Saturday, May 30, 2009

God, the Valet

I didn't recognize him at first when we swirled under the automobile canopy, standing there in his immaculately pressed scarlet and gold uniform; I did notice his youthful and masculine physique, "cut" as the cliche goes, a refreshing change from the feminized men around whom I had been circulating throughout the day. He obviously exercised rigorously, probably with a disciplined workout including weights. "How are you today, sir?" He asked, "I'm doing well, sir," I replied, "and how are you?" "I'm having a wonderful day," he said.

As I exited the car I noticed his name tag, "Matt." It was my opportunity to use his name to witness to him, so I approached him and said, "Matt, do you know what your name means?" I didn't expect him to know, since it is quite uncommon for caucasian youth to know the meaning of their names, or even if their names mean anything at all, and so I was pleasantly surprised when he said, "Yes, sir. It means 'gift of God.'" I said, "That's exactly right. Do you know from what language it derives?" "No, sir," he replied.

Here was my opening.

"It's Greek," I said, "like Matthew in the Bible." I then proceeded to explain the etymology and biblical connection. I'm sure by this time he knew he was talking to a Christian, probably in his judgment a religious fool.

"Oh, I don't care about that," he said, "I am a God." The emphasis upon the "I am," especially the "am" was his.

Various thoughts raced through my mind by which I could stun him into reality, such as,

"Well, if you're a god, what are you doing in that silly uniform parking cars?" or, a more violent thought,

"Do you know I could end your divinity with the feeblest inclination of my will and one stroke of my finger?"

But the angel of my better nature bridled my flaming tongue. Besides, he was first to speak and said, "Where have you been today?"

"To a medical conference about suffering and death."

The unpleasantness of that visibly set him back, and he said, "That's a depressing topic."

"Not at all," I said, "Don't you know the ultimate destiny of all humanity is death, and your destiny as well?"

Matthew, the "god," was silent. That was my clue to walk away with purpose.

As I neared the revolving door, I knew he was watching me. I stopped, turned around, and met him eye to eye.

"Matthew," I said, "you'd better think a little more deeply about your name."

7 comments:

The Militant Pacifist said...

Thank God for the "angel of [your] better nature."

Some temptations are almost too much to bear...(1 Corinthians 10:13)... you know...like the temptation to show "god" a supercool kung fu move.

Ahhh...restraining grace...

Hippie Fringe said...

Man, there must be something in the water down south. You guys seem to have a lot of angst.

Anonymous said...

Wow autonomy at its best! Unfortunately if the True Sovereign One does not awaken him to his senses in that great day he will awake to fear and trembling.

Hal Brunson said...

No angst here, HF; I think all the contributors here have stared deeply into Nietzsche's dark cavern and said, to put it southernly, "ain't skeered."

Hippie Fringe said...

Maybe you would call it "righteous indignation". It seems strange to me that a young man that was courteous and helpful would stir some impulse in one to give him a tongue lashing and in another to give him a beating. I wonder, had he offered a more subservient proof of depravity, would that have triggered a different knee jerk? It is that impulse, that flash of anger, that interests me.

Hal Brunson said...

HF, remember, both the tongue lashing and beating were stayed; only a gentle witness was given, but a gentle witness on a stiff neck and a hard heart is a lashing and a beating indeed. It seems to me that you've missed the point of the post by a country mile and drawn a conclusion that is neither inferred nor warranted by the post, a conclusion that suggests a double bias on your part, one for the little god, the other against the witness. Really now, do you want to ride that straw horse?

Hippie Fringe said...

A bias viewed from a bias would appear doubled. My first post was not so serious (if serious at all) but as I pointed out in my second, it is that momentary flash of anger that interests me. I know that impulse well: the flush of anger and the sense of one’s benevolence when it is averted. I do not believe there is one schematic of the human heart but every such wire I have traced from my heart has terminated in my own identity rather than God’s. Admittedly, it is an adjunct to your post but I believe a relevant observation none the less. If your first impulse when confronted with an infidel is violence, I want no part.