Sunday, November 22, 2015

Master, the Tempest Is Raging

Heart Sick

 For the most part this blog has been light-hearted in tone, sometimes informative in nature, occasionally tinged with a bit of gratuitous sarcasm but just for the fun of it.  I have used it to express my faith in God but not so much to display my lack of faith in my fellow-man.  I have avoided overly serious and heart-wrenching episodes because they are available elsewhere to those who want them.

But I cannot avoid this one.

My heart hurts as I write this and I mean that in the most literal sense.  The physical pain that accompanies the emotional anguish is very real.

I had watched a football game and when it ended I switched to NBC network news and that just in time to see them display the assassination of a young man as he lay in a fetal position, doubtless begging for his life.

Our visual arts media has fed us so much violence, gratuitous violence as entertainment that our society has become increasingly inured to it.  Inured to it to the extent that the gore and techniques of producing it become increasingly horrific. And now we see this result.  The producers of the news program think it not inappropriate to show a clip of a living terrorized human being being shot where he lies.

When I witnessed this my heart immediately clenched, the tears sprang from my eyes and my voice trembled so badly I could scarce convey to my wife the hurt I felt.

I do not know any of the principals, neither the slain individual nor the killer.  I weep for them to the extent that they are a part of the human family.  But the ache I feel, the sorrow I am enduring is for our society which has apparently reached such a level of hardhearted and uncaring insensitivity to our fellows that showing such an incident to the nation, to the nation's children, is acceptable and to be accepted and condoned.

Forgive me but I may have a difficult time finding it in my heart to forgive those who chose to air this atrocity.  But then, we are all guilty, are we not, for allowing the process of hardening our hearts through the guise of entertainment to make it possible for this to have occurred?

And now I weep for our children.

I sang in a mixed chorus when I was in high school.  This was one of my favorite numbers.  We performed it lustily!  Sixty-five years later I find this song still resonates with me, and I have found the Master to be faithful.  I can still sing it.  Sort of.

Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness,
No shelter or help is nigh;
Carest Thou not that we perish?
How canst Thou lie asleep,
When each moment so madly is threatening
A grave in the angry deep?

The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will,
Peace, be still!
Whether the wrath of the storm tossed sea,
Or demons or men, or whatever it be
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean, and earth, and skies;
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, be still! Peace, be still!
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, peace, be still!
Master, with anguish of spirit
I bow in my grief today;
The depths of my sad heart are troubled
Oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish
Sweep o’er my sinking soul;
And I perish! I perish! dear Master
Oh, hasten, and take control.

Master, the terror is over,
The elements sweetly rest;
Earth’s sun in the calm lake is mirrored,
And heaven’s within my breast;
Linger, O blessèd Redeemer!
Leave me alone no more;
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor,
And rest on the blissful shore.

--Mary A. Baker 
Music by Horatio Palmer

This is perhaps more professional than we were, but no more enthusiastic. 


Jim Grey said...

I read your earlier version of this post while out of town this weekend, but bookmarked it, because I wanted to see for myself what NBC had aired. They keep the last three days' NBC Nightly News broadcasts online for free viewing, so I just viewed it, and I am shocked to say that it is much as you described. They showed surveillance video of a man curled up on the sidewalk, just after having been shot in the stomach, the shooter trying to fire his jammed rifle into his head. The victim is in the hospital in guarded condition.

Bad things happen in this world. It is obviously apart from God's will and plan. But for NBC to blithely -- and it was blithely, no warnings about the forthcoming content -- air this is terrible. There was nothing about this that needed to be seen. The story itself was news, but the airing of this video was well over the line.

A man should not ever have to worry that a mindless channel change would deliver such images into his living room. I'm sorry that this happened to you, and that you were faced so unexpectedly with such crushing emotions to process.

vanilla said...

Jim, I thank you for the follow-up. May the victim recover. I thank you for your understanding and the effort you put into the research. I think the broadcast was a deplorable insult to our society. I appreciate knowing that I am not alone in this.