But this week has been a bit dramatic. I don’t consider myself a tech person at all, but am a firm believer and supporter of Apple. As a family we use their products, but this wonderful company (via the hard work of my husband) also happens to put food on our table, diapers on our child, and gives us a reminder to be innovative, creative, and do it all with integrity. And so when the news of Steve Jobs passing came to our home, I was speechless. I don’t mean to be all sappy about someone that I have never met, but it’s what he represented, and the opportunities that our family has had through the company that he started that got me all teary eyed.
And I did what we all did. I googled Jobs and I looked at speeches, quotes, YouTube videos and I acted like he was some sort of hero. And in many ways, he was. And still is. And yes, before you start commenting about how reports say that he didn’t give enough to charity, or that he was rude and mean, or maybe even the story of his child that he didn’t confirm right away, please hear me when I say that I can’t think of a hero that hasn’t fallen and then rose above. And isn’t this, this falling and then getting back up again, isn’t this what it means to be heroic? To put on your cape and to soar over the heights?
But after a bit of browsing the massive amounts of google webpages, tweets and status updates, I came across a chilling headline. Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS has decided to picket the funeral of Steve Jobs. Never mind that they announced this through their iPhones (ironic much?), but my mind couldn’t get past the hate of this group and their quest to destroy the legacy of a
And so I went to their homepage and I began to weep for the hatred that was flowing out of that place. My mouth hung open and I could. not. find. words.
Because, in the Bible Jesus is talking to the Pharisees and the people of Jerusalem who, like Westboro Baptist, are missing the point.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you, desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’ “
As Jesus came out of the temple and was going away, his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. Then he asked them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”
Jesus uses the words stones here to describe physical, literal, stones that were being thrown at “wrong-doers.” For whatever reason, the Pharisees felt the need to condemn. To judge. To criticize. And do it with the name of the Temple, the House of God, the place of worship, as their endorsement.
Hello, Westboro Baptist.
And Jesus, he beats them at their own game and he speaks of the house of God and the stones that have built it, and what the future hold for them.
It’s a two-fold metaphor here: the religious system that the Pharisees followed so very closely was built upon stones of rules, rituals, and were tightly packed into what seemed to be a non-movable prototype. And they built their temple with these very stones, and their hearts reflected this hard nature. And in all it’s glory, their temple would be destroyed and all that would be left, were
Stones instead of building. Stones instead of a heart flowing of blood and love and grace and kindness.
And Jesus points out that these same stones are thrown at people. That the rules, judgements and regulations that they use to condemn are the same stones they’ve used to build their house of worship.
And we do this every day. We have stones that have built our faith, our outlooks, and our interactions with others. But do we use these to condemn or to give life? Do we kill and destroy?
Because at the beginning of the Bible God creates the world and he creates humanity in his own image. And we so are born as creators.
Of electricity, delicious dishes, surfboards, paintings, and even iPhones.
And it’s a little too ironic for me to stomach that the tools that one man created that truly has brought so much good to people, is being used for a tool of condemnation of his own life, death and family that survives him. Shame on you, Westboro Baptist.
And shame on us if we let this kind of behavior go on.
And again on my fellow Christians who allow these stones to be the representation of a God that we know to be loving, gracious, and redeeming.
And so in the name of innovation, creation, and using the tools we’ve been given for good, let us create. And share. And raise our hats to those who have paved the way, and through grace, encouragement, and love, let’s help clear the path for those that are yet still to come.
Even if you only have a few ingredients.
Because at the end of the day, if Westboro Baptist pickets my funeral, I’ll know I used my stones for good, for the glory of God, and their hard-packed hearts will be pissed off at the reality of this. Picket away. Destroy me. I’ll take it as a compliment.
Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
-Steve Jobs 1955-2011
Easiest Frosting Ever
1 Cup of Sour Cream
Brown Sugar to taste
Start with a tablespoon of brown sugar and then mix vigorously with a spoon until brown sugar dissolves. Taste. Add more if necessary. Spread on your favorite pumpkin bread and delight and enjoy!