Friday, March 10, 2006


Cotton Batting

By the end of the work day yesterday I felt as raw as a peeled lobster. Phone calls, radio calls, and most of them in gangs so I had to juggle everyone without dropping. Some of them aren't very patient; while I'm doing the research, they hang up and then call back, adding one more event to the queue. On the way home I was at the state where everything in the way was just an obstacle: bovine people milling around between me and the bus I'm trying to catch, bovine cars, another bus that didn't show up. So, I walked the rest of the way.

It's an abrasive world. Historically I've handled that by layers of cotton batting. Over the years it built up so that almost nothing got through unless I knew what it was. A few things, typically beautiful and quiet.

I finally got home, and there was a damned helicopter buzzing around and around and around. Just one more irritation. I hate those things, but of course the people inside have no idea of the noise they're inflicting on everyone else, or, like the motorcyclists whose engines rattle windows four blocks away, they think it's music.

To me it's just one more raw, jangling, sharp-edged intrusion. God has been dissolving the cotton batting and the stone underneath. He wraps me in himself to keep me from being utterly destroyed by this ugly world, but still some of it gets through. Things I didn't learn the first time around I'm learning now: how to handle sensitivity in a human way.

Normally I'd have run. Finances don't permit that, or at least that's what I think. So I've joined the armored hordes of the city, barely able to move as we ignore each other. Tanks bashing through the streets, greased by a bit of social politesse, but inside each is a human being afraid of everyone else. Just get me out of here, let me get home, lock the door and forget about it.

That's the human soul without God's participation. With Him, who knows? I hope that this path eventually leads to something better, a way of living in this world that allows me to be something other than a balloon at a cactus convention. Can God make people sensitive, and sturdy? In theory, yes. In practice, it depends entirely on how brave the person is, and I'm more of a runner than a stayer. When there's a choice, that is.

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