Tuesday, June 30, 2015


I find the world is filled with circuses all around me these days.  Sometimes they seem the fun ones with the grands posting pictures and having fun.  Other times it's a room filled with clothes from closets and drawers as I go about my activity of Tidying Up and Changing  My Life (see:  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book) and picture my kids happy that I've done this when I'd dead so their work will be less burdensome. There is the circus of flowers and vegetables and fruits in our yard...many edibles but others providing joy and laughter as they blend in drifts in the Gardens of Warwick that Robert tends (not me!  Too many bugs!)

Then there is the circus of clowns on the Supreme Court of the land.  This should be a sacred appointment, with justices asking the Lord for direction.  Instead it's manned by men who apparently forgot their appointments are for life and they aren't going to need the popular vote to retain these seats.  But they seem instead to be the clowns of the devil.

But last week Jocelyn sadly experienced another circus, one touted as being for ALL AGES and FREE.  The family planned for it and were all excited to attend...only it turned into a horror show.  Jocelyn posted her objection to what they endured online and I noticed her comments got lambasted because she reported it and the next performance 'supposedly' was changed and some moms were irate that they wouldn't get to see the strip act.  I looked up this 'famous and award winning' show online, from Sweden and this is what I found:


In this show you will meet an angry, small but passionate acrobat and a stupid, gigantic yet so lovable juggler. Together they perform in a warm circus show with jaw dropping skills and stomach turning comedy. It is filled with Bollywood juggling, teeterboard dancing and handstand, and has a high flying acrobatic grand finale performed in – a g-string. A show you will never forget!

And apparently that is what Jocelyn and her kids experienced.  But who looks up info on a free show for all ages in a park, in the middle of Mennonite Country?   No one I know of.  I talked to Jocelyn when I realized they had had this experience.  Knowing how they've taught their children well, knowing how they've remembered as parents all these good things apply to themselves as well as to the children, I wondered why they didn't leave.

Jocelyn, I am sure, felt I was accusing her.  I was not!  I just needed a grip on how a free circus for all ages could turn into this.  But this is the era of Satan's tactics getting into our lives with no advance notice. How easy he makes all indecency seem.  How when you are the one objecting you are the one who is wrong.

Does this ring a bell?  Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

What did ring a bell for me from Jocelyn experience is one I had myself decades ago and I need to record it.  Years ago Robert and I were with good friends.  She said, "Oh!  You have to go see the new Indiana Jones movie, Temple of Doom." 

Having seen the first one and now having been assured it was fine, we went.  But it was OH-SO-NOT.   It was a movie I have NEVER viewed again. But I could not leave.  It wasn't that I didn't want to..Oh I so did!  When I say I COULD NOT I mean I COULD NOT.  Later I asked my friend what was she thinking in recommending this movie to us when she knew how we felt about such themes.  Her answer was that she was standing next to her husband and she didn't want him to think she was a prude but that it was, indeed, horrible for her.  What a disappointment.  From then on I never trusted her account of anything.  She's a good woman, that marriage fell apart anyway.  And I am not even sure she kept with the values she had back then. But of course that's her circus.

Along comes another segment of this story.  Several years ago, I heard about a book called The Bad Guys of the Book of Mormon.  I had loaned it to several people, the last one having kept it too long and when I teased her about it she returned it as well as asking me to order her one.  In ordering it I realized the author had written a second one, Bad Guys of the Bible.  So I ordered us both a copy.  And as I read the introduction and first chapter, suddenly the full memory of that long-ago afternoon in the theaters.  It was as though I was watching a rerun of of the events, the movie but not as a viewer of the scenes. This time it was the scene and I was IN THEM...in the first person as well as the third person.

I could see myself bowing my head and not looking at the screen just as Scarlett did last week.  I remember and saw myself looking to the right, to the aisle, to the door.  To see how to escape that theater.  And yet, my legs would not straighten up.  I could not get my body to rise.  I could feel fear as a cold hand settle on and in me and I felt that something worse was awaiting me if I moved out of that seat.  So I sat very still and very close to Robert's body.  The horrible scene eventually passed and we made it out safely I still have no recollection of how the movie ended.  

Funny how the remembrance of that horrible fear left me til Sunday but those books arrived Sunday while we were at church (and I have to ask, who delivers on the Sabbath?). In just reading those few pages, I was reminded of the actual full series of events of that movie moment.  Reminded in a way I never want to be reminded again.  But I certainly hope I never forget again.  

I called Jocelyn to tell her about the full experience, having already told her the bare bones story when we had talked.  And she replied that that is EXACTLY how she felt, how the other moms who objected to the circus felt.  They felt they just could not move but had no idea why not.

I suppose there are ways to flee from the serpent.  Or always the Yea Yea Nay Nay moment.  I suppose in the future there's going to be a WHOLE LOT MORE investigating of everything before we do it.  And that's a sad state but to be the Watchman on the Tower we will need to be ever vigilant and too often I think I am not.  

I am grateful for this one moment in time that was repeated to me as a movie (there's symbolism there, isn't it?...a movie of a movie of my life?!) and I hope that by writing this down I can better understand it.  Truly I was not criticizing Jocelyn's not moving away from these scenes (altho I should add she did get her kids to come over to her and she made them look at her and then covered them with a blanket til it was over and they could leave...and then have to tell innocent children what they saw or heard and why it was not to be repeated).  I just wondered.  Or maybe I was trying to bring back the full memory that I NEEDED to remember. Who knows? 

All I do know is that I was reminded and am grateful for that replay.  Only now I need to be even more vigilant, especially in the next few days.  For when I have been spiritually strengthened, his forces will be more on the attack.


Lin Floyd said...

good sermon, needed by all of us everyday even listening to the news...

Jocelyn Christensen said...

And this write-up by Bucknell inviting the community to attend says nothing about ending "in a g-string"! But instead calls it "family-friendly"...http://www.bucknell.edu/news-and-media/2015/june/free-cirque-performances-in-hufnagle-park-june-25.html

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