I Know This Is A Terrible Idea

Almost everything in me is saying, "What are you doing, Jenny.  Why are you doing this.  Don't drag yourself into this.  You don't even care.  Nobody even cares."  Not questions: full on rhetorical statements.  And yet the burr of annoyance won't go away.  Against the colossal monument of my better judgment, I'm doing this.  Let's hope it's worth your while.
"i made the mistake of assuming everyone is out here to be the best version of themselves"
I make this mistake all the time.  Disillusionment can make you angry, repeated disillusionment can make you cynical.  But I do think there are a select number of things which fallible human beings can legitimately lose their tempers over, and fundamentally cynicism is not an attitude I've yet to uncover in my studies of Jesus' walk among those fallible human beings.  I know that if anyone acutely sensed, saw, and appreciated the deep depravity of mankind, it would be him.  I also see that he did not lash out in railing judgments upon sinful civilizations, hurt and vengeful.  He came to do what all civilizations could not: fulfill the law and provide a means of redemption for man.  He came with grace and graciousness to a people who despised and rejected him.  Of course, retribution is coming for those who are damned, and that is their just punishment for turning aside from holiness.  But an offended holiness belongs to God, and until his great and terrible day, he has left us with an example of graciousness.
"charity adorns christianity, and recommends it to the world"
Looking back over (what I have of) my manuscript for Talldogs, I discovered a character who is both compassionate and unyielding.  He will be your friend, back you in your need, care for your wants both physical and immaterial in ways you do not realize, yet you never for a moment get the sense he has surrendered moral ground.  Contemplating this phenomenon, I concluded that it was because he does not entertain the fallacy that your sin will ever be charged to his account.  He is not surprised that people are sinners, nor does he think their sins are his to bear.  Only one man could do that: that has been provided for.  All this character has left to do is be holy before God and man, and all that that entails.  "There," said Paul concerning the godless wretch, "but for the grace of God, go I."  Before God and man this character is just a man, he owes allegiance to one and compassion toward the other.  All else rests in God's dominion, and his humility exempts him from shame.

For what is is worth, I was heartened to discover this example.  I am convinced it is a godly one, one worth emulating.  In whatever walk of life, in art, in the street, where those two worlds converge, a man with his feet upon the ground, his face toward the cross, and his heart full of holiness and compassion, is one who will be marked.  And in this era of the Church's marginalization in our country, isn't that what we desire?  That our voices crying in the wilderness might one day be heard?

4 ripostes:

  1. Great post! :) I like the sound of that Talldogs character.

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  3. I think your Talldogs character sounds great. Even though there may only be rare examples of people like him, the world still needs more of them. He actually sounds a little bit like Whit from Adventures in Odyssey if you're familiar with the show.

  4. I think that the cynicism you mention is often confused with discernment. Without Christ, life experience can make us jaded and critical. We become "wise" toward the world without learning true wisdom. But in Christ, by God's grace, we are able to show mercy and love to fellow-sinners. Suffering will not make us hard-hearted and sin will not make us bitter, because we know that redemption and judgment are in the hands of God.
    This is a beautiful post because it has so much truth in it. I love your description of a man with "his feet upon the ground, his face toward the cross, and his heart full of holiness and compassion". I'll be praying that for myself. :)