Monday, June 12, 2017

June 12: Wrong Guy to Lynch, Feeling Powerless, Trust

The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ, who didn't look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe.  Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought, and Rosewater read out loud again:

Oh, boy--they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch that time!

And that thought had a brother:  "There are right people to lynch."  Who?  People not well-connected.  So it goes. 

I understand Vonnegut's thinking here.  Sort of.  In his interpretation of the Christ narrative, Vonnegut sees Christ's "lynching" as a power thing.  The way Vonnegut's thinking goes is this:  the readers of the Gospels know that Christ is the Son of God, and therefore they also know that it was wrong to crucify the Son of God.  People with connections don't get lynched, and, if they do, there's hell to pay (literally, with Christ).

The flaw in that thinking is that the people who "lynched" Jesus Christ didn't know who He was.  To them, Jesus Christ was just another Jewish troublemaker, talking about love and peace and understanding.  Not really bowing down to any of the authorities, calling them vipers.  To the people in power, Jesus was the son of a poor carpenter. 

And that's the real story.  Poor people are killed all the time.  That's a fact, throughout all of history.  The powerful take advantage of the disadvantaged, all the time.  Vonnegut is telling a story, and it is a story of the bombing of innocent people, sending children to fight wars.  His version of the story of Christ works well with his own story.

I am currently sitting in the waiting room at the hospital.  My wife is out of surgery and in the recovery room.  Everything went really well.  It was a difficult morning.  Vonnegut talks about power and powerlessness in the passage above.  I've been feeling very powerless for the last few hours.  It's a difficult thing, putting the life of someone you love in another person's hands. 

Of course, that's what faith is really all about.  Trust.  Christ knew that His Father had His back.  Vonnegut, despite his agnostic leanings, survived the firebombing of Dresden and went on to change the world with his writings.  That's a God thing, too, whether Vonnegut would admit that or not.

I know that my wife was covered in prayer this morning.  That brought me some peace.  I know she will be covered in prayer over the next few weeks, as well.  She has a good doctor and a good care team.  We are powerless, and we are covered.

Saint Marty is thankful for his wife's life and love today.

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