Saturday, January 20, 2007

This is Not a Sermon

If you’re a devout Christian, I might offend you. If you’re an Atheist (or should that be atheist), I might offend you. If you’re of some other religious belief or disbelief, I might offend you. Get over it! I'm just having fun.

I’m thinking about rewriting the story of Jonah.

Jonah, hundreds of years BCE (or BC, your choice), Middle East
The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has com
e up before me."

Jonah, 1910, Chicago
The word of the LORD came to Jack, an African-American who was the grandson of a former slave. “Go to the great city of Mobile, Alabama…”

Jonah, 1947, San Diego
The word of the LORD came to Robert who had been a Japanese POW. “Go to the great city of Tokyo…”

Jonah, 2007, Mosul, Iraq
The word of the LORD came to Assam son of Jalal. “Go to the great city of Washington, DC…”

Have you read the story of Jonah and the whale? Yes, we all know it’s impossible for a whale to swallow a man and it’s impossible for a man to live in the belly of a whale. I’d like to rip that damned miracle out of the story. If I ever finish retelling the story, I’m going to do that. No miracles!

The story isn’t about a miracle. It’s the story of a man like you and me – an imperfect, self-centered, egotistical, self-righteous person filled with anger, hatred, pettiness and some deep-seated psychological problems. Why is he called a prophet? I don’t think he qualifies even as a “minor” prophet.

I wonder what happened to Jonah. As the story ends, he’s sitting in the blazing sun and scorching wind wanting to die.

But God said to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be angry about the gourd?"
“It is," he said. "And I'm so angry I wish I were dead."

Maybe the author ended it that way so he could publish a sequel – Jonah 2: The Journey Home. Personally, I like the way the story ends.

One of the things I try to do in life is look for the good, the noble and the beautiful in the midst of the imperfect. Sometimes that’s difficult. (I have yet to find the beauty in Rap noise – er, music.) However, I learn something from everyone. Sometimes, I find a good example that I want to emulate. Other times, as with Jonah, I find mistakes, failures and dangers that I want to avoid.

It might be a little easier to find the good and the beautiful in The Song of Solomon – which I haven’t read in many years.

How beautiful you are, my darling…
Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn…
Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon…
Your neck is like the tower of David…
Your breasts are like…

Ummm, soft porn in the Bible? I wonder why I get a smile and a sense of pleasure from that.

Life is good when I am not easily offended, when I am myself, when I let others be themselves and when I look for the good rather than the flaws


Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

I go begging for people who seem to celebrate their flaws to get over themselves and decide they'd maybe look alot less sillier ditching them rather than wearing them like a badge of pride. Celebrating the "redneck" culture to me is simply an exercise in laziness. I used to not even want to listen to any music considered "home-spun", like blue grass and other such stuff, untill I saw and heard it played by people no different than me, without the exaggerated accents or some sense of pride in ignorance. So, yes, I still hate "country" music, because REAL "country" music is full of love and fun and humor and class, and never mentions pick-up trucks or being "Mercan. It's just damn good music made well by good people of all ages, and not necessarily by those living in the country.

1/20/2007 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

I know my comment doesn't seem to have anything to do with your post, but even tho I had to read it several times myself, it does.......hehe

1/20/2007 05:06:00 PM  

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