Hell is a place where what you least desire becomes eternally yours, or so we were told as children, well not us, not the Jewish kids, for us Hell was our mothers’ finding that copy of Playboy we stole from our father’s stash our mother didn’t know about, and which he would deny, throwing us under the bus or any large vehicle she found
If we buy into Hell, and given that ours is an aging population, many of whom have landed in Florida and Arizona to avoid the winters that are hell on the ubiquitous arthritis, and all those who have joyously consumed the evangelical Kool-Aid, when the final bell rings, they may be surprised to discover there is far, far more of a chance of a snowball in Hell.
She says if you could only peel back the photograph, you could read the entire story that lies beneath. It is deeper than the image below which it lies trapped, and wider, imbued with a meaning the image could not capture, just as, she says frowning, there are no words for parts of the picture, a symbiosis that we of unitary senses cannot unite. This one, pointing to a crucifix, shows him where he ought to be, the pain, his pain apparent, but so much deeper than any image or sculptor’s hand can fashion. Undeserved pain, not by sacrileges, by rebellion but he would understand it, he would revel in it, for he was the greatest rebel and he would easily peel back the picture in step wholly into the story beneath.
Faith, or is it hope, seems directly proportional to the need we have to believe in what some would call a miracle. In Hebrew the word for charity can also be translated justice. Faith, he says, is hope with a Godly intervention for hopes can easily go unfulfilled, but faith lingers, and isn’t given up willingly, for even when hope is gone, faith in a miracle remains for those most in need. No one seeks charity, everyone seeks justice, and most hope and have faith that there is in the final analysis no real distinction.
“Trying to explain the Old Testament is like trying to untie a series of Gordian Knots.” He said that often, and few argued with him. Whether they did not argue because they agreed, or simply wanted to avoid his unwillingness to cease pushing until the other or others conceded whatever point he was making hardly mattered. He knew nothing about the New Testament. He wasn’t even sure to what it was a Testament, though he could say that of the Old as well. It was just that one set of Gordian knots was enough, unless and until he could find his philosophical scissors, and God only knew where they had gone.
This woman approaches the stone, carefully places sake and cherry blossoms and leans a sotoba against it, before bowing and walking away. It is what you do for a son, she says, looking at the bibbed Jizo hoping she can protect
the child who lies beneath.
That woman approaches the headstone, gently places the flowers and leans a prayer card against its polished surface, kneels briefly, looking up at the statue of the Son who also died for our sins,
begs him to protect.
the child who lies beneath.