Live Your Crowded Hour
Standing at your bedside, I don't know if you're dead or only sleeping.
Soon our friends will lay pennies on your eyes to pay Charon for your passage. A silly ritual, our friends will do it anyway.
But you were dead long before you died.
Something caused life to shrivel in you, bloodless and pale, until you began to smell of despair. Did fear of failure run so deep in you?
I was troubled by your passivity. I did not understand it. You refused encouragement. You sneered at good advice. You drank self-pity until it pickled your soul.
Did you never realize that He who gently made the lamb made the tiger also? Who strangled the tiger in you? Was it faulty religion? An overbearing parent? Wounded pride?
The tiger who fails is still a tiger. We do not laugh at it. A tiger is spectacular.
You understood the Jesus who turned water into wine at the wedding feast to save the young couple from embarrassment. You believed in that Jesus, the one who was kind and anonymously generous. But you never quite believed in the Jesus who braided a whip to drive the businessmen from the temple, who flung aside the tables of the moneychangers and scattered their cash and stampeded all their livestock.
Was there human blood on the whip when he was done do you think? Or did he just wave the whip over his head like a baton twirler in a halftime show and request that all the nasty, bad men please leave the premises immediately?
Jesus wasn't Gandhi. Jesus said that when someone jolted your jaw, the right thing to do was look them calmly in the eye and stick out your chin to give them a clean swing at the other side. This is how a tiger says, “Is that your best shot? You want another swing? Here, let me make this easy for you.”
Turning the other cheek isn't submissive. It's defiant.
But you were never into defiance. You were more into whining.
I wish I could say I will miss you. But in truth, I've been missing you since the day your tiger died.
Roy H. Williams
“One crowded hour of glorious life is worth an age without a name.”
– from Old Mortality, (1816) chap. 34, by Sir Walter Scott, (1771-1832)
“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: ‘Wow! What a ride!'” – Robert Wickman