People as Ripped-Off Immortals ~ BitterSweetLife

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

People as Ripped-Off Immortals

I had this picture the other day of us humans as immortal creatures, who had maybe once had wings, who are having our faces rubbed in the dirt. In this instance, the dirt was time—or mortality, the count-down stopwatch of chronos time—notching off the seconds of our one day in the sun.

In my mind's eye, we were these strong, happy beings intended to live forever, steadily growing more at home in eternity, a world without loss. Instead, we're gasping for breath on this earth, a Dust Bowl that chokes out the immortality our DNA still remembers. As if Earth is our kryptonite.

As I was thinking about how this concept was fantastic enough to belong in a sci fi novel, I was also thinking that it's a fairly accurate account of where we find ourselves today. Which goes to show you that this world is simultaneously stranger and more beautiful than we typically realize.

This picture of us would-be immortals languishing under the weight of an alien landscape would be very pitiful, in a poetically tragic sense, except for one fact: We made our world the killing field it is. We're not suffering under the whims of a cruel Dictator. Rather, we're suffering the consequences of defying a kind Creator. And this changes the whole picture.

Rather than appearing as tragic heroes, we emerge as people who simply need to turn around and go make up with our Father. We can keep choking on the dirt of fallen Earth, or we can turn to Jesus and receive again the eternity we were intended to enjoy.

The picture is still epic, but the spotlight shifts from us, the confused and wounding immortals, to Jesus, the origin of our immortality, and the One who still stands at the gate of the Garden, offering to give it back.

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Dan said...


Will Robison said...

I had a pastor once whose sermons were filled with the sort of big ideas and poetry of posts like this one. And every time he spoke, he'd turn around and see me dazing away - my mind somewhere afield. I told him that his poetry always set my mind adrift and my imagination grasped his images and started playing with them. That's what this post does for me.

I am picturing this huge war in Heaven and after all the fallen angels have been cast out, God turns to the remaining angels and says something to the effect of, "You must learn humility." And the next thing you know, we see a child being born in the world - a child who must learn to be humble before God or suffer the exact same consequences of his fallen brethren. Its not entirely Biblical, but it certainly does put the daily struggle into a new light.

Anyway, thanks for the quick cinematic daydream.

Ariel said...

Thanks, guys.

@ Will, that would probably be me out in left field as well. If my mind gets a good image to work with, it'll take off running. I wake up ten minutes later and wonder where the sermon went.

For that very reason, I try to reserve the cinematic daydreams for my blog, and keep 'em out of my sermons when I preach. :) Although provoking people to think about theology imaginatively isn't a bad outcome...


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife