Dave at Big Story Guide is always wanting me to put my critical ideas in a story form.
Well, here’s one for Dave that concerns my earlier post about irony:
First, irony. In short: The last thing one would expect. There are mundane comic kind of ironies, and then there also stretches a kind of ‘cosmic’ irony. This last is sort of like the distance that people will ask of us from seemingly aggravating events; like, God is laughing at our frustration, that we need to repose in God and know God has the plan.
The irony that Gods purpose is to bring about its own destruction is of this later type: The purpose is to filter out the riff raff; but that will not happen through any sort of human negotiation or pondering decision:
But you want a story.
I suppose a good story would start with, say, Juan. He fears and loves God; he believes in Jesus. This is so much that case that all his prayers begin and end with ‘thy will be done’. After a time, or at some time, he begins to see God working in his life. Events unfold in a manner that makes sense to Juan, that God is indeed involved in his life, that indeed he has a relationship with God and Jesus.
Then something terrible happens that shakes his faith. He falls to the ground one night after many nights of being incapable of coming to terms with what happened; how God could, after all this time of being with Juan, of showing him the right and the wrong, of placing fortune and consequence in places throughout his meaningful and faithful experience – how could God allow something to happen that is so terrible, so inconsistent with the relationship, so seemingly random.
So Juan falls to his knees one night in desperation, in failure to reconcile an apparent disruption in his faith. And in complete supplication, asks God to show him the truth.
God then takes Juan out into the wilderness and sends a demon. Juan is quite astonished and doubtful, but likewise is he kinda pissed at God. The demon says, “if you have such faith, then you will want food and it will be given to you. Follow me.” Juan is hungry and follows the demon and the demon feeds him when he is hungry. But then after a while, Juan has fallen far behind, and is beginning to wonder if being fed is so miraculous.
The demon notices Juan and looks back and says “It looks like the food is not fueling your faith well enough; you can hardly keep up!”
And Juan replies, “You’re kinda boring though. There are much more interesting things off the side of the road.”
“Are you coming or what?”
“Why would I want to?”
“You are the one with so much faith.”
And Juan remembers why he is here, and catches up with the demon.
After sometime in the wilderness, they reach a large town, and as they approach the center, any people look at Juan and are amazed at the site. He is dirty, skinny, and sunburned. Many go to help him, asking “What happened to you?”
“A demon lead me into the wilderness. Ive been walking there for about a month.”
They are even more astonished. “How on earth did you survive? There is no streams or food; when was the last time you ate?”
And the demon said to Juan, “These people like you. You can use this to you advantage. Don’t say anything about me and you will become great.”
So Juan said, “God fed my thirst.” And the people where humbled and sympathetic, that he would emerge from the desert almost dead and speak of God. They figured something terrible must have happened that he would’t speak of.
From then on, it got around town that Juan had survived a month in the desert with no food or water for a month. Everyone came to hear what he had to say. All he said was “God told me to go, so I went, and now Im here.” But all the people heard and saw was a naïve and perhaps zealous, disturbed, or maybe foolhardy and adventurous boy, so they had mercy on him, and they restored him to health and he lived happily every after.
So it was that after many years, When Juan was old and fat, with a big house and many grand children that the demon returned. “Where is your faith now, Juan?”
And Juan recognized the demon and told him, “I have no faith. I had a crazy idea because I was pissed, to take off into the wilderness and forsake my family and friends. I almost died because I wasn’t really eating or drinking anything. Luckily I came upon this town and some people nursed me to health. There was this chick who thought I was cute. I am honest so a store owner showed me his trade. The rest is history. Faith; shmaithe.”
The the demon stood back and in a gleam of light, the glamour and deception of the demon was cast off, and God stood before Juan, and said:
“You wanted me to show you the truth.”