Friday, March 25, 2005

Good Friday Stirrings

Good Friday and Easter have always been very solemn, thoughtful hours for me.

I was cast, as a young man, into the relative havens of Leroy Loemker's and William Hockings' brains from a churning maelstrom of Southern Baptist, Pale Methodist and Proper Episcopalian conflicts.

I was really quite content to arrive at Immanuel Kant and Blaise Pascal fairly unscarred. Kant parapohrased the Golden Rule and Pascal offered the best odds in the history of thinking.

But I was 22 years old when the full meaning of Easter threw coils around me that have never loosened. There is no struggling to escape the captivity of the solid truth that evolved from editing a book that year.

It was written by Georgia's first "liberal" governor, Ellis Arnall, titled The Shore Dimly Seren.

In the book, there was a scene where Ellis was chewing the fat with an old circuit-riding preracher, drinking well water from a gourd near Ringgold, Georgia.

The old preacher said something like tis:

"I ai't as smart as Alfred North Whitehead, but I kinda feel like Space is a submarine, and Time is all around it, like an ocean...and we COULD, if we knew the trick, see backward as well as sideways and behind, into ALL of time....

"Now, you take Palm Sunday, and all those people who were putting flowers and palm fronds under His donkey's feet and wrapping palm wreaths around His head an all....

"The next Friday, they were all hollering for Barrabas, a rebel and Terrorist oif his day, to be freed. They asked for Barrabas' freedom, and they asked for...for HIS bloody death....

"Well, governor, they were the SAME people !!!

"And, you and I could have been in either crowd...or probably both crowds....."
And so , were truly were in both crowds, weren't we?

I mean, we need to be very careful, every day, every hour, every minute...Don't we ? We're here together, see ???

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