Monday, October 14, 2013

To build your house well is, ironically, to be nudged beyond its doors

The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” Matthew 20:31

The crowd.

But they cried out all the more. 

How often does the crowd silence me?

Far too often. The nameless and really, don’t-give-a-rip-about-me-personally crowd. What will the neighbors think? Nothing. Like a few days ago, a man drew a gun several times on the crowded San Francisco commuter train, with surveillance video showing him pointing it across the aisle without anyone noticing and then putting it back against his side, according to authorities. The other passengers were so absorbed in their phones and tablets they didn’t notice the gunman until he randomly shot and killed a university student.

And yet far too often I let this milling crowd stifle what I long to say or how I long to act or otherwise make myself a socially awkward scene. 

Today I am showing the class a Youtube of quiet little courageous moments, the standing in crowd sorts who leap in front of a train to pull out a toppled body, and even though we are entering the realm of the epic hero who is handsome and strong and well-spoken, I do believe that the epics are but a long series of small moments. A learned response of courage in the face of fear. Of bold disregard of the horde of voices clamoring in my head.

Lewis, the crafter of so many of these sorts of memorable heroes, not so much the beautiful epic heroes, but nevertheless my heart heroes of Reepicheep and Puddleglum understands this. He says, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”

What do I truly believe?

The last day and night has been full of discussion about the John O’Hair concentric circle diagram of actions stemming from beliefs. Sort of like the radical teaching that by their fruit you shall know them. And the leap-into- the-train-tracks-turn-on-a­-dime response bursts from an unshakeable core of such things as “I am loved and therefore can love” and “God is all-powerful and at work.” Sort of like the radical teaching about the falling rains and the rising flood and the roaring winds slamming against the house, but it stood firm.

But sometimes our actions or inactions leap from a very shakable core of wobbling wind-tossed lies. And I am reading another one of the Cameron books that is somehow loosely tied together with The Odyssey and Ulysses and The journey there and back again but the real point is telling the Truth about these long held calcified belief-Lies in the company of honest loving friends and the Word as Truth as we are Falling Upward.

Leaping out from the crowd. At the testing point.

But they cried out all the more, “LORD, have mercy on us.”