People do the Craziest Things

Adam — did he do what he did for love? Did he say, ‘I will join her; I can’t bear to be without her.’ — is that how it went down? He at after Eve; was it because he’d rather skulk around the earth a sojourner and pilgrim at the mercy of the people in that land, than serve in heaven?

OK — yet then in the next breath betrayed her?

Or did the man want that apple just as much in the first moment tho he was second? Did he only need an excuse and the woman provided it? Then he’s not to be considered ever, in the manner of the first option.

Abraham and Isaac is the [in]famous one. Kierkegaard wrestled with the angel there, tho we rarely do.

How about David and his dead son — the one borne of his sin, dying for the same reason, and then David … worships.

Later, running from the rebellion and wrath and desires of another son he lauds the man throwing rocks at him.

A prostitute hid spies and ended up in the Genealogy, the only woman I am told other than Mary who is mentioned again, after Matthew’s litany of life, in the NT.

Jonah, so the story goes, ends up in the belly of a big fish. And then Job, who gets by contrast with the swimming, running, pouting prophet, much worse. Then gets much better — double what he had before and this after … after … saying at least brazen and what appears to his friends blasphemous things.

But God says Job did well.

Philosopher Peter Kreeft says it means we can throw dishes at God, but that we shldnt leave the kitchen. Job took it seriously, didn’t go for easy answers, knew with whom he had to do. And … doubled his holdings.

We cd go on, culminating [one might think] with Jesus himself, who did some of the nuttiest things on record. But this wd stop us before what came with the rest of the story — the Apostles, who after all were the afters, and continued in these … unconventional acts.

And on through history where men and women of all sorts and conditions have shown similarly oddball behavior: staring at the stars — Eppur si muove — and peering into the depths … founding movements, inventing an iPhone … leading armies — a teenaged girl! — and nations — not one but two Elizabeths. Choosing prison for themselves so one day — Rolihlahla [troublemaker] then Madiba! A term of respect — their people cd choose for themselves, as well.

Marching, sitting, writing, dying … Even at times in some strong sense at their own hands: self-immolation in southeast Asia, self-wasting in an English prison — denial of self in such cases taking literal form …

By now there’s either awe — a minority, certainly — or more than a bit annoyed — by stupid men and women through history — or just wondering, you know, where the heck are you going with this?


It is not a truth universally acknowledged for ones noted here and the thousands still, like their opposite the self-focused wretch, ‘unwept, unhonored, unsung’ because I don’t have the room, that what they did … was worth doing.

We commonly in fact say the same thing of them: where the heck are you going with this?

And anyway, what are thousands among billions? Some 120 billions of us — homo sapiens — have lived on the planet, go the estimates.

And if you’re of that tilt, imagine for a moment the response of peers when the first insane, unhearing one of them stood and walked upright: where the heck are you going with this?

We … don’t.

We just … don’t.

In the end we don’t.

We keep quiet — or more likely these days we shout along with a social or other kind of media mob, while the true fighters are silent, except to God and even then they’ll tell you, they’re eventually silent, too.

We don’t walk upright, hide spies, step out, up …

… to the gallows?

Bonhoeffer did say when He bids us, it’s to come and die.

And for our non-troubles we don’t end up cast out or trapped within — a big fish or a tiny cell. We aren’t burned at stakes or our own hand. Because we have nothing at stake and don’t know what to do with these hands.

These hands …

He wants our voice, the Lost Dogs sang, hoping ‘to offend at least one person in the room’ for that is how he talks; wants our feet [which is the way to walk]. Faith, of course, but insufficient, and is it first?

No, the Dogs say. It’s love, from the heart.

Then we will know what to do with our hands.


Thanks for reading.

nota bene: After I’d begun, I thought, well, this is going to be about doing incredible things, even if it is just disagreeing with something everyone else thinks swell. But then it became the second half of the person trying to say something. I’ve read, I believe it was in Walter Brueggemann, that the fullest kind of such folk are those who can say what’s wrong and point to what might be better. Often I’ve found myself doing only the first part. So this became the second one, and this gladdens.
Then, after I’d finished, I found this: ‘What if the mightiest word is love?‘ and that was nice, too.



Image Credit:
Albrecht Dürer

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