Monday, November 24, 2008

Theology of Being - A Dream of Flowers

A Dream:

And the flower, having danced its dance, having connected with what it is to be a wild prairie flower, having grappled fully the contrast between simply fulfilling a destiny of the subjective self and taking up the seat of being to dwell completely in its existence as a flower, one finds (for the sake of metaphor) that the glinting streams of spring’s light are fading as a new and boding aspect of its being harbors on its brink - death and winter see their way to the horizon like a viper sliding on ice.

And, as if you the reader, were actually in some grand dream – slipping from consciousness to consciousness, the scene changes. One no longer stares at the flower in the wind. One no longer sees the onset of winter. So, as the glinting light of Spring fades into the cold and daunting pervasiveness of death, darkness and nothing else are the only things that can be seen for but a moment, when suddenly the first flickers of light begin to shade this abscence, this negative space, like sparklers on parade, and what begins as simply a fervent and yet erratic spark gives way to blindness of a different sort – to overwhelming light. The only thing perceivable is that rustling of cloth and the padding of bare feet as they take their steps onto rock and dust. You are aware. You think, and you are.

Your awareness reveals to you two men, seemingly full of vitality, sitting calmly at either end of the bed in which the Crucified Christ once lain; the guarding cherubim of that sacred place where God dwelt; the form of that to which was cast of gold atop the sacred Ark of the Covenant. When the eyes, finally adjusted to the awareness of light and following the foot tracks made in the dust, dart up to the entrance of the tomb and out to the bare and scarred back of the true king of Israel framed by the doorway, breathing in the fresh air of the garden, and soaking in the praise due him by even a single blossom, one realizes that he is witnessing the single most anticipated event in the entirety of creation. The king is ascending his throne. It is a procession. Christ, once crowned with thorns, walks amongst the praising creatures of his new and marvelous tabernacle; his new and marvelous creation; his renewed, impervious, and marvelous body. And one can almost hear the very grass and all of nature in their seemingly silent effigy screaming at him from every corner of the earth, “Hosanna! Hosanna!”

He turns to make eye contact, smirks and winks subtly, lowers his head as if waiting for an applause to quiet itself before some great inauguration, turns once more to admire this exploding newness, and then he passes. He moves out of the framing door and into the wild in order to will and to act in the manner He sees fit; in order to breathe life into everything; in order to let heaven intersect with earth; in order to let this new and Romantic tabernacle of nature release the thick curtains of dogma that man and creature might dwell with and in the risen Christ; that humanity might realize the words of Paul when he tells it that one can take up this seat of newness as well participating - one in BEING with the risen and victorious Christ - in this resurrection here and now as if heaven itself were descending upon Jerusalem; in order to free humanity up to BE those trifling humans He has made them to be.

And suddenly, the dream makes sense. The reader sees that the flower is real. One sees that the flower is a metaphor. The flower, caught up in the winds of its being, reveals itself and the human, and this tension is not merely a Socratic juggling of words but a real mystery in which one can “work out [his] own salvation [,]” and yet realize that “God is at work in [him as well], both to will and to work for his good pleasure”( RSV phil 2.12-13). And it makes sense that what philosophers can only gawk at with their existentialist jargon was the Christian message all along – that we ARE, and that is okay; That we ARE, and God loves us; that we ARE, and God continues to work in us; that we ARE perfect, because Christ, who is our being, is perfect; that we ARE, and Christ not only “saved” us from sin but put to death, like a sweeping Passover cloud, any manner in which we might be found blemished; that we ARE participants of this new creation, and we can walk with confidence in the positions of honor given us by the Almighty creator, just as no attention was given to the proverbial stains of the prodigal as he took his seat of honor at his father’s table; we ARE free…we are free to once more walk quietly with our God in the freshness of Eden and to drink coolly the river waters of a real spiritual life unbound by those nooses of religio-systemic squawkings.

God reveals to us the flower. God reveals to us our being. God reveals to us himself.

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