The Bus Terminal and Suburban Jesus [2/2]   Leave a comment

Introduction

When you do not have a car of your own and you rely on the bus to get you to and fro in Suburbia you see many things. Well about a month ago or so, I had seen something rather interesting while waiting for the bus to take me home at the bus terminal. I saw a group of 3 Christians evangelizing, my guess is that they were Born-Again Christians however not the Christians of True Spirituality. However it was not on TV that I saw this rather, I was in the scene, I was right there to see it come to pass. It was in the moments leading up to the arrival of the Bus that I had an epiphany. In order to tell you what it is however, I think it is smart to flashback to that scene so you might be able to understand.

Reflecting on The Events of the Day

Let us go in reverse reflection on the event of the day, in a word start with the last things of the event until we end on the first things:

1. The man at the front of the bus in all of Sureness, said rather Boastfully and Victoriously, “I Bid You Good Eve!” to the other man.

The symbolism there was astonishing in something seemingly small and insignificant like this, what was it? Namely, the man is filled with Pride, a feeling of reckoning, that he did his part in the intellectual battle, That he confirmed what he already believed by beating a young man in issues pertaining to Theology!

2. The man in the back of the bus in said, “God created all things, then he created even the evil things as well, disasters, pedophile priests, and death too!”

Once again the symbolism is rich here as well, namely this man behind me was filled with Anger. A sense of betrayal and utter spitefulness toward God and those who believe in Him. A sense that Justice must be done so that others do not suffer for Him! Even if that means, beating a young man in issues pertaining to Theology!

3. The way the bus is made, those who sit far back enough are elevated while those who have no seats to sit on are usually standing up front, so here was me lowlier in between two men who were elevated.

As I look back on this, I recall what I learned about Christ’s Beatitude of Blessed are the Humble/Poor in Spirit, the understanding of humility or being humble traces its Latin Root back to the word humilitas, which could also mean, “of the earth” or “close to the earth” or “lowly.” The symbolism on the bus that day was such that I was physically lower then they were but metaphysically, I still believed in God and did not have these passions in me toward God, or at least not to the point of Disbelief in Him. Now, I am a sinner and do not seek to announce a virtuous action, but this I believe to be something symbolic on the bus.

4. The first man went to the back of the bus, the other man to the front of the bus and I was more so in the middle.

There is a Biblical Verse from Psalms I believe that spoke of something similar, and it went like this: “Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches?” (Psalm 49:5,6) Of course, these men are taking the bus, but their wealth is their intellectual sureness that there is no God or that God is evil and therefore, we must not be with God and mock all who believe in Him. It should be noted as well that it is an old psychological ploy as well for one person to be on one end and the other person to be on the other end with everyone else caught in between for persuasion purposes, after all most people who were on the bus saw this debate take place.

5. I looked to my right and saw these rather libertine looking women who were trying to show off as much of their bodies as was legal. I saw other people whose facial expression and bodily posture and movement suggested depression, sadness, and even despair.

It seemed so telling, however that we were sinners. Both our attempts to get what we want in the case of the libertine young women, who seemed younger then me [and I am only 21] whether it be simply to get noticed or for people to lust after them so that way they may realize their lusts as well or our attempts to runaway from all the mistakes and wrongs that had brought us to this moment, in the case of those people whose faces were vacant and radiated a sense of sadness and even despair. The other interesting observation was that those dressed so loosely were young and those who were depressed were older, its like we make mistakes in our youth and the fruit of those mistakes manifest down the line in our own life.

6. The one thing that stood out from all of this though was this old man with a hunched back who was strolling this cart filled with his possessions away from the proselytizers.

The proselytizers were only evangelizing, they were not helping the poor and needy while doing so. If they wanted to save people, why not practice what they preach at the same time. If Christ gave himself freely and what he had on Him freely to the service of the poor, why didn’t they? The symbolism suggested that, they honored Christ in words, but their hearts were far from Him and because their Hearts were far from Him they also were far from the Hearts of those who could have benefited most from Christ’s message.

7. I was sitting on a bench outside waiting for the bus, minding my business and listening to my music on my MP3 Player. Suddenly out of nowhere I hear someone shouting, “Be Saved By The Blood of Jesus Christ!”

God manifests Himself on the scene everyday whether through His Work or those who seek to aid in His Work. However, these 3 proselytizers, I knew were not of a spiritual Christian Background, they were of a Born-Again Fundamentalist mentality. It takes one to know one, his tonality, his words, and his behavior did not speak of depth only the usual superficial Christian Fundamentalist evangelization statements. I admired the 3 for the evangelization attempt anyway, because my work is not in public preaching to those who I do not know, but rather in those who know me whether directly or indirectly. My approach is more personable and specific rather than impersonal and general. This will explain though their relative inexperience and why the Anti-Religion Duo felt like as if they won.

