Signs of a Delusional Mind
These are the chronicles of the esoteric . . .
Unlike my wife, I don't normally find that books invoke an outward emotional reaction.1 Don't get me wrong, I'm an emotional person; I cry at funerals, at good-byes, during particular movies, and even at some weddings (most notably, my own). But rarely have I ever cried because of a book. In fact, there are only two times I can recall tearing up from reading.
The first was some time ago - I'm not sure when. But I remember it was at the end of Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country. Without spilling any serious spoilers, suffice it to say the ending was touching. And I cried a little.
The second was very recent - only a few months ago. I have been attempting to read through the Bible again, and as I began the book of Exodus sometime last November I came across the following passage.
Just imagine for a second that you're in the crowd witnessing these signs and hearing these words. You and your ancestors have experienced years upon years of persecution and oppression, injustice and slavery. Then comes along two men who say, 'God has heard you; he's seen what you have to endure. And He's going to save you.'
Adonai said to Aaron, 'Go into the wilderness to meet Moshe.' So he went; and he met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. Moshe told Aaron all the words of Adonai with which he had sent him, and all the signs with which he had charged him. Then Moshe and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of the Israelites. Aaron spoke all the words that Adonai had spoken to Moshe, and performed the signs in the sight of the people. The people believed; and when they heard that Adonai had given heed to the Israelites and that he had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.2
I could feel the excitement, the burst of joy. The tears. And the relief.
It was nearly as real to me as it was to them; I was overwhelmed. And it was a powerful moment.
1. I don't want to mislead any of you and cause you to believe my wife cries at every book. But she does possess an uncanny gift of having her body and spirit intimately interconnected so that her body is very much in-tune with her mind. She laughs outloud at books, tears up at books, and gets frightened at books. It's wonderful.
2. Emphasis added. These are the words that ultimately jumped out at me and spoke to my heart during the reading that day.
[posted by ericjordan at 0127 hrs]
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