Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, August 3, 2011
There comes a time when every scientist,
even God, has to write off an experiment.
P. D. James (Baroness James of Holland Park),
writer of “detective stories” (she said herself!);
she was born on this date, 1920, in Oxford,
and is 91 today.
We are “created in the image of God”. That’s a fairly widely-held theological concept amongst most Christians. In general, it means that human beings are to be Compassionate, Loving, Kind, Just, and a few other core things which characterize the Divine nature of the Judeo-Christian God.
I am both a theological optimist and pessimist on this issue of being “made in the Divine Image” at the same time. On the one hand, I work to live my Hope and Trust and Faith in the Divine character of human beings. On the other - like these times in which we are living - I really think that Baroness James is right: God should give up on His experiment! Human beings “like God”? No way Jose!
But then. Dennis and I were in New Mexico this past week, setting up a trailer as a temporary home on our land there. (It will later become the Guest Casita!) It was complicated. But! A delightful bulldozer operator (who looked like Onslow in “Keeping Up Appearances”!) came and tidied up the land; he did a fine job – and said just to pay when we could. The delightful woman from whom we bought the trailer did everything possible to help us get that organized, including finding a persosn to haul it. She and I had a great conversation as that was being organized. A tire had to be changed – and Mike the garage man lent us his big car jack, no problem. Charlie, who moved the trailer, was as helpful “beyond the call” as he could have been. The young man in the Do It Store, where we bought paving stones and a chain to lay across the driveway went out of his way to help ….. and was as pleasant as he could be. The man in the Ace Hardware store was the same when we went to buy duct tape and a lock. Two guys at breakfast one morning told us about their decades-long hobby of discovering and studying bugs ….. yes, bugs! (And if we had not talked, we might easily have made unwarranted assumptions.) And when I wondered what saint it was depicted in a wonderful large painting in the Jalisco Café where we had a couple of fine lunches, the server went off and found out for me (St. Michael the Archangel – even though it looks like a woman).
So: politicians and terrorists and fundamentalists go on making havoc and suffering for many. Love and Religion fail or, worse, actively make suffering worse. It would be easy to be a pessimist about God’s “human experiment”.
But: there were these wonderful, interesting, helpful people.
I learned my lesson. And recognized the Gift I was given. The Experiment continues.