Friday, August 20, 2010


Snippets. You know what I mean -- snippets, bits of things. Buttons, paint swatches, phrases. Slang shortcuts such as "ttfn" or "LOL" or "@#$%$". Our memories and recollections of people and times and places are snippets of the real experiences. None of these snippets can fully recreate the experience.  Similarly, a snippet could be a headline or a stereotype or "common knowledge". A snippet is a truth remembered from a moment in time or an impression in a brief encounter that so very easily morphs into a generalized assessment which then takes on the mantel of Truth.

Snippets. The media calls them "sound bytes". The political pundits capitalize on them, editing words, choosing carefully, finding visuals that support the impression that they wish to convey. And then this snippet takes on a life of its own and becomes Truth.

I wonder what Snippets an objective observer of all of the events and thoughts and moments of my life would come up with. And as I wonder this, I shudder.

I am a lover of Christ and I am aware of many Snippets and conclusions that one, whether a Christian or not, may draw about me and my fellow-believers. I could be found complicit in the tortures of the Inquisition, in the atrocities of the Crusades. I could be found guilty of convicting witches because they couldn't survive a trial by drowning.  Some could ascribe to me the many deaths at the hand of Timothy McVeigh  because he was raised as a Christian. And, there are Christians such as Scott Roeder who similarly have performed heinous and illegal acts. In a Snippet, these actions could be attributed to me because I too am a Christian. Never mind the lynchings and burnings of the Klan over the centuries, all done in the name of Christ.

There are so very many Snippets that grab our attention.  There are so many who want us to attend to the  Snippets before us because they are beguiling and they satisfy the Snippets that we have about ourselves.

Holy God, preserve us from the Snippets and may You lead us to speak the Holy Truth.


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