Monday, March 04, 2013

The good shepherd

 Heard a Shakespearean actor ask this week ( on ABCTV) how he could get the audience to identify with " Hamlet".  Hamlet is not someone we easily identify with ,  just like we don't easily identify with herd like behaviour. Hamlet's  tragedy is one of histories greatest tragedies because it doesn't involve semigods and because its a joint failure . Like Adam and Eve they didn't really help each other . Good intentions abound , but evil therby hangeth round.
I thought of a possible answer to the actors question "by seeing Hamlet the man  as,  a bit sheep like " . Whether we like it or not we all get caught out as herd members some time .In this case above cows will have to do .
Only God knows how anyone could love sheep - they are so easily led and so stupid. Yet Jesus spoke so lovingly about US being like them . And he was not alone to do so . The 23rd Psalm is a down to earth witness to a vision so powerful and so punchy that only a pedant could miss it .
Jesus view of " the creatures "too is always a realistic. Seeing someone else in the mirror , while not ideal  can be liberating provided you don't get pedantic and deterministic. We as humans can do better and we should try .In another twist its a condition  we  share with sheep that those who follow the goodshepherd himself  are like sheep to the slaughter . The big paradox is how is  he is still able to look after them then .
Following the shepherd , rather than feeding on the edge of everything leads to green pastures,  still waters , abundance and a rested soul . If you don't know that comfort , maybe its time to stop being overly vulnerable . Revisit the territory you started in , be more critical of all the reactionaries around you ; enjoy both the past , the present and what's still to discover in walking in His way ?
How many people die or are maimed by fear ? : How many people get lost  because they are always exploring beyond the boundaries identified as safe . A war against everything . Hamlet is seriously stupid stuff; Reactionary stuff that we are , in a power game sharing sense ,are all capable of .
Hamlet isn't safe. In some ways his problem was inside him and in some ways it was because he sought what he didn't have that he bought bread in a place that would never satisfy - he went beyond the boundaries to get it . He went over the edge , with the help of his wife who honestly seemed to think she could help him overcome his weaknesses - his lack of confidence in himself . Weakness is always present in every couple-- something to be owned and not always to be overcome  . She knew he had weaknesses . Instead of accepting his weaknesses