I knew it would happen, I knew it was coming. It’s been peeking its head around corners as I approach, showing itself a little time to time. I knew it would soon be upon them, but it hurt to watch it make its formal introductions.
When I read the book this summer at the pool, I knew I would have to share it in class. Maybe I couldn’t get the whole book into them, but I had to read that story. They don’t know much about treachery and treason. They don’t really know what it is to have those that they love surrounded or sold out. We rarely come anywhere near capital “D,” Despair – systematic, crushing despair. Their and my “worse” day anecdotes aren’t within the universe of the kind of horror and unmolested wickedness the story calmly relays. They pay cinematographers to scare them – because their fears are few.
Adulthood sat down and said hello today in my classroom. It didn’t offer them credit or give them a voter registration card or a draft card. It just told them something that is very hard to hear – the whole story. It wasn’t the glamorized, or softened or sweetened (with a big slice of Apple pie story). The plain story showed up today. It was brutal to share it, to watch them involuntarily twist and turn away internally, like we all do.
Some swallowed hard and said, “Okay, I will be human, however much it hurts. I will not turn my ear or turn up the volume of my ipod.” Some began to grapple with the how of that. Some turned away to grow colder and less.
I remember such a critical mass moment – when posture and action became the yardsticks of faith, not beliefs and quippy answers. I remember choosing (relenting might be better), not much older than they, to let God show me what was and what He thought about it, and wished to do about it. I remember the press of thousands of other ways of seeing and perceiving and walking out my life…And I remember in anguish crying out, “God, where, where else can I go? ”
At a certain point, the child concedes to something more knowledgeable if not knowing. That acknowledgement is the entry gate. Adulthood begins when we acknowledge His sufferings – all around us.
Then Good and Evil assail our opening eyes and we understand why Genesis God so sought to save that meal for Himself. When we know, too, we are twisted and pierced as well.
“Crude,” by Sonia Shah is an important bit of journalistic literature. Well worthy of a read.