Sunday, November 1, 2009
I couldn't improve on this one
The Calling of Saint Matthew by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome. (1599-1600)
I haven't had a lot of luck explaining the Jesus thing. It usually comes down to a discussion as to whether or not I really believe some story from The Bible. That, or there's the shoulder shrug and "Whatever works for you."
It's OK. I'm not much for preaching I'd rather let my actions be my message. Still, just because I like the story, I wish I could get across what it was that happened to me. I wasn't a bad person that got turned into a good person. I don't think I'm better than you. If anything I felt guilty and unworthy of the loving kindness I was being shown.
I have always been a dork and a friend to dorks. In gym class the biggest whitest jocks would be appointed captains and told to pick their teams. After the real players got picked the captains would argue over who was going to get stuck with me and my dork friends. Some of us were 'brainiacs', kids who were so scared of our own bodies that we retreated into our heads and got good grades. Most of us weren't good at much of anything. Not even dodgeball.
When the door opened and the light shone on me I felt like I had just been picked for the team. My first response was, "You've got the wrong guy. I'm not good at that kind of thing. I'm not good at much of anything."
Daisy Deadhead of Daisy's Dead Air is someone I actually, briefly met almost thirty years ago. I don't remember her, but we were in the same places at the same times, protesting the Republican convention in Detroit and getting stuck in the middle of a gigantic fist fight at a Rock Against Racism show. From what she's said about those events, I'm certain that we met.
Nowadays she's an unrepentant feminist, radical, resident of South Carolina and faithful Catholic with little or no respect for the church hierarchy. She just posted something about Carvaggio's painting and All Saint's Day. It's as good a sermon as I could wish to preach, if I was the preaching type. Read it here.
How He Delivered Me- Juanita Johnson, The Gospel Tones (Buy)
I highly recommend buying the Smithsonian Folkways compilation, "Every Tone A Testimony".
Posted by Your driver at 8:37 AM