the word inscribed on all our brows

27 Jan

Another place I like to track. Read my brother Chad’s blog post Facing Your Reflection this morning.
The tender, raw, human scene he captures is worth visiting. The questions he raises worth pondering.


Which I did, and then posted a comment after a bit. So if you have a few moments to journey with me, read his brief post and then ponder with me. (What the Freeman, Mike, another reading assignment? Wordhaver, remember?)

Now here’s my comment:

I love you, Chad. Getting used to my reflection.
Love my reflection in your eyes. And of course you have fallen into sin and will continue to do so. Why should you be better than the rest of us? And of course you’re taking pot shots at organized religion. It’s quite the pot to take shots at! It’s just there’s more than that here.

It’s a curious thing that Jesus “entrusted himself to no man (anthropos – human being) because he knew what was in man (anthropos – again).” It’s pretty foolish to entrust ourselves to any man anywhere. It is to Jesus’ eyes alone I can muster up the courage to show the damned spot in me (spots, rather; we’re all dalmatians, aren’t we?). It’s because I see Jesus’ eyes in yours that I’ve been willing to get naked with you, literally. (Yes, let’s let that one feed man’s imagination:o). It is Jesus’ eyes in us that make us, whoever, wherever, whenever, a safe place for others to show the damned spot and instead of a glare or counsel, see a heart moved with compassion, and a hand reached out in healing.

Thankful for the Healer moving in you in such creative ways.

More, my friend.

More indeed! Glad there are many such people in my life, in and out of religious walls. You never know where you might encounter the eyes of Jesus. It makes life interesting, that’s for sure. It’s Forrest’s chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get.

Reading Hugo’s Les Miserables, it was so painful to watch Valjean’s rejection at door after door, hearth after hearth, until even the dog ran him out of what turned out to be the dog house, not a stable. “I am not even fit for a dog!” Chad’s post took me back to Hugo’s observation as he beholds this unfolding scene of rejection:

Certainly,—and we make no attempt to dissimulate the fact,—the observing physiologist would have beheld an irremediable misery; he would, perchance, have pitied this sick man, of the law’s making; but he would not have even essayed any treatment; he would have turned aside his gaze from the caverns of which he would have caught a glimpse within this soul, and, like Dante at the portals of hell, he would have effaced from this existence the word which the finger of God has, nevertheless, inscribed upon the brow of every man,—hope.

We are all “observing physiologists beholding an irremediable misery” in one another, aren’t we? That is, if we even dare to gaze into the caverns glimpsed within another’s soul. It is only the eyes of Jesus in the Bishop of Welcome that actually gaze and see the word effaced by man and life, but nevertheless inscribed on each of our brows, even if the reflection is dim or damned to our eyes:



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Posted by on January 27, 2013 in musings


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