November 2010, our anniversary family weekend in Big Bear
This is an unusual picture to post for a couple of reasons; first, it was taken by my wife and not me and secondly, because of that I’m in the picture. Of course, I’ve taken off some more pounds since then (the already baggy pants in the picture are no longer of any use). But that’s me with my daughter out to feed the ducks and my son in the foreground squinting into the morning sun.
When I’ve posted pictures in the past I’ve always hoped for something striking. I’m no photographer, but if I was going to publish a photo on the blog, I wanted it to stand out. This one stands out, not because of what composes it, but who.
This is not to say that I am something to behold, or even more that I am claiming the usual parent-right of my children being special. Rather, that a person is important.
In this age, even those who remember people in general forget a person in particular. Such is the sense of loss in the world that long before I was born scientific philosophers declared God dead. They did so, not because as they claim they found no evidence to believe in. My apologies to particular agnostics and atheists whom I know and care for, but what we believe has never seriously contended for the minds and hearts of the world. What be believe is largely meaningless, ill-conceived, full of prejudice and pride, assumptive of all manner of facts not in evidence.
We’re all making this up as we go along and most of us live in utter ignorance of ourselves and separated impossibly from one another. I don’t have much interest in what we believe.
What I do care about is who. We have lost the ability to believe in each other. That feeling that villagers in primitive societies got when they saw people who lived “over there on the other side of the hill” is now the feeling of otherness we feel when we see our neighbors, our spouses, and our children.
We don’t believe what we believe anymore because we don’t believe who we believed. We do not believe in each other. So I ask an old question:
If we do not love the brother or sister we can see, how can we love God whom we have not seen?