Thursday, May 11, 2006
Pollyanna and the Truck
You still have to keep going. The lemons and mud will come. A lot of people stand around and complain about it, throw the lemons back and add a twist.
I ignore all factions and just keep going, a truck in low gear hoping that over the next hill will be a country where the sun shines and lemons don't fly. I'm no optimist, though. The main reason I keep going is that staying put is intolerable; I've long since lost any hope that life will really get better but it's like the lotto. Your chance of winning is vanishingly small, but it's zero if you don't buy a ticket. If the truck doesn't keep rolling then there's no hope at all, so hope gets transferred from the future to the blind act of rolling.
Jesus is an optimist. He's the one who enables Pollyanna to dance between the lemons. When the mud hits, it's his cloak that it won't stick to. In my determination not to be duped by a world of lies, I've quit caring where the truck is pointed, or even that the size of the target makes it a handy place for mud to stick. All I know is not quitting. That's what compound-low gears are for. I'll never dance.
But... our God is one who believes in dancing. Sacred dance has been a part of His way from the beginning of our time. Dance, song, and beauty. All fragile, all easily overlooked, and always coming back after the most dreadful attacks like the lawn after the mower passes.
I wish I were light and fast-moving. Perhaps I am in some potential but my truck-like belief has so permeated my thoughts that it's all I see. It is a handy trait for living in a place like Los Angeles, where there is so much going on all the time that people move like frightened rabbits in an attempt to keep track of it all. Holding to one course makes for a longer attention span, which is the only way to learn some things.
Still, I wonder if it's possible to dance this route, to shed the truck and still be safe. When the attacks come, who will protect my soul if not the sheet metal and lead with which I cloak myself? Will Jesus really protect the fragile? Does he respect tenderness and sensitivity? Do I dare trust that he does? I know he made me as I am but it's asking a lot after 54 years of hard lessons. The idea is nice, but like other high-risk endeavors I doubt the payoff is really there.
My stony soul doesn't rise to the call to dance. There are probably more lessons ahead.