Slumdog tells the story of a boy growing up in the slums of India, and The Kingdom gives a glimpse of life in Saudi Arabia. I was struck by the darkness in these cultures...or more so by how the darkness is just out there, where everyone can see it. The millions of people living in the slums of India are not hidden, there's miles and miles of "homes" with a piece of blue tarp for a roof, there's filth and greed, and cheating, it's every man for himself, etc. And the people who live in Saudi Arabia with men walking the streets armed to the teeth, boys raised to hate people who don't pray to the same god... The awfulness is out in the open. We don't see that stuff here in the US. If it's here, you have to look for it. The images in these movies shock, and stick with you.
I just heard a snippet of Limbaugh while flipping channels. He was saying that our country, as young as it is, is so much better--wealthier, freer, healthier--than all these others, and he asked, "why is that? We all have the same human make-up, we aren't more evolved than any one else." (or he said something like that) I didn't see anymore, so I don't know Rush's answer to his questions, and have no doubt that he thinks he knows the answer. I saw this clip as I was digesting the contrast of life growing up for these kids in India and my own kids here in white bread suburbia. Why is it like this?
Reading through the stories of David's life, I see how God loved him and protected him, but also taught him and let him make mistakes and experience the consequences. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, there has been darkness in the world. Sometimes it covers miles and miles, or it's right in your face, baring its ugly teeth. Other times it's covered up, or dressed up and disguised. But there's darkness everywhere. But God's love and protection are everywhere, too. We only have to accept it. Here's what David said about how the darkness impacts God...
I can never escape from your Spirit!Psalm 139:7-12
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
It doesn't impact God! He sees through it all. I don't understand why things are the way they are. I can't find the answer (maybe if I'd listened to Rush a bit longer, it'd be crystal clear, ha!) but maybe it's one of those questions that needn't be answered now. Maybe it's the love and protection we need to embrace for the here and now.