My Joy and I learned about “omens” by reading The Alchemist, a famous allegorical novel by Paulo Coelho. On the way out of Joanna’s Restaurant this morning I saw a doll that someone had placed on window sill. A artificial butterfly was fixed on the tresses of the doll’s hair. I accepted it as an omen that Halloween is near at hand and I remembered that my father was born on Halloween, 1895.
I understood the butterfly on the doll to be an omen of deeper meaning. It told me to keep on telling about the potential for a powerful transformation when Jesus comes into the heart, the heart informs the mind and the mind decides to do as Jesus did. Jesus in his day was widely known as a friend of sinners who went about the land doing good.
Many years ago on most Sunday evenings an old cripple struggled up the steps going into the church where the Old Fool, then young, preached. When members of the congregation were invited to share a Bible verse from memory, the old cripple began by loudly confessing what seemed to be the only bit of Bible that he knew. He regularly recited a fragment from the book of Proverbs: “the way of the transgressor is hard.” The way of Jesus may appear to be harder, but the truth is, its doable.
Jesus is reported to have said “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Isn’t it sad that so relatively few Christians choose to live the Jesus way? Instead they choose greed, gun-power, selfishness, etc. Could it be that when the Jesus story is accompanied by such things as a virgin birth, angelic visitations, miracles, a bloody death demanded to satisfy the anger of God the father, resurrection from the dead, and ascension the adult mind rejects them as impossible. If belief in these impossibilities is essential for salvation of one’s soul, how will the world that God so loved be saved?
The Old Fool is made glad when as few as 500 soldiers are sent to West Africa to build hospitals. It will be a different world
when all soldiers use their skills
to heal and build.