Broken-down Poetry: Holy the Firm, pp. 60-62


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holy the Firm, pp. 60-62

His disciples asked Christ about a roadside beggar who had been blind from birth, "Who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" And Christ, who spat on the ground, made a mud of his spittle and clay, plastered the mud over the man's eyes, and gave him sight, answered, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be manifest in him."

Really? If we take this answer to refer to the affliction itself--and not the subsequent cure--as "God's works made manifest," then we have, along with "Not as the world gives do I give unto you," two meager, baffling, and infuriating answer to one of the few questions worth asking, to wit, What in the Sam Hill is going on here?

The works of God made manifest? Do we really need more victims to remind us that we're victims? Is this some sort of parade for which a conquering army shines up its terrible guns and rolls them up and down the streets for people to see? Do we need blind men stumbling about, and little flamefaced children, to remind us what God can--and will--do? ...

Yes, in fact, we do. We do need reminding, not of what God can do, but what he cannot do, or will not, which is to catch time in its free fall and stick a nickel's worth of sense into our days. And we need reminding of what time can do, must only do; churn out enormity at random and beat it, with God's blessing, into our heads: that we are created, created, sojourners in a land we did not make, a land with no meaning of itself and no meaning we can make for it alone. 

Who are we do demand explanations of God? (And what monsters of perfection should we be if we did not?) ...


I think I finally get it, Annie.

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