2015. október 22., csütörtök

The other side of the human face

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, o sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man." (Proverbs 6:6-11) "Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids" (Proverbs 6:4)

It is said that the strongest instinct in us humans is not sexual but "social". This is the desire to be in the presence of others, to work and co-operate together. Proverbs draws this line further. The most intense desire in us, however deeply buried it might be, is to "work for God". This is a yearning and determination to comply with 'grace'. As Gerard Manely Hopkins the Jesuit poet puts it: "I say more: the just man justices; / Keeps grace; that keeps all his goings graces;/ Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is − Christ./ For Christ plays in thousand places,/ Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his/ to the Father through the features of men's faces" (As Kingfishers Catch Fire, Dragonflies Draw Flame, undated poem, c. March-April 1877).

A person, it is said, necessarily has his social persona. This is the role we play in society; in the workplace. Wearing this "mask" is part of our adult life. In reality, it can never be fully removed. However, to this, as a balance, our graced "persona" needs to be added. Fulfilling our desire to "work for God" is an important day-to-day event of healing. Indeed, healing is the proper word. For it is inevitable that wearing our social persona (mask) distorts the living person. Proverbs show the hindrances, the obvious signs, that our "social face" has become dangerously heavy. "Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth... These six things doth the Lord hate: ...A proud look, a lying tongue , and hands that shed innocent blood, An hart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." (Proverbs 6:2.16-19)

Without fulfilling our desire to work for God's community (which extends from Church to the wellbeing of mankind) we become ill. Through this service, God's Face restores us. Being active in his Kingdom is an exchange: his desire towards me to lets me truly be myself.


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