seeped in. I was still in the depths of dolor, the tears were still rushing from my eyes, but the place was changing around me. I could a hair dryer somewhere in the distance. After a few moments, there were distant voices. They came closer and in them I could hear concern. My wife's hand brushed over my face. I woke up, but not even that stopped the tears. I suddenly realized that I could feel my heart, not its beating, but my heart itself as if something was crushing it. And then the kids. My oldest climbed into the bed and wrapped himself around me. The twins came and asked Mommy if Daddy was okay.

I'm not sure I am.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Condicio Sine Qua Non

My faith in God and in His Word is immutable and perdurable. However, for the next several paragraphs, I'm going to set it down over here on the desk for a moment while I bang out this post. I want to talk to you about life, the universe, and everything.

You know my stance on how we came to be, ontology, and the formation of the universe itself; there's no need for me to rehash that here. But what if I didn't believe what I believe? What if I wasn't as sure as I am about the origin of, well, everything?

I'd like to invite you for a moment to let your guard down for a moment because I swear to you that I'm not trying to convince you of anything. I'm not going to try persuade you to think the way I do or to believe what I believe. Can you do it? Can you step away from your own biases for a few moments?

For a couple years now, I've quietly been migrating from my previous interests in the humanities into physics, mathematics, biology and related areas. I've been voraciously reading, watching, and listening to articles, websites, videos, programs, and lectures on these subjects.
When a noted authority stands up and says, "space-time is thus and so..." I listen. When a revered scientist says, "the data reveal this, that and the other" I pay attention. And when a professor of whatnot writes down a formula to calculate e, m, c, v, p, or something to do with a quark, I rewind or reread it again until I understand it.

But there's one place where they lose me and, frankly, I can't help but suspect that if you're honest that they lose you as well.

It's when they start talking about how life came to be on this planet.
I'm putting my religious beliefs aside for a moment in saying this and I'm asking you respect that. Their whole bearing in these conversations changes when they make the leap from what is (or what might be) into how life happened. There's a palpable smell of trying to wring philosophical certainty from scientific probability. And it stinks.

They don't come across to me as honest at all. Sometimes it feels like they are under contractual obligation to make statements that affirm abiogenesis. Other times, they make illogical stretches that conclude that the processes of evolution absolutely account for all life on this planet. The one that absolutely blows my mind is when they make certain statements that contradict the very foundation of their assertions in order to prove them. Here are a couple examples that I hear again and again:

"In order for..."
"So that..."

As in, "in order for life to arise on this planet, these things occurred..."
What the frell? The same people who lose their minds when someone utters the words "intelligent design" have the gall to use the phrase, "in order to"? There IS NO "in order to" in atheistic evolution. The words, "in order to/for" and "so that" presume by definition an objective, a goal, a chosen outcome. You can't tell me life arose by chance and evolves by random mutations and use the words "in order to". Those words are off limits to evolution.
Here's a perfect example of this insanity from an article on "evolutionary-metaphysics[dot]net:

"Worms also inherited sensitivity to touch, temperature, and light from their single celled ancestors. A cluster of light sensitive cells has the potential to form a picture, and so there was strong evolutionary pressure for such clusters to evolve into early forms of eyes."

WHAT? Are you freaking kidding me?

How the heck do RANDOM MUTATIONS somehow develop a sense of PURPOSE? How does evolution experience a "pressure" to perform in a certain way and to achieve a certain GOAL? This jerk just described INTELLIGENT DESIGN, not Darwinian evolution.

I'm sorry, I really am, but if you subscribe to this garbage, you're being sold intellectual swampland and you're buying into it willingly.

You can (and do) completely disagree with me on my conclusions of life and it's origin, but for Pete's sake, people wake up. How can you possibly swallow this crap?

Hypothetically, if I suddenly sprang into existence full blown without any environmental indoctrination, sure, there's every possibility that I would not settle on the Book of Genesis as the final word on the rise of life in the universe. But I have to think that neither would I agree with this rubbish that I see so consistently in evolution's literature today.

I challenge you to take an honest look at how articles on the evolution of a species are written today and those tackling the astronomical steps that led to the formation of life; take a good hard honest look and you'll find that there is an enormous and glaring contradiction between what they set down as their presuppositions (i.e., that life evolves through a series of random genetic mutations that, if favorable to the organism, enhance its viability and allow it to adapt better to its environment) and their sudden veering off the tracks into a series of "this happened SO THAT this other thing could happen IN ORDER TO allow this other improvement to happen."

If somehow I tomorrow decided God did not in fact create life, the universe, and everything, I can tell you this without question -- I would never buy into the mythology that is being peddled today. The very best I could say is that I don't know. I wish, I really wish, that scientists today could be so honest.

And I challenge you to take a look at what's going on in your corner of this debate.