On rights.

Fun diagnostic tool I learned about today: to see if someone has hearing trouble in one ear, neurologists may whisper a number into one ear while rubbing their thumb and fingers next to the other ear to shield it from the sound. Then they repeat on the other side. I amused myself with the strangely intimate absurdity of such a procedure. If I were to do it, I would whisper into the patient’s left ear, “left ears are the best.” If the ear were normally functioning, I would whisper into the right ear something totally different, like, “my foot is a catfish.” Maybe I wouldn’t get many return visits.


Today while prodding some ground pork around a frying pan, I mused on the nature of rights. With all the (finally.) dialogue about infringement of rights for women, the poor, and people of color peppering the news, I thought about whether we really do have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or if Jefferson just took some literary license. Obviously in the formation of a more perfect union of humans, we must allow each other certain rights.

But when we come before God, He has the right to everything, even our lives, even our freedom, even our happiness. Of course He does the best for us, by His reckoning. But does He owe us anything?

I’ve been recently realizing that I have some totally unfounded expectations for what my “rights” are with God. Subconsciously, I felt God owed me the kind of life I envisioned, owed me a proportional grade to the effort I put in, owed me happiness. But while poking the pork, I was led to the somewhat glum conclusion that I am the clay, and the Potter does what He wills. Isn’t that what happened to Job?

Then the most incredibly normal speaking of God came to me. A verse fragment quietly wafted up to the fore: “may have right to the tree of life.”

In a world where we have no rights before God, by His blood, we have incontrovertible, uninhibitable access to God Himself.

God does not promise us the self-evident rights of life (physical, that is), liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, but we have the right to the tree of life.

Glumness, banished. I was rejoicing in the Lord, enjoying the tree of life the rest of the night.

Professors sprout got munched on by mushu. He’s been peckish since we put him on a doggy diet.

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