We went up in the mountains this weekend to celebrate non-brother-Sam’s birthday. A really lovely, much-needed time away with dear friends.
We also sit around and talk about Paris and Beirut and ISIS and the elections and fear and realize: We have no theoretical solutions. We are at a loss. (To solve the human condition?)
In light of this, Paul gave a helluva sermon yesterday, All Is Forgiven, which I recommend heartily. He speaks about the deeply, undeniably offensive nature of Christianity.
“Conservatives pride themselves on resisting change, which is as it should be. But intelligent deference to tradition and stability can evolve into intellectual sloth and moral fanaticism, as when conservatives simply decline to look up from dogma because the effort to raise their heads and reconsider is too great.” — William F. Buckley
Pyrrha doesn’t care about any of this. She just wants to know who put her on a diet.
The gospel, as perhaps unintentionally portrayed in Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections.
(Back story: Chip owes his sister, Denise, $25,000, which he has borrowed over the course of a few years.)
His sister turned and raised her face to him. Her eyes were bloodshot, her forehead as red as a newborn’s. “I said I forgive the debt. You owe me nothing.”
“Appreciate it,” he said quickly, looking away. “But I’m going to pay you anyway.”
“No,” she said. “I’m not going to take your money. I forgive the debt. Do you know what ‘forgive’ means?”
In her peculiar mood, with her unexpected words, she was making Chip anxious. He pulled on the rivet and said, “Denise, come on. Please. At least show me the respect of letting me pay you back. I realize I’ve been a shit. But I don’t want to be a shit all my life.”
“I want to forgive that debt,” she said.
“Really. Come on.” Chip smiled desperately. “You’ve got to let me pay you.”
“Can you stand to be forgiven?”
“No,” he said. “Basically, no. I can’t.”