Monday, May 25, 2009

World Salve

Sometimes I marvel at how any of us flawed human beings can coexist for even a little while. We are such passionate beings, or dispassionate. We are angry, lonely, ecstatic, lost, treasonous, paranoid, loyal—and all on the same day. We fear communicating our deepest needs, and chafe at our others when they go unmet. We blurt out our every complaint—from rain to mistreatment; and then our discontentment is lessoned and now hangs like a cloud over another.

You’ve met the selfish and the selfless, and found them both to be both. You’ve met some holy and some evil, and found them each to reflect each. You’ve held absolute confidence in another, been betrayed and wondered at how you could have judged so poorly. You’ve been the one believed in, and wondered why…if they only knew.

Angst invades our inter-relationships like fossil fuels in an automobile engine—both toxic and necessary. And in this week when yet another nation has tested yet another more powerful nuclear weapon, I shake my head and wonder from where our restraint has come? How have we not blown our world and one another away by now?

And onto the stage walks grace—perhaps behind the set where it is unseen. And she rubs a shoulder and irons a shirt. He changes a diaper and cares for the elderly. She doctors or nurses or counsels or he befriends or opens scientific mysteries to entertain our minds with truth. She dances a dance we can all feel, and gives us reason to pull our hands from the button that could waste it all.

Sometimes I marvel at how well the world gets along. We go to our jobs and classes—frustration overshadowing our attempts at accomplishment—and come away better and holding hands. We contract and we marry; we fight and we bring lawsuits. And somehow at the end of the day (for the most part) we smile and put it all away for the night—and some have the grace to drop it forever.

Perhaps there should be a God invented who would take the worst the world could give, and come out loving its people anyway. Maybe we could start a religion where God becomes one of us, and leaves unblemished by our weakness, yet moved by the experience. Maybe we need a faith that teaches that God sends his own stuff—his own, well, “spirit” let’s say—to saturate our lives and living. Maybe such a faith could hold the world together…

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