Forgetful Creatures Embedded Within Our Modern World (by Patrick Calvo)
The World is changed.
I feel it in the water
I smell it in the air
Much that once was is lost
For none now live who remember it.
Some things that should not have been forgotten were lost.
Galadriel’s words ring true beyond the pale of Middle Earth: Surprisingly it seems, as a Modern Evangelical I have lost so much that once was. Desensitized by the spirit of our unprecedented Modern Age, I am a very rootless creature, sweetly ignorant of much of the wisdom of the ages lost in the death of august sages. I have forgotten what I forgot. Happy to boldly charge ahead leaving all but the bare bones of what I imagine ‘New Testament Christianity’ to be, I remake myself as I try to stand, floating awkwardly in mid-air.
I wander about like Cain excommunicated – a transient in our increasingly incongruous age of the increasingly bizarre. I have this uncanny sense that I am cut off from untold treasures, just beyond my reach. I am like a monkey who grabs what he feels in the bottom of a jar but can’t retrieve what is inside because his tight fist fits not through the narrow neck of the jar. At unpredictable times and ways I catch nuanced serendipities of these treasures lost from beyond the walls of my world. I am like a beachcomber on a stormy winter day who finds the most delightful trinkets washed upon the shore from far-flung places: colorful artifacts from exotic lands upon a low tide beach in my modern grey scale world.
It wasn’t until I stumbled across treasures bound up in the communal experiences of the Communion of Saints as they washed upon the beach of the de-fault hyper-reality of my Modern life, that I realized how parochial my narrow experience of God was and is. For providence has placed us in the twilight of this odd Modern Era profoundly unlike any other age: an a-historical and a-meaningful Age that essentially means: ‘Just and only Now.’ Unaware, I have been incubating within this vacuous Era I am a happy little ignorant virus in a Petri dish.
Ignorant of glorious past voices that call me into a richer communion with ‘The God Who Comes’, I express an anemic distorted form of Christianity as I unintentionally deny the mystery and wonder of the democracy of the Communion of Saints. This chronic distorted form of Modern faith I speak of is corrected and nourished within a living dialogue constituted by this great multifaceted Communion of Voices – The Great Cloud of Witnesses.
Like a professional cat burglar in the dead of night, the Modern era has so deftly liquidated such significant portions of my past Western cultural consciousness and heritage. Its sacrilegious influence has stolen all the most holy and precious artifacts from under the Sacred Canopy of both my inner and outer world. After this grand larceny there is no more need to fear the numinous or holy. This World I speak of has juiced all the transcendent mystery and awe into merely profane processes, techniques, and systems. Wonder and awe is now immanently co-opted within the technological magic of micro-machines and splicing genes and silver screens.
Patrick Calvo is a husband, father, gardener, and closet writer who lives in Snohomish, Washington. You can follow his blog at www.dialogpc.blogspot.com.