Monday, April 18, 2011

Reading Isaiah in Chiapas By Fred Bahnson

See P. 18 The Sun Magazine for the whole article.

I just have time to post a few lines here...may they serve to bring us back to more reading and reflections on such points by this young, thoughtful neighbor of mine...

"When my mind wandered from my prayers, I would pick up the Bible or one of a small selection of other books I'd brought: the collected poems and essays of Wendell Berry; Tolstoy's "The Kingdom of God is Within You; and two books of Christian philosophy by Soren Kierkegaard. Maybe it was my Danish ancestry, but no one articulated my distrust of establishment Christianity better than this gloomy Dane. This passage had particular resonance:

True individuality is measured by this: how long or far once can endure being alone without the understanding of others. The person who can endure being alone is poles apart from the social mixer. He is miles apart from the man-pleaser, the one who manages successfully with everyone - he who possesses no sharp edges. God never uses such people. The true individual, anyone who is going to be directly involved with God, will not and cannot avoid the human bite. he will be thoroughly misunderstood. God is no friend of cozy human gathering."

Bahnson goes on to speak of reading Isaish 30 on a rooftop one morning after Holy Week:

'Your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

And later Bahnson read in Isaiah:

"He will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and grain, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plentous..."

This is how Bahnson suddenly knew he was to be farming...

And ends his lovely, deep reflection with these words:

"We are all dwellers in the dust, awaiting the next breath from the mouth of God."

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