There was a dead silence. Then Jesus, deeply hurt as he sensed their inhumanity, looked round in anger at the faces surrounding him, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” And he stretched it out, and the hand was restored as sound as the other one. The Pharisees walked straight out and discussed with Herod’s party how they could have Jesus put out of the way. Mark 3:5-6
Chris reminded us yesterday, with a long pause so that the truth could sink in deeply, that all of mankind, male and female, are image-bearers, and how grievous it is indeed when the Church forgets that. When we get swept up by our politics or our religion or our insecurities, and we forget that each and every one is an image-bearer of the Holy One.
And because Cameron spent a nearly perfect yesterday afternoon in the hammock basking in the sun and reading C. S. Lewis and napping and then reading a little bit more, I thought of Lewis and his “Weight of Glory” essay.
“To please God… to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness… to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son- it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.”
And really a disjointed interview with George Harrison prattling about love and unity and kindness as the world celebrated 50 years of Beatles yesterday was probably a lot closer to the Truth than I am accustomed to thinking. He sounds a lot more Paul in Colossians, for instance…to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross…than all of those on-the-dotted-line doctrinal statements I have signed. And once again I am reminded of the Father who started running towards his son when he was yet a long way off.
“Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”
So I am stepping out into a new week.
And although I bemoaned my checklist life yesterday to John O’Hair yesterday, and wondered aloud if Jesus really had one tucked inside his robe as he returned from his quiet moment in the darkness breaking into dawn, Lewis gives me a gentle pat on the back: “I have received no assurance that anything we can do will eradicate suffering. I think the best results are obtained by people who work quietly away at limited objectives, such as the abolition of the slave trade, or prison reform, or factory acts, or tuberculosis, not by those who think they can achieve universal justice, or health, or peace. I think the art of life consists in tackling each immediate evil as well as we can.”
So off I go. Facing rather limited objectives, like SAT vocabulary lists and iambic pentameter. But dear LORD may I walk with a noticing pause, a loosening of the sandal straps so to speak, as I look into the eyes of Your image-bearers. Behold. I am on holy ground.