Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: suffering (page 1 of 2)

The Yoda Verses: Anger Leads to Hate

The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why do you look so resentful?” (Genesis 4:6, CEB)

The Jedi Master Yoda warns both Aiken and Luke Skywalker about anger. Yoda tells Luke in The Empire Strikes Back, “Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

Someone should have warned Cain.

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Guest Post: Pain and Praise

by Rev. Daniel Wray

washing_3262c-2Read Psalm 22:23-31.

My freshman year of college was a year after Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf coast. Conditions in these areas were still desperate, and my home church in Richmond decided to go to Gulfport, Mississippi to help in the recovery. While there we worked on the house of a wonderful man named Leo.

Each day as we worked Leo and his brother would be there with us telling us stories about their family, their community, and about the hurricane. There were some stories of joy and praise, but a majority of the stories were simply heartbreaking. I remember one story in particular of a family climbing to the roof to escape the rising waters. After making sure the rest of his family was securely on the roof, the husband was the last to attempt and climb. As he climbed, the waters surged, sweeping him away, and his mother watching from the roof, was so overcome with grief that she had heart attack and died as well.

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Big Eyes (2014)

© 2014 The Weinstein Company. All rights reserved.

© 2014 The Weinstein Company. All rights reserved.

Margaret Keane, the painter famously known for the big, oversized doe-like eyes of her subjects, is the subject of the new film, Big Eyes. Tim Burton, a Keane collector, directs Amy Adams as Margaret Keane, with the script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewksi (who collaborated with Burton on Ed Wood) tells this real-life story of truth buried under years of lies and deception.

After relocating to San Francisco, Margaret attempts to make a living as an artist. But, in the 1950’s San Francisco, she finds that it is difficult for a divorced, single-mother like herself to get a job, much less make it as an artist. Then, in a moment of serendipity, she meets Walter Keane as portrayed by Christoph Waltz.

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Guest Post: Lost in Suffering

by Erin Davidson 

Read Isaiah 50:4-9a.

Lent Ponderings - jasoncstanley.comObedient, loyal and steadfast, they’re all big, meaningful words, words that Jesus embodies.  They’re words for us as humans to strive to live and grow into.  As we move through Lent, we experience Jesus’ journey to the cross.  It wasn’t a pleasant one and no matter how much God could have told him about what would happen, Jesus, as a human, wouldn’t have been fully prepared.  Yet throughout this journey of suffering, Jesus remains obedient, loyal and steadfast.  Isaiah writes in this passage about a suffering servant, whether we interpret this servant as the children of Israel waiting to be delivered, or Jesus towards the end of his life, it’s a journey of obedience and God’s steadfastness.

In Isaiah 50:1-3 God essentially asks rhetorically, “Did you really think I have forgotten you?  Did you really think that I’m unable or unwilling to deliver you from this?”  To which God then responds in verses 4-9 that a Savior will come.  Not only will this Savior come but God details some of the suffering he will have to endure.  Throughout it all, this Savior is obedient and loyal to God because he knows God will stay with him the entire time.

Sometimes we get lost in our own “suffering,” forgetting that God is always present with us on our journey.  I cannot imagine being tasked with the role that Jesus had; I also cannot imagine being such a faithful disciple.  However, Isaiah reminds me that God prepares disciples, giving us a “well-instructed tongue” to know the words to use, open ears to listen to those around us.  God equips us with everything needed for the journey ahead and in turn, we must listen and follow.

This year as you read through the stories of Lent, look for examples of obedience, loyalty, and steadfastness. Examine the characters of the story, the words they use, or when they don’t talk. Use their stories to guide how we live our lives as disciples.

Erin B. Davidson is a full time social worker and part time Day Camp Director at Camp Hanover in Mechanicsville, VA.

Babel (2006)

220px-Babel_poster32Babel is the third film in a trilogy from Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. The other two films, Amores Perros (2000) and 21 Grams (2003), both have connectedness in their story lines, just as Babel does. The term “hyperlink film” has been used to describe these kinds of films, as the feature film is made up of short films.

In these kinds of films, the stories unfolding before us are interlocking stories. There is a connection – visible or invisible – between the short stories and the broader story of the film. A well-known example of this would be 2004’s Crash, which won Best Picture Oscar. Babel is a better version of this interlocking than Inarritu’s earlier films. And, I think, better than Crash.

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