Friday, March 20, 2015


I am having one of my ‘senior’ hours just now, having awoken at 3 am, and checked some art websites, some email like this, and now will settle into the middle of my current novel, reading Lee Child’s ’61 Hours.’ His protagonist in this multi-novel series is Jack Reacher. And over the past year I have read many of his works. Reacher is an interesting character, fascinating because he is unlike me in every conceivable way, standing 6’5”, an ex military man, with combat skills and awareness of other people’s weakness that makes him fearless; a vagabond of sorts who is constantly travelling across the USA, always on the move, without any possessions whatsoever, carries no backpack or anything else, purchases new inexpensive clothing every few days and discards the old stuff, and wherever he goes, he stumbles into some fascinating scenario where he has a string of heroic moments at the end of which, I as a reader feel relief from the resolution, strength from living Reacher’s story, eagerness to learn more about him as he moves on.

I can’t explain my fascination with this diversion from personal reality, in which my inadequacies are all too apparent. But I am aware that Reacher is not my personal hero. Jesus is my hero.
He is so much more than that to me of course, but Jesus is a bonafide hero. We seldom think of him in such terms, but if we do revisit his earth-time story, his character stands out compellingly against the culture and values of his time and certainly of our time.
Even when positioned next to the holy men and women of his day, and their practice of the Laws of God in life, his own interpretations pop him out to the forefront so that God in flesh is not just possible but the probable explanation. His purity, righteousness, morality, make him larger than life. His interaction with the Father, invest him with knowledge, confidence, nobility and power. Only when laden with other men’s sins, every human’s sins, did he appear vulnerable, helpless, doomed. “Why have you forsaken me?” But that too was central to his heroism because he was accomplishing a deliverance so large, that millions of humans in the history of this planet have been saved from the evil antagonist who was convincingly defeated when the gravest threat, death, was rendered futile, and Jesus rose to life through the grave wrappings and began to make appearances for forty days until he, in that same physical form which he permitted Thomas to touch, lifted off and moved effortlessly out of our space and time. If we marvel now at that scene as if it cannot possibly be true, think how the original eleven apostles and numerous other disciples and followers must have been witnessing the event, when suddenly an angelic voice pronounced, “ Why are you standing there looking so lost and dumbfounded, gazing into the heavens after him. This same Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven, will be returning in a similar manner.” With that emboldening experience, they all returned to the city of Jerusalem to wait there for what Jesus had promised to them, a baptism with the Holy Spirit, which when it happened, turned ordinary humans into courageous, lionhearted people who were ready to face anything in order to proclaim Jesus as Saviour, LORD, and King, God in visible human form, in whom when anyone places trust, there is immediate forgiveness of sins, and transformation into a child of light, a child of God. An enormous family of people who in so many respects resemble God.

In the Jack Reacher novel, ‘61 hours,’ there is a countdown. At the conclusion of key scenes, a statement appears, “ 59 hours to go,” or the number diminishes with each scene. I am at “ eighteen hours to go,’ now, and I will read on. Here on the real planet earth as well, the countdown is on. With each increasing numerical year count, the number of earth time hours remaining decreases, that is the number of hours until Christ culminates what he began as a member of the triune pronouncement, “ let us make mankind in our own image, in our likeness.” Until that moment when we see him, we are impressed with the unshakeable desire, a passion really, to be holy, for God is holy.

Now it’s 5 am. Maybe I will sleep for an hour before I go the the gym. By this afternoon, I should be good to go, for a nap that is.

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