January 10th, 2006

HTOC

How Long?

Livejournal Entry

“…for it was not knowledge but unity that she desired, not inscriptions on tablets, nothing that could be written in any language known to men, but intimacy itself, which is knowledge…”

–From Wolf’s book “To the Lighthouse”

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This morning Abby and I went to visit the home of two of our fellow parishioners, Bea and Benji. Now Bea is Benji’s mother and Benji is Bea’s son. They are wonderful people. Their entire home-environment is odd in a way that screams life and even, dare I say, a bit of happiness. They purchased an icon for me as a chrismation gift. And they fed both Abby and I before we had to head off. These are exceedingly rich blessings.

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The greater part of Deuteronomy Chapter 28 is a prophetic warning of the brutal consequences of “not serv[ing] the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things…”. And I realize that this warning is not only a warning for the (then) future of the Israelite nation, but that it is also the story of man and man’s fall.
In his abundance, Adam did not serve the Lord, and in that blunder man cast himself off into suicide. The verses that follow in the chapter describe it all: beauty is corrupted; man becomes sick; wars and famines burst forth; and, in what is perhaps one of the most disturbing pictures painted therein, a starving man eats his son, a starving mother her daughter.
Though this cannibalism is described in a literal sense – the consequences of actual people trapped in a besieged city – it can also be understood on a much grander scale: Do we not consume one another in our selfishness? Do we not consider other persons around us as resources to be plundered for our own survival? Can not mothers and fathers absolutely render a child’s life meaningless?
It is all so terrible. And it touches me because it is true; I make mention of it because it has obviously been man’s burden for so long. The psalmist cries: “How long O Lord, How long?”