Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Violent Betrothal

At the Franklin Graham Festival, there were a great many people who decided that Jesus was who they wanted for their shepherd. There were a couple bands that were fun and talented and gave me an itch to go out and find some LPs by Bob Marley and the Wailers. There was the text from Daniel about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace, which is a lot of fun to read and imagine.

And yet, it is not what moved me this evening.

I came home to find Kat in the bed watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I laid down there to watch with her, occasionally flipping the channel to Law & Order - because, being a public cheapskate, commercials irritate me for the most part. But eventually, I couldn't tear myself away from Harry and his compatriots. And then we came to the part *spoiler alert* where Cedric Diggory dies, and Harry brings his body back to Amos Diggory, his father. Amos' grief never ceases to bring me to tears. His screams and his weeping are unmistakably primal and deep, and they shake me. A father, weeping for his dead son. The cool, ozone scent of awakening in me stirs, as I remember another father, weeping for his dead son.

The boy had walked up the hill of his own accord, and he felt the odd and blessed detachment of compassion for his indicters, shouting and squabbling for a view, or whispering smugly and maintaining the appropriate appearance of shock, disgust, and approval that we feel we must at an execution. His feet hurt, and his hands as well - immeasurably. It was a little bit difficult to breath, and he imagined that the glare would have been extremely bad from the sun, had not a palpable darkness erupted in the skies. It seemed that the heavens themselves were revolting in anger that such a thing should be done. The boy, like a tree watered by a stream, finished his work though, and died shortly thereafter. But his father stood by.

The cries rent the air, and reverberated until the earth shook.

"That's my son!"

Nimbus clouds roiled and people wondered and cowered at the terrible majesty of the fury that seemed to bleed from the very walls of the earth.

"That's my boy!"

But the boy had only done what he saw his father doing. He had walked up a hill and died.


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