Monday, August 29, 2011

Shades of Gray

This morning was busy with running back and forth across town on school-related errands with another mom from the Parents' Association. Finally headed home, I stopped at the video store to return the latest flick our children had watched on "Family Movie Night" (aka, most Friday nights at our house.)

My companion had a question. She must have repeated it twice before I fully understood what she was saying.

"Did you make a copy of it before you took it back?"

I realized that what for me might be a joking statement was in all seriousness to her. When I answered in the negative, she shook her head. "You shouldn't waste your money renting movies! Don't you know that you can buy all the latest ones for 1000 pesos (the equivalent of $2) at the Agro (local market) ... my kids have a whole stack of them! Kung Fu Panda 2, all the new movies. Why don't you do that instead?"

Inwardly I grimaced as I thought, "I do not want to have this conversation right now! How can I explain our position as Christians without coming across as judgmental? I know what she is saying is completely normal in Chile (as mentioned in previous posts, here and here) but it isn't for us."

I half hoped that the brief interval where I hopped out of the car to drop the box in the slot would distract her from continuing the conversation. But instead she picked up right where we left off. Forced to respond, I took a deep breath and said haltingly, "Well ... it's just that ... those movies are pirated. They're actually illegal. So that's why we don't buy them."

"No ..." she disagreed. "It's not like you are selling them to make money!"

"Well I may not be, but the person I'm buying them from is. What he's doing is illegal. And we don't want to support that."

Quickly she extolled the tenets of her position. "It's not like you can take kids to the movies all the time! That's just too expensive. And they want to see the new movies that are out. There's really no other choice!"

No other choice. How many times have we heard that excuse? More to the point, how many times have we used it?

We are constantly teaching our children about choices. How to make the right ones. What the consequences are of the wrong ones. Yet it's no wonder they are confused in a world that is such a foggy hue of gray most days. If we the adults don't even get it right, how can we expect them to?

Eva basically said the same thing during an impromptu conversation we had the other day on the steps leading to my bedroom. "Satan? I hate that guy!" she declared emphatically. Then she added, "So it's like he is all black. And God is all white. And so we are supposed to be like God. But then we can't be perfect. And then the black and white gets mixed, and it's all just gray!"

Thankfully, there is Light strong enough to pierce the darkness.

Psalm 119:105 says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and light for my path." Because of this we can make our choices based on His eternal truth rather than our own human experiences and convenience. Even in a relativistic world, we can be unmoveable. When it all turns gray let us turn our eyes towards the Light and allow Him to be our guide!


Kari said...

Wonderful post....we have that same problem here too about the movies. Love you daughters statement - can tell she is really thinking. Thanks for the post!

Deborah said...

Oh, mi Estefania...

Thank you for writing, mon ami. I love you, I love your kiddos.

I miss you and often think and dream of visiting your happy yellow gated home.

<3 <3 <3