Three Things on Maundy Thursday

Three Things on Maundy Thursday April 1, 2021

Me thinking about moderating the comments on my blog.

The First Thing

Happy April Fool’s Day! It is snowing. Isn’t that fun. I have a lot of things to do today, chief of which is finishing The Eustace Diamonds which is becoming so stressful I almost cannot bear it. I know I should be meditating on the passion of the Christ–and I will, I promise!–but in between times I’m going to clean everything and listen to this book.

One thing that I always find surprising and a bit unnerving about Trollop, and indeed, many writers of English Literature before fifteen minutes ago, is how it is possible for a man to so precisely write a female character. I find it unnerving because I don’t really believe that men can fully understand what “being a woman” is like, nor vice versa, which is why I stick to my theory that transgenderism is performative, and requires a caricature in order to “embody” it.

Still, there are some writers who manage to inhabit the minds of their characters to a most astonishing degree. Perhaps it is that lost and beautiful virtue–restraint. They can sketch the person onto the page in scenes. They don’t have to divulge the whole of a person’s inner life in all its gory ruin. They can observe some poignant or recognizable trait and relay it faithfully so that it resounds as a friendly or explanatory note in the mind of the person who has the book open or the earbuds in.

The Second Thing

Just to change the subject, I do hate Grammarly. Like so many online tools, it has gotten above itself. Whereas I wanted someone to check my spelling and my commas, and my excessive propensity to a run-on sentence, it now always wants to tone police me, and to misunderestimate the cadence of my lines. It now oppresses me with emoji faces, asking me if I really want to sound like it imagines I’m sounding. I wish it would recede into the background. I also wish this–as I say all the time–of facebook and amazon and everyone that is trying to make my life, as some say, “smoother.” They all fail when they stand in the way and correct me, or ask me if I really want to click on a particular article, as if I will be too stupid to judge for myself. Or muscling into my spam to recommend to me the book I myself have written, or something else by an author to which I gave only one star. It is most irritating.

The Third Thing

I was on The Ride Home with John and Kathy (forty-minute mark) yesterday afternoon, as I generally am on the last Wednesday of the month. I expounded on some of the things that literally happened during the week of our Lord’s Passion. Later in the evening I went to see who might be trying to leave a comment on my blog and found this Astonishing Revelation:

Nope. Biblical literalism is one of the reasons so many are leaving the church. There is ZERO collaborative evidence of the sky going dark and dead people leaving their tombs and going walk about… Nada. Zip. These remarkable events would have been noted by literate people… We are talking zombies… Seriously… But the romans, Jews, and everyone else around at the time totally failed to mention these extraordinary events. Biblical literalism, young earth creationism, prosperity gospel and patriot churches, denying science, complementarianism and fundamentalist evangelicalism being the “official” religion of maga and Qanon is why so many are fleeing.

Gosh, Frater Cerno, you’ve convinced me! Had you not taken the trouble to come on my blog and attempt to leave such a well-reasoned demolition of all Christians everywhere, I might still believe in Jesus this morning! JK–wouldn’t give up Jesus for the world, nor his Scriptures, not even for a hot zombie apocalyptic minute. My prayer for Frater Cerno is that he will actually go investigate the evidence because if he does, he will surely become a Christian.

For me, though, as I stagger through my life, the chief and most astonishing evidence of the Risen Christ is how intimately he knows me, how he rebukes and corrects and up-builds me by his strange and perfect Scriptures, how one word cuts me open and another one binds me up. The terrible thing about God is that he knows whereof we are made. He knows us each as we are, not as a stranger, nor even as a lover might know the beloved–at a stretching, grasping, often painful distance. Were he to write up a description of your character, he would write it perfectly. And, in all of this, he comes close so that you can glimpse his. Rather than being a hindrance, coming in the way to keep you from knowing and being known, by his own torn body he tears apart the separation between us and him, and sometimes even between each other.

Hope to see you in church tonight!

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