Saturday, November 05, 2005

Desperation

I haven’t seen the show Desperate Housewives but I think might after reading a couple of the show’s reviews on the Hollywood Jesus website. If you watch the show, I’d love to hear why you like it. Check out this excerpt from one of the reviews.

"We all have moments of desperation," Mary Alice Young narrates. Desperation points to a hole within us, a hole we want to fill by any means necessary. Stephen King once wrote a book titled Desperation whose main theme was that if you weren't in a state of faith, you were in a state of desperation. It all boils down to the conversation that Gabrielle has with her gardener-turned-lover. When asked why she married her husband, she answers "Because he promised to give me everything I ever wanted." Since the husband, in fact, gave her all of those things, yet this gardner still finds himself in bed with her, he logically asks "Then why aren't you happy?" She tells him that it "turns out that I wanted all the wrong things."

I can relate to that statement. I couldn’t have said this two years ago, but today I can admit that there is a darkness and sickness in my soul that actually desires the things that would eventually destroy me. Frederick Buechner said, "Lust is the craving for salt of a man who is dying of thirst!" Can you imagine being collapsed on the ground in the middle of a desert, literally dying of thirst, and craving salt?! Instead of craving that which would help, heal and give us life, we often crave what would hurt, humiliate, and ultimately destroy us.

Desperation is also a theme in Switchfoot’s music. (Yes I’m still entrenched in their new cd “Nothing is Sound”).

Desperate we are young. Separate we are one.
I want more than my desperation. I want more than my lonely nation.
(“Lonely Nation”)

Is this the new year or just another night
Is this the new fear or just another fright
Is this a new tear or just another desperation
Is this the finger or just another fist
Is this the kingdom or just a hit and miss
I miss direction most in all this desperation
(“The Blues” written on New Year’s Eve)


Lately I’ve been asking God to transform my desires so that my desires match up with his desires. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Proverbs 37: 4) I’ve come to realize that this proverb doesn’t mean that if I obey God he will grant me whatever my little heart desires. It means that as I delight in who God is and in my relationship with him, he will actually give me new desires to replace the messed up ones that formerly occupied my heart; desires that when fulfilled will bring me wholeness, freedom, and joy.

9 comments:

heidi said...

Thanks Marta. Your comments resonate with my spiritual ponderings right now. It's good to have you put words to my thoughts.

Aj Schwanz said...

What a beautiful post on an ugly topic! I have watched "DH" since day one - not for the characters with all the drama-rama, but for the most "plain" (i.e. most real) character of Lynette. Last year I was going through a major life overhaul with the arrival of Judah, and it seemed like her life on the show and my life were in the same cycle (even having breakdowns at the same time).

Thanks for the reminders and for being transparent. You are a blessing, online and off. :)

Gregg Koskela said...

Yes, yes! Great thoughts, Marta, and I'm always moved when people are honest enough to be vulnerable with others. Thank you.

Since you were vulnerable, I will too: I haven't watched the show, because of what I've heard about it. Stunningly beautiful women portrayed as sex-starved and lonely housewives are not what I need in my brain...visually or emotionally. Any benefit that might come from understanding reasons for their desperation can't overcome that, for me. Being male has its disadvantages.

Marta said...

Gregg, I appreciate that you know yourself well enough to set those types of healthy boundaries. I just read this quote: "Sin is not a distance; it is a turning of our gaze in the wrong direction." (Simone Weil) I will have to wait and see how my heart responds to the show. If my heart starts to turn in the wrong direction, I'll have to quit watching it. My hope is that my heart will see the stories beneath the story lines and perhaps learn and understand a little more about desperation, in myself and in others.

I also just have to give my opinion that without hours of make up, designer clothes, and personal trainers, all of the women who star in the show would blend right in with the Newberg Fred Meyer crowd.

Gregg Koskela said...

Oh, yes, I'm very aware that the image is not the reality. Here's the thing: just from seeing 2 or 3 commercials trying to get me to watch it, I see the ways it is trying to get me, as you wrote, "want what is bad for me."

Just from watching a commercial for it, thoughts try to creep in: "If I were in that neighborhood, they'd really want me."

"Hey...why doesn't my wife seem to have sexual desire like that, where she would want to throw herself at me like those women throw themselves at their neighbor or gardener?"

It's not just the visual fakery, it's the emotional fakery that is dangerous, too.

Marta said...

"Emotional fakery," I like that. Reminds me of another Switchfoot song, "Easier Than Love." I know you know it but here it is for those who don't have the cd.

Sex is currency
She sells cars, she sells magazines
Addictive, bittersweet,
Clap your hands
With the hopeless nicotines
Everyone's a lost romantic
Since our love became a kissing show
Everyone's a Casanova
Come and pass me the mistletoe
Everyone's been scared to death of dying here alone

She is easier than love
Is easier than life
It's easier to fake and smile and bribe
It's easier to leave
It's easier to lie
It's harder to face ourselves at night
Feeling alone
What have we done
What is the monster we've become
Where is my soul
(Numb)

Sex is industry, the CEO of coprorate policy
Skin deep ministry, suburban youth hail your so called liberty
Every advertising antic
Our banner waves with a neon glow
War and love become pedantic
We wage war with a mistletoe
Everyone's been scared to death of dying here alone
Sex is easier than love

P.S. What do I have to do to become one of the people you're "priviledged to know"? Link me up already!:-)

Gregg Koskela said...

:)

Sorry, Marta. I was waiting till AJ the juggernaut of blog referrals had calmed down, since she beat me to linking you. Now, you're linked.

Marta said...

Oh thank you, my life is complete!

Michael said...

I'm pleasently surprised at all your Switchfoot references... sadly I'm living in the post-Fox reality that is... Student Loans. so I have not had the chance to hear the new CD.