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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Abiding "Little Joke" Revisited

Tonight I think again of the Abiding “Little Joke” (see below). A major feature of this structure is integrity in faithfulness and strength. “Muddy rainy weather” certainly includes unfair and vicious attacks that derive from cynical and bitterly angry hearts. (I read a recent assault on the character of Obama, for example, insinuating that he lacks compassion and even elemental human decency–that he disrespects all Americans, even the brokenhearted and suffering). What response do the holy “dogs” of our structure look for in this situation? In my thinking this does not call for tit for tat retaliation and recrimination. A figure grounded in integrity and strength, commitment and conviction will remain steady on course while viewing sometimes in distraught wonderment the writhing viciousness of the world.

The Abiding “Little Joke”

Once many years ago (in 1980) I had a dear friend who gave me the following drawing on a small scratchpad piece of paper just before we left in his car on an errand one dark and rainy afternoon. It is not the original drawing, which I lost, but a reproduction to the best of my memory and like the original is drawn with a broad tipped pen in black ink. It is a very accurate reproduction for I immediately took it seriously though he said it was a “little joke.” Very early on I took the drawing to have spiritual significance and assumed it was the gift of a divine messenger. The writing beneath states (and these are the exact words) “A structure like this will please the dogs in muddy rainy weather.” I take this to mean a holy structure (the thrice divided triangle) with a cantilever extension indicating worship of the Lord and also being and outward extension indicating compassionate involvement in the world—a structure—which will please the dogs in muddy rainy weather—in other words, through our time on earth which is a period of “muddy rainy weather.” The “dogs” I take to be the Lord and all his minions. I am led to share this with you tonight praying that all might be inspired to live sturdy, structured, and holy lives.

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