Print Version January 17th, 2002
Here are two stories that don’t quite work out the way the heroes intend. Three if you include your own.
Anthony hears the gospel, ‘go, sell all you have, give the money to the poor, then come follow me’, and with the heroism of youth he does. Sells, gives, and follows a path out into the desert in search of solitude, austerity, and God. But God in her wisdom subverts his heroism by making the wilderness he loves into a little city as saints and sinners come by the drove to gawk, to wonder, to touch, to pray, to stay. Would he have chosen differently if he’d know how it would work out?
Jesus, in his own story, seems so moved with compassion for the leper that he heals without thought of doing otherwise. But it has a price. Against Jesus’ instructions the delighted man blabs and tells and Jesus gets so harried by the crowds who gather, saints and sinners alike, that he can no longer go openly into the towns he loves but has to stay outside in the wilderness. Would he have chosen differently if he’d known the way it would turn out?
I guess I wonder what it is that moves us each so much that we make those choices which change our lives in ways we can never know.