Friday, September 21, 2018

Prayer before rapier wit

I have an uncharitable habit of imagining how I may reach people through lofty and rapier-like intellectual scolding. The young things at work were outraged, yesterday, by whatever videos they had seen on some correct and outraged political site. "She interviewed this Trump supporter, and the guy didn't even know what a refugee was! He just kept saying, 'I don't believe that.' "

"Oh my God," the other young person said. She may have said oh my Jesus fucking God. "Oh my God. Kids are dying because of this asshole." And she stormed off, speaking in the asshole's voice. "Yeah, just fuck the kids, who cares."

These (mostly polite and good) young people have a raging passion for justice but would of course not dream of marrying their significant others, settling down, and having any children of their own, for a start. Never mind the college 101 indoctrinations, defining justice in very narrow terms, and still as fresh as yesterday. Naked but sterile evangelical outrage simmers beneath every dewy-complexioned surface.

And I fancy pondering how to correct them through gently startling rhetoric. Then I heard a caller on Relevant Radio, a lady marking the feast of the Korean martyrs, say that she brings a prayer journal to work and writes down in it the names of people whom her co-workers have asked prayers for. And I realized, that is the much better way. As with the Gospel reading of that very day, in which the Pharisee Simon loftily notes within himself that Christ cannot be a prophet, or he would know the truth about the sinner touching him, in other words he would see interior lack, and Christ responds to his thoughts -- she loves much because she is forgiven much -- so it would be more to the point for the outraged young people to know the offer of prayer rather than an offer of what I consider probing intellectual correction. Love first, in short.

The downside is that one must consent to be the sweet (I suppose) religious middle-aged lady at work, who says she will pray for you. Then again, if it's totally crazy but you do kind of start noticing good things happening to you, it's so weird -- maybe they would also think a thought, and crack open a book.         

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by ...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...