“I could tick off all the decisions I made while writing this book but they are really of no matter, save one: I thought it was better to feel what I saw than to weigh and measure and give number to the ferocity of this storm. What is explained can be denied but what is felt cannot be forgotten.
A couple of months ago, while I was deep in the psychosis of writing this book, a friend who had no idea what I was up to, gave me a favorite quotation that ran, “A person’s life purpose is nothing more than to rediscover, through the detours of art, or love, or passionate work, those one or two images in the presence of which his heart first opened.” Albert Camus wrote that and I believe every word of it. ” Bowden, Charles. Blood Orchid (pp. 19-20). University of Texas Press. Kindle Edition.
This is my favorite passage of all the passages I’ve ever read…with a nod to Romans 8.
It was sent to me again yesterday by someone who had found it for the first time.
I heard it as a message from God…because I’m worried about my soul.
I’m not worried about my “salvation”…that was God’s problem and He solved it and I’m sure I’ll get in on a technicality, if nothing else.
I’m of the opinion that God did all the saving so we could concentrate on the living out of what it means to be lost and found.
It’s the “living out” part I’m having trouble with…
The world has changed a lot in the last few years and I dare say that people have changed a lot in the last few years.
We all have tribes now…we always have, but now we’ve split the old tribes into newer, more exclusive and demanding tribes…and the first demand is that you loathe all the other tribes.
I have no tribe and wouldn’t join one that would have me.
Maybe I’m the start of a new tribe that just hates everyone.
That would be easier than the present reality.
The caregivers among us have exhausted their wells …and we pretend like we don’t need them anyway.
Empathy is now a sin unless the object of it is in your tribe…I have no tribe so the one thing that has made me who I am is now always sinful to someone.
Love and hate make one feel alive and doing so within a tribe feels like community.
What I feel is a numb indifference to it all.
That feels like death or maybe something worse.
I’m not sure about anything…except that when one stops feeling, one ceases to be human.
While I’m spiritually being transformed into the image of God ,in my flesh I’m being transformed into something that looks like humanity, but without a heart in the metaphorical sense.
The temptation is to quit and even when I don’t feel that temptation, the culture is slowly eroding me in the background.
What to do?
To choose to be fully human and to embrace the work of God in me is to feel what I see rather than codify it.
Numbering and measuring are ways to dehumanize a reality.
I need to find a way to stay human in the face of the realities.
The way back to being may be in the words of Camus…“A person’s life purpose is nothing more than to rediscover, through the detours of art, or love, or passionate work, those one or two images in the presence of which his heart first opened.”
“But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” (Revelation 2:4 ESV)
I’ll be in search of those “one or two images” where my heart first opened…in hopes of returning to the love I had at first.
The alternative is to find my place in the communal casket…where as Bowden once said, “some of the dead are still breathing”…
You can make your own application or not…I didn’t write this for you…
Nicely said… Finding that ‘first love’, as finding those first images, involves our heart cracking open. It’s not comfortable, but I think it is necessary.
Thank you, Duane.
It’s very uncomfortable…but it’s life.
You do so much for so many, especially in maintaining this site. This was one of the few safe spaces I’m aware of where one could actually have a discussion about the current state of the world, whether than a yelling match. We may disagree, but most of it is amiable.
Duirng the past two years i’ve bewen falling back on “trust God and do the next thing” (j Oswald Sanders, I believe). I love teaching, and the kids still needed a teacher, so I’ve been there. I have developed an avoidance for people who want to fight (from either side). I do try hard to make conversation and encourage pleasant conversation. It’s not the best, but it has preserved my sanity.
If we claim Christ as Savior, we will all be together in heaven. I don’t think there will be rooms for vaxxers and anti-vaxxers. I hope by then that the splendor of the Lord will swallow up all our spats and turn our attention to bigger things.
Thank you, Linn.
The prospect of everybody being together in heaven makes me wonder if they is any potable water in hell…but I have a bad attitude at the moment…
People aren’t as contentious where I live, but I did think of shipping a few students to Abu Dhabi this morning in a box without air holes.
late to the party. Great quote–I’m late to that party too. Hold onto purpose; it’s the dirt hope grows in.