Sunday, October 18, 2009
Ark of the Bird Covenant
My God, I get that now in a way I didn't before -- and I also have a different kind of inkling as to why some Christians feel so threatened by critical examination of the Scriptures and the sometimes deliberate downplaying of the Bible by other Christians:
If that's where you've embodied the presence of God in your life, then, of course, any threat to the Bible is a threat to God and a threat to you.
Anyone who knows me at all knows I place a lot of importance on things -- not necessarily consumer goods or collectibles, signs of wealth (ha), and such, but meaningful things -- things that have deep meaning for me.
A few things that belonged to Daddy, a few things that belonged to Mama, especially things that either one of them gave to me, or I gave to them. Things that, to me, represent the covenant between and among us.
Last night, I lost one of those things that, to me, represented the covenant between and among my Bird and Dr. ER (Bird being my stepgal, Dr. ER being my wife). It's a simple thing, and a silly thing: a folding seat back, the kind you use on bleachers, in Oklahoma State orange-and-black with Pistol Pete on it.
Walking into the OSU-Missouri game last night at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Dr. ER got in ahead of me, and the guy scanning tickets told me I couldn't come in with that seat back.
To get in, right then, I just had to toss it on the ground, and I did because at that instant, with the car at least a mile away, people crowding behind me and the game fixing to start, I didn't know what else to do.
A minute later, I was inside, furious. Then, we were in our seats. And I alternated between fury and sick-to-my-stomach before fury won out. I left my seat, didn't watch the game and generally just had a miserable, hellish night.
This morning, my fury had collapsed into grief, and I'm still sick to my stomach.
I'm a fool. Embodied in that stupid seat back were so many times and experiences with my baby Bird, who I love so dearly and miss so much, who was here in my life at age 9 and then gone so fast, more or less, at 18 that my heart is still spinning now, five years later. Times with her mama, too. Times when we were our own little family, the only one I ever will have had of my own.
And it's gone. I have so few things like that in which to embody periods of my life with her, and with us all together. I am such a sap.
So, friends and brothers, there are two hard life lessons for me:
1. I have a taste for what it meant to the Israelites to lose the ark, the thing in which they had embodied God in their lives. Some things are more than things.
2. The treasures we store up on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal -- that has to do with more than money and wealth.
Re, "Now if the stadium seat causes its new owner so much grief that he/she returns it to you, that will be even better a preach."
Wouldn't it, though?
I don't know where you live M.A., but it's clearly not the South or Southwest, so I'm not surprised you don't personally know anyone who does that. We have pretty much cornered the market on it.