Monday, November 21, 2011
A Desperate Sign of Our Crazy and Empty Times. . . .
You could call this news of the weird or just too crazy to be believable. Still, my newspaper says it's true. . . and it got me thinking. It's one more sign of the times and our complete obsession with what we look like. I guess that when it comes to our identity, it's what's on the outside that matters. Keep reading. . . and then ask yourself. . . "Is this a result of our appearance obsession?" . . . "Is it a peek into what the future of our appearance obsessed culture is going to look like?" . . . or, "Is it both?"
It seems there's this woman living in Miami who wanted to get a job working at a nightclub. These days, it isn't just your people skills that gets you jobs serving drinks or waiting tables. . . or maybe anything else for that matter. Nope. It's highly likely that your first and most lasting impression is made and sealed with your looks. That's what's emphasized in today's world. Qualification is only skin deep. At least that's what this lady must have come to believe. So, she starts looking for a doctor who can perform some plastic surgery. . . specifically, some curve enhancement in the posterior area. This relatively recent development - by the way - has always been surprising to me. It used to be that people wanted to de-emphasize that part of their bodies if it was a bit over sized. Trust me. . . I know! Yep. . . cultural standards change and they do shape the way we look at ourselves and others.
Back to our female friend. She finds a female doctor to perform the surgery, or so she thinks. The story takes a strange turn in that the female doctor is neither a doctor nor a female. The supposed female doctor has - however - performed posterior enhancing surgery before. . . on herself . . or himself. I'm not real sure what to say here. Using some type of tube, the man who's not a woman or a doctor proceeds to use a tube-like device to inject a crazy mixture of cement, tire-sealant, and mineral oil into the job-seeker's backside. What results - as you can imagine - is great pain that has led to a need for further corrective surgery, an inability to work, and a criminal case.
OK . . . this story is extreme. But it is also a reminder. We long for relationship, for significance, and for love. And then in our desperation, we do desperate stuff to try to find any or all of the aforementioned things for which we've been created. So widespread and common is this universal human trait that most of our attempts to have these voids filled go unnoticed and are not the least bit newsworthy. But when something like this story comes along, maybe it's time to pause and look at ourselves and the unique traps that we fall into over and over and over again.
Augustine knew the Scriptures. He knew the secret of what it means to find one's significance in the arms of a loving God. He wrote, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee.” When we are filled with Him, we don't need anything else to fill us. . . not cement, not mineral oil, not tire sealant, not "the right" shape, nothing.