Wednesday 8 July 2020

Thought Picnic: The quest to see the person first

No Sabbath for suffering

It never ceases to amaze me when people are presented with situations and they are occupied with anything but the engagement with humanity. Biblical references come in useful, the instance where Jesus had disputes with the religious leaders and leaders of the synagogues because he performed healing miracles on the Sabbath, where, by law, he was not supposed to perform any work.
One leader of the synagogue made his displeasure known by remonstrating that there were other days in which Jesus could perform miracles, but the Sabbath really had to be kept holy. This was after witnessing the healing miracle of a woman who had been bound in infirmity for 18 years. Somehow, it was impossible for him to countenance the wonder of giving the woman any succour on the Sabbath, for as far as he was concerned, the law came first, and the woman could come on another day. [Luke 13:10-17 The spirit of infirmity (NKJV)]
As I have mentioned before, when I had cancer, our modern-day Sabbath which by terms is a Sunday did not suddenly mean the pain went away or I had any respite. There was a Sunday when my Fentanyl patch fell off the skin of my stomach unbeknownst, I just knew the pain was deathly and then realised the patch had gone. I applied a new patch but whilst I waited for it to take hold, I was in excruciating pain that I began to laugh almost hysterically with the view to releasing endorphins to ease the pain.
The birthday of a gay man in love
Which brings me to yesterday when I posted birthday greetings to Brian, my partner. I included pictures of a sunny disposition and these included ones of us kissing. We were kissing because we are in love, there should be no difficulty in recognising that.
If we were to view this in terms of humanity versus the legalism issue which comes across as an inability to recognise and accept diversity, this was what was at play. Two men kissing, an expression of love that some might find difficult to understand or appreciate, then they might look at the message; a birthday greeting expressed in love. Well, if they cannot abide the kissing, they should be able to celebrate the birthday, you would think.
Blinded by rage
Then obviously, no one is under obligation to do anything, the men are strangers to you doing something you do not agree with. As there is no connection between you and them, you would probably let sleeping dogs lie, ignore it and move on. That, unfortunately, was not our experience with some, even though the majority offered best wishes and support.
They on their high horses with unrighteous indignation to castigate, excoriate, condemn and vilify, completely implacable in their outrage at two men celebrating their love and a birthday, all they could see was everything wrong according to their worldview. The iota of humanity that would have allowed them to even grudgingly offer birthday greetings and express their misgiving never found an airing. They became protectors of the law as they saw it at the expense of their humanity.
Bitterness diminishes humanity
For them, seeing others suffer their stinging wrath was more pleasure to them than the celebration of life and happiness. To a point, I was pained for them, for at the root of it all was bitterness and negative energy that probably had depths that could not be explored satisfactorily to revive their innate humanity. Some, I withstood and faced down, others were too disagreeable to engage.
It is not like they would entertain any stranger interfering with how they live their lives, but a form of hubris with arrogance and a misplaced moral authority emboldens them to insert themselves to dictate how they think others should live and express themselves. It was a hard viewing to watch soulless and heartless vituperations. Yet, in the broad spectrum of our diverse humanity, I guess someone should fill those positions even when on the wrong side of history, priorities, or simply minding your own business.

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