Archive for the 'A Christian Tale' Category

A Christian Tale

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Once upon a time in history (and what is history but a tale of travail and woe) a man lived (or at least he assumed that he did). Night followed day and unfortunately the night mostly won. And he was alone. It wasn’t that he was separated from people but rather that he knew that there was a part of himself, the deepest part, that knew its aloneness.

And he looked. He searched the world that presented itself to him for an answer to the riddle and an end to the ache that plagued his life. But he saw no one, no one who he could believe or trust. The wisest were fools, as foolish as himself. He read books, all manner of the thoughts of men. Sometimes he agreed, sometimes he didn’t, but all the time, no matter whom he saw or what he read, whether he agreed or not, he felt alone. He may have felt that he was not alone in his aloneness, that there was a comradeship, if you like, in being alone together, but nothing took away the ache, and nothing answered the riddle that filled his soul.

It wasn’t that that he didn’t have fun, or didn’t in any way enjoy life, for he did, but rather that he knew that nothing really freed him from his deepest need. So despite of all the wonderful things in the world, the sights and sounds, the beauty, the awe, the friends, at heart he was sad. In this sadness, which he could not share with anyone, he wrote. He wrote the song of his life, his aches, his sadness, the passing of things, the end of beauty, the darkness of this world so desperately in need of light. And he groaned like a moon struck dove in search of land, and he flew alone.

He shared his songs and poems with family and friends, but he knew in his heart he had nothing to bring, nothing to say that was either helpful or hadn’t been said somewhere before, and he thought “I need to live longer, then perhaps I might bring something of beauty or wisdom or truth that others might sing by”. But the longer he lived the more he knew that it was hopeless; and the reason it was hopeless was that he still ached in the loneliness of his deepest being. In fact the more he lived, the more he ached with the futility of all that he lived; and when he looked around him he ached with the futility in which all men lived. So the longer he lived the more he ached with the nothingness of what to say or sing. And he ached alone.

Finally when he had reached the end of his tether, when at last he knew he did not know how to resolve the riddle that plagued his life, when finally he knew more than anything else, more than life itself, that he had to know why his heart ached – a voice spoke, a light illumined his darkness, a mystery was revealed. This unexpected intrusion into his life was overwhelming. All that had passed before toppled like a house of cards. His years of darkness, his anguish, his pain, his entire life shattered and the jagged pieces lay all around. He was like a mute, like a man in a trance, he was stunned, he walked as if in a dream. He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, where to begin or who to turn to, until he fell like a dead man into the everlasting arms.

He couldn’t begin to explain his hurt or confusion. He couldn’t begin to tell the depths of his shame, or the overwhelming joy at his change of fortune. He had begun a journey, a path of discovery to a new life. It was the beginning of a slow and often painful journey, a resurrection of his life from nothingness and dust. It was an ending of his life of loneliness, for he had come face to face with God.

He began to change. He cried tears, he felt his hope restored, his life renewed. Piece by piece he felt the veil removed that had blinded and hidden him from truth. He began to sing again, and, bit by bit, his life became more joyfully radiant than he had ever hoped or sought. He felt an overflowing joy that could not be expressed and he began to write again. He wrote with a new purpose, no longer did he feel constrained with feelings that he had nothing to say. Now he felt that he had to speak, for he could not contain his joy or his desire that all men might share with him this mystery he had found.

He went to his family and friends and they listened politely to him. They couldn’t help but notice the changes that had been wrought in him, but they could not grasp the significance of the event he was describing. He tried every way he knew how to explain both the import and the reality of his experience and what it meant for them all, but they were unmoved. Finally he knew he could do no more, so he walked on, alone, sad, but no longer alone in his aloneness.

He looked around and wondered if there was anyone else whom he could share his joy with. He looked and noticed that there were groups of people sitting in numerous buildings saying that they too had met with God. So he went amongst them. The first group he went to would not even let him finish his story, they rudely dismissed him saying, “God doesn’t speak like that to people today, be off with you!” The next group of people listened and said to him, “That’s all very interesting but are you a premillennialist or not?” So he went from group to group, growing sadder and more confused. One group said, “Get yourself baptised!” another group said, “Do you speak in tongues!” someone else handed him a bible: another said, “You must believe in this confession!” still another said, “Ah yes, but are you saved!” Bewildered, all he wanted to do was shout, “I was sick but now I’m healed, I was blind but now I see, I was lost but now I’m found!” But they were all so busy believing, whatever it was that their particular group was believing, that they were unable to hear the depth of the wonder of what he was saying, to really share his joy with him. Nobody really wanted to meet the Friend he had found.

So he wandered on his own, a wiser man, with his words like goads looking for a heart to steer, a soul to cheer, and he shook his head with wonder that whether he was empty or filled to overflowing, he seemed destined to walk alone.