He can be a strange one, no doubt about that. He’s family, of course, so we acknowledge his presence and make allowances. But one never knows how or when he might show up, or what a well-reasoning person might be moved to do in the wake of his arrival.
His name comes up around the table, among family members, often followed by an awkward pause. We shrug our shoulders and drop our eyes when discussing him. He’s like that crazy uncle who’s always there at the family reunion; one of our own, sure. But it’s hard to remember, at times, just how he fits in.
He’s a wild one, that’s certain, prone to inviting others to laugh and dance and take big risks. Almost as if drunk, they follow him into things they never would have imagined. He blows into their lives and convinces them of new ideas, gets them to question former ways of thinking. Next thing you know, respectable people are packing their bags for remote parts of the planet. Ugly places. Places where life is hard and things don’t work and the world doesn’t make sense.
Because he stirs things up, breathing life into familiar words until they seem to rise up and take on a life of their own. “Don’t just read them,” he says, “do what they say.”
Sons and daughters prophesy; old men dream dreams and young men see visions. He shows up and those divided by language and cultures begin to hear him speak in a familiar tongue. The fearful take courage. Lives change.
I stand with my brothers and sisters, reciting ancient creeds. And I believe what I say; I do. But all too often I shake my head, not knowing what to make of him. I wonder whether or not I can trust the invitations he offers. So I go about my days treating him as though he were mere ghost, and not real.
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.
Linking with Jen and the sisterhood: