Sunday, April 23, 2006

Major Brain Strain

I had an interesting assignment for Homiletics. We had to practice creative writing. So we wrote a metaphor, a simile, a series of sentences that are something called "anaphora" (I'd never heard of it). We had to write a story and tell what kind of sermon it might illustrate. We had to vividly describe a scene from nature. And finally, we had to choose a verse from Romans (I know, UGH) and come up with a quote from either a book or a movie that illustrated it. That last part about did me in. I worked on it for over 4 hours. I could have just picked something but it was really important to me (for the whole assignment) to have something really unique. I've somehow made my TA think I'm a creative writer so I feel there are expectations. Plus I refused to pick any of the overdone Christian references (like Matrix, Fight Club, or anything from CS Lewis). I finally finished but I've been working on this all day! I really didn't think it would take this long.

Anyway, in the spirit of always putting myself out there, I'll now let you see what I wrote. Maybe you can have a laugh at me. Or with me. Whatever. There are just a couple cool things I wanted to share, and then I thought, why not just put up the whole thing? So here you are. And you people in class with me can now tell me that I'm way too anal (or I suck compared to you or whatever).

Creative Writing
Metaphor: How could she write a creative metaphor when her mind was a gooey mass of thick pink cotton candy?
Simile: Normally, writing creatively is like breathing for me, but this assignment has me hyperventilating!
Anaphora: Creativity springs from your reason. Creativity springs from your experience. Creativity springs from your education. Creativity springs from your passion. Creativity springs from your heart.

For a sermon on God’s faithfulness throughout our lives and into the future:
A group of teenagers were driving to a party one sunny spring day. Suddenly, disaster struck: a horrific accident. Drunk driver. One of the girls, just 16 and an only child, was so badly injured that the rescue workers wrote her off and helped the others first. Her head was smashed and her pelvis was crushed, but she lived. Her parents’ relief at her incredible survival turned into a nightmare as doctors told them she would never speak again or walk – that she may not even recognize them. Despite all odds, she recovered, and though she never finished high school, she did get a job and eventually got married. Yet again she defied her doctors’ predictions, impossibly becoming pregnant. But her old injuries haunted her, traumatizing her body until she could not even eat. Hospitalized for dehydration, with her regular obstetrician out of town, the on-call doctor decided that her poor health called for a therapeutic abortion. But before it could be carried out, her doctor returned and refused to let anyone take the baby while there was the slightest glimmer of hope. In fact, she carried her baby 10 months. As her daughter was knit together ever so slowly and carefully in her womb, the woman’s pelvis realigned, allowing a normal delivery (and later, three more children). When her little girl was born, my grandmother took one look at my mother – and all the terrible, unfair pain and suffering in her life was forgotten as the sweet miracle of promise lay in her arms.

Nature description - this is about my little cuties outside!
They are working in the dark. The deep silence is broken only by the water that drips down, kissing their heads with its sweet coolness. Maybe some food will arrive today, but then again, probably not. No matter. They will continue without it. They cannot help but keep pushing. They grunt and strain, all their being striving towards the light, dreaming of the sun, knowing the day will come. And when it does, the brightest and most beautiful vibrant green energy takes solid form, and with a final shuddering thrust, the tiny shoot pushes up through the soil, and the plant announces its birth to the great wide world.

Romans & Buffy
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). This verse is usually used to condemn sinners. In fact, what it is saying is that no matter what we may deserve, God has freely chosen to forgive us.

In an episode of the television show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” the reformed vampire Angel is faced with all the evil things he has done. He decides that he deserves to die, and waits outside for the sun to rise (which will kill him). He asks Buffy, “Am I a thing worth saving? Am I a righteous man?” and later begs her to let him “be strong” and die.

But before they can even finish talking, snow begins falling (even though they are in Southern California). Miraculously, the sun does not come out at all that day. Although Angel knew that he did not deserve to live, that the wages of his sin is death, God does not let him die. Instead, God hides the sun, freely offering him another chance at life.

Written & Directed by Joss Whedon
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 3, Episode 10

It is my personal pledge that I will always use more Buffy illustrations than Bruce Almighty. You have my word as a preacher.


Marshall Scott said...

Buffy is good, of course. The hard part is to somehow stay current. My reference this morning to Chesterton's Father Brown mysteries worked well, but I didn't expect anyone else to get it. On the other hand, I still have good "Babylon 5" examples come to mind (pick a gneration, any generation), and then realize almost no one will connect with it.

Dave said...

I don't know if you've seen All Things Philosophical on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but that sire's really a kick-butt exploration of the deeper themes of Buffy and Angel. (My favorite episode in both series? "Hero.")

Emilie said...

Wow - what a great assignment, and I really like what you did with it. The story about your grandmother brought tears to my eyes. That's amazing. (And I write this as a pregnant woman, so anything having to do with the miracle of birth, even under ordinary circumstances, is admittedly more emotional to me.) You will (and do) have a real gift as a preacher.

Stasi said...

But Hero is so sad! I still remember how shocked I was...and how much I cried at the final scene with the videotape.

That actor died, you know - who played Doyle. Very sad.