Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Youthful Idealism -- Sundays nearest August 6 & 8

"Youthful Idealism"

People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle our skin, but to give up our enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. (Samuel Allman)

To whom can we be given up? What other hope is there for Earth? For Children? By what delusion dare we abandon, despair? Hosea from depths of own suffering able to hear and feel all: His God's heart splitting open, compassion metastasizing, no longer able, willing, to execute, carry out anger: "For I am God! I will not come in wrath!" Wrath-making not God, but choice-making, change-making are, disposing of angers, deploying of strengths; in Jesus deciding to die before killing -- again -- if God ever did? God gravitating toward Anne Frank, "ideals, and dreams, and cherished hopes," toward Sadako, flickering, trembling cranes:

The kind of God we choose to believe in the end makes all the difference . . . Until I discover the God in which I believe, I will never understand a thing about my own life . . . Made in the image of God, we grow in the image of God we make of ourselves. (Joan Chittister)
Grappling, goading, pleading for each others' blessings, like Jacob, just wanting to live to tell about it; even as Holocaust deniers, resenters, begin to outnumber survivors, endurers, ideological renderings replacing, crowding out eye-witness accounts: Who lives to tell about Death Camps? Atomic Bombs? Genocides and Ethnic Cleansings? Each of us living to tell about something? Own unrepeatable- and unforgettableness? Long-distance invincibleness? Joining in stories, faith-foolish salvation-struggles, even, especially, for soul of "One Who Acts Crookedly," one who deceives, who hustles, rustles, wrestles, "gets over," at points of crossing, of crisis, of kairos -- Still getting away with world as our plaything? Peoples as pawns in our power games? Resources as weapons at our commands? (Crusty, crunchy Aunt Jessie and I sneak from our beds to the TV in my grandmother's house late at night, cheering in mime, Vern Gagne against Dick the Bruiser!)

Jacob's whole world-wrestling way of life, waxing from womb, springing forth foothold on brother, announcing self serious contender; inveigling, untangling, extracting -- birthright from brother, blessing from father, two daughters, many servants, animals from father-in-law -- all merely preparing this crossing again, re-entering land of promise, now com-promised, justly expecting the worst -- anything wealth cannot sway his way out of? Fruits from procuring now fruits for securing? Alerting Esau to how much he possesses, sporting, comporting position to bargain for life, forgiveness, forgetfulness; Esau advancing, four hundred strong, reducing brother to pretense and bribe, still missing no tricks, even praying! Poised on promise, glorious destiny, countless progeny, about to be certified "Israel," who strive to be blessed, and be blessing, "Israel," from "Jacob," who never quit!

No matter how sorely wounded, refusing to be defeated, encountering all mysteries, power and grace, Creation herself, face-to-face -- yet telling about it! "Israel" for whom world even now waiting, aching, longing, corresponding to Jacob's own deepest soundings of self, years of work, sacrifice, exile, reckless inventiveness, restless evasiveness, nonetheless fearful, nonetheless fugitive, strangers, refugees -- In our own lands? To own peoples? Closest relations?

Elie Weisel: "God" of Hebrew Scripture loves being shown new things, new ways, by "God's (Many!) Children!" "Both were wounded: Jacob at the hip, the angel in his vanity. Yet they parted friends, or was it accomplices? Jacob accepted his aggressor's departure willingly; the latter, as if to thank him, made him a gift: a new name which for generations to come would symbolize eternal struggle and endurance in more than one land, during more than one night."

Much as "God" dealing and and from settings of power, postures of strength, doing so only in ways building up, redeeming, invoking, provoking: How big is our God? Big enough to lose a few skirmishes with us? Inducing, seducing our growing toward fitter partnership, fuller responsibility? God wins some, loses some, exhausts some to draw, "no decision" at best, inviting less fearfulness of our own weakness! Warring madness! Sublimate more addiction to dominate!
Reapproach, reappropriate Jabbock, River of Rockstacked Reckoning, our Jesus a Jew, the Christ, so we claim -- Jewish Messiah! Not charging Jews, nor anyone else, but Christians with coming, confessing, costing, to Jesus! Suffering sacraments, solidarities in, to, and through each generation . . .

All these replacement parts, dislocations, hip sockets wrenched out of joint with own bodies, exemplary excruciation! "While there is a lower class, I am in it; and while there is a criminal element, I am of it; and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." (Eugene Debs) Then he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. They ate and were filled -- beyond measure!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful stuff, as always. Thank you!!!! You give me such inspiration.