Summary and Response to the Event

The events of that day lead me to confirm what I had already believed, which was namely that those who don’t like God or the notions of God are this way for 2 reasons which were each embodied in these 2 men. The first reason is out of Pride, a sense of sureness within their own intellectual processes that there is no such thing and that those who believe in such thing are liars and propagating a lie. From this belief that those who believe are liars and propagating a lie stems the Second Reason which is out of Anger, a sense of Justice must be had, that a war is being waged between the deceivers and non-deceivers. But this Anger also has its own justification namely that sense of Betrayal which was intoned in that second man, this feeling betrayed affirms this sense of God being a lie. They may say I am seeking wish fulfillment in God, but I say that deep down they feel hurt and want to believe in God but wherever they look they fall into the clutches of despair and in that despair they become angry and by doing so filled with a puffed up/illusory sense of self that I call, pride as well.

When I thought more about why I didn’t speak up that day, I was left to believe the following: (1) If I had spoken up and tried to defend the evangelist, it would have only furthered the anti-religionists argument even more. Why? Because he was a born-again Christian and I was a student of the deeper wisdom tradition, he was still drinking the milk and I was onto the more solid foods of the tradition. In a word, we have differing theological beliefs and perspectives within the same tradition, and I could just see the Atheists using that as an argument against us, for which at that time I did not have the best counter-argument to reply to that. (2) It’s my belief that the point to my encountering all of this was not to participate but to observe, hence why I was able to see all the symbolism behind such a concrete physical event. (3) Perhaps my own human failing prevented me from wanting to take both the fundamentalist on as well as the atheists too, because I know that opening a 2-Front War will lead to stress and defeat in battle, but not the war.

It was clear to me the unseen warfare that is often spoken about between God and the world. The libertine teenagers, the despairing older people, and the hunched over poor man who had strolled his cart away from the Evangelists as well as the atheists on one hand but on the other hand me being a silent observer of what unfolded coupled with the moment becoming more then just another passing moment as well as the 3 Young [albeit misinformed] Evangelists. So where was God in all of this? What else, but the moment itself, present in the atheists who walked off so sure of themselves, which is their punishment but in their illusion it is their victory. Present in 3 Young Evangelists who had the courage to speak out in a part of the world becoming increasingly more ignorant and hostile to God. Present in the young libertine women, whose desire to be noticed and seen by someone, only to have this desire perverted into lust and vanity. Present in the hunched over man and the depressed and vacant-eyed older adults who desire a breath of fresh air and a desire to make up for their mistakes in life.

My response to the Atheist who claimed that there is a propagation of a great lie called God, Religion, and Spirituality would be that, like all things humans believe there is a truth to be found in that. That truth is this, that although God, Religion, and Spirituality are not lies their are traditions who losing touch with their origins become watered down and become merely empty traditions of men, these things both God and the atheists disapprove of. As for the other man who claimed that God is the author of evil, to him I disagree, evil is a perversion of the natural order done by the free choice of those who have the ability to choose. God permits evils but is not the author of them, so that a greater good may come out of a greater evil.

For your Pride, Humble yourself, desire to know God rather then then to know how to disprove God, for the only one who would try to disprove God is someone who is trying to runaway from Him. For your Anger, forgive those responsible, I am not saying it will be easy to forget, but the anger that you hold in your hearts poisons your entire being and distorts us all from the truth, believe me I held onto a subtle yet strong passive aggressive anger my entire life, but upon learning the true ways of God I was able to understand how to relinquish that. None of these things will be done overnight, but they will be done if you begin now and be persistent into the future.

My response to the 3 Young Evangelists who did what they have done, is to learn Apologetics from the most Ancient and Mystical Sources of the Tradition so that they maybe able to effectively argue and transcend the common arguments that usually put them on the defensive. My prayer, my hope, and my recommendation to them is that, as with all on a spiritual path, they may be transformed and grow spiritually mature, so that they may move beyond the mere superficialities of fundamentalism and go deeper into the tradition so as to realize the mission of true evangelism.

My Response to the young libertine women who passed by this scene is that I know you are looking to be noticed, you want someone to love you. However, there is a difference between trying to be noticed in hopes of finding someone to love you and trying to be noticed in the hopes of someone sleeping with you, the former will be with you for the rest of your life while the latter will be with you for a day. Seek then to rise beyond base animal drives and you will have them fulfilled and more. To those who are depressed, sad, betrayed, and in despair, do not believe that God has desired this for you, but take responsibility for your actions and admit that we reap what we sow, sometime down the road. Know that it has always been in your power to change your life around, but do not try to force immediate and sudden changes, but small and incremental changes will accomplish what you seek.

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