“Welcome to Day 16 of Blogmas 2018. Mr. Swinebottom is taking a day off today. So grab your chestnut roasting pan and let’s begin!”
“This is Reginald Swinebottom presents. Welcome to Day 15 of Blogmas 2018. Grab your mittens and let’s get crackin’!”
“Be still and know that I am God” is one of my favorite scripture verses.* As an introvert who needs approximately four hours of alone time for every one hour of interaction with others, these words are balm on my soul. It reassures me that peace, quiet and solitude are necessary. I don’t need to seek after worldly things until I burn myself out or to prove to anyone that I’m “worthy.” Jesus died for me–I am his treasured one. This is my compass.
Is it weird that I’m a horror author who is also Christian? I don’t think so. Christianity, once you get past the baby milk and sugar, is actually filled with terrifying ideas and creatures–demons, angels, martyrdom and Hell being just a few. “Be still and know that I am God” are ringing bells of power in the cemetery of death, the world of lies and illusions we navigate before rejoining God in Heaven. Evil lurks behind the tombstones waiting to distract us or to push us off course. Few things about this are fair and the journey is sometimes filled with horrible things. But we get there. With God, we get there.
But let’s step back onto the main path for now. It’s foggy and cold in the cemetery, but the full moon is out and there’s a dry patch under the elm. Let’s talk about my main subject: setting up my writing space.
As an introvert (an INTJ to be exact), I find American society at once demanding, garrulous and worshipful of charming extroverts. This perception of the perfect American finds its way into churches, bleeds over the pews, stains the carpets and infiltrates the very verbiage and conversational rhythms. Modern churches exemplify this particularly with stage lighting, booming mic’s, catchy tunes and coffee bars. And suddenly church is about working and collecting merit badges at warp speed. If you have lots of energy, bright eyes and agreeable conversation–you’re in!
If not, you’re a problem.
Sometimes I feel as if America has “signed on” Jesus at the White House to become their spokesman and undersigner–their “yes” man. This Jesus is Caucasian, always Conservative Republican, is allowed to have an “acceptable” beard, and goes around in sandals and a billowing white tunic, shaking hands with politicians while flashing a Crest sponsored smile. He hands out little medals to those who oppose abortion and easily excuses marital affairs, vulgarity and any covered up sex or child trafficking. He gives flowers to women wearing Gucci and busily writing out checks to avoid taxes at tax time. He kisses white babies and applauds business owners for forming jobs and trickling down a meager sustenance to the undeserving, wretched poor.
And then, if he has enough time in his daily itinerary, he hops onto a book signing by any number of white evangelicals in the blessed world of Christian Marketing and Business. He sits proudly behind the desk and recites pitches dutifully, saying “Yep, buy this book for $29.95. Don’t bother talking with me too much or accepting pain and trials–I sure don’t have the time when there are Senate seats to be won! American Christianity is pain free, pleasure filled with blessings upon blessings–but only if you buy this book and decide you’re worth it. Say, have you seen the latest Hallmark movie? They’re all white–just like me. White, blue eyed and blonde haired, mostly…Reminds me of growing up in the Middle East…”
Is it a wonder I feel disenchanted? It’s enough to make anyone gag on their Chick-Fil-A Coke…