Tigers and Idols

God is a fire. To live properly we need to live at the heart of the fire. This can sound painful and melodramatic. But fire doesn’t always consume. The burning bush just burned.

Phil Ochs: “Moments of magic will glow in the night, as fires will sometimes burn cold.”

The best way not to be eaten by the tiger is to be the tiger. There are libraries full of rules and subsets of rules to protect us from the tiger. How can we need protection if Jesus Christ is Lord?

I know this to be true. Through all the convulsions of my own life, post-traumatic stress issues, the long term deformation of sexual abuse, encroaching blindness and cardiac nonsense, I know now, absolutely and for certain that there is nothing to fear. Certainly not the tiger.

In a world where rules count they become an addiction. There can never be enough of them. They become an idol, and as we worship at their bloody feet we become them. Jesus broke them all and left us two. “Love God and each other.” “Come to me,” he said.

In Clive Barker’s book “The Great and Secret Show” people made little effigies out of excrement, and, saying certain words over them and engaged with them in certain way turned them into obscene and deadly creatures.

That’s what we do when we sit in the dark playing with rules and being afraid. Love is the only rule. Jump! Will your ouches still ouch? Probably. Will your heart still ache? Likely. Will you have bad nights when your pillow becomes an instrument of torture? Maybe. But not for long. The fire will bring you home.

note: I’ve been struggling a bit with this blog. I set a goal of keeping it for a year, and next week the year’s up. I think I’ve also completed a certain cycle of thought in it, and I’m wondering what happens nest. I’ll let you know next week.


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