Brian’s Reflection: Friday, September 12, 2008
The first sentence of every novel should be:
“Trust me, this will take time but there is order
here, very faint, very human. Meander if you
want to get to town”.
- Michael Ondaatje, author ["The English Patient"] ,
born on this day, 1942, in Columbo, Sri Lanka
And so it is with “Holy Scripture”, with the Bible. Like the Bible, fiction always deals, in an imaginative way, with the “Truth”. That’s why I read more fiction than theology, etc., when I want to be lead towards Life’s reality. I have certainly preached more sermons using fictional examples than on anything else - and that includes the Bible, except that the Bible is like mother’s milk for me.
I can just hear God trying to whisper in the ear of every person who takes up the Bible for the first time: “Trust me”. It does take time!! It is so easy to get distracted and mis-directed when reading the Bible. That’s why, in the early centuries of the Church, catechumen (learners) were not allowed to listen to the holy texts without also hearing interpretation and reflection. It’s too dangerous! It would be - if you will pardon an old and proud hippie - like letting someone take drugs without being their for support and guidance.
The first words of God to all of us are, “Trust me; this will take time ….. [it’s] very faint, very human”. But if we can meander our way calmly through all of the human detritus of self-aggrandizement, of greed, of self-promotion, of fear, of arrogance, we will “get to town”.
Town? Peace. Compassion. Love of enemy. Joy and greatness in servanthood. Freedom to live today. Banishment of fear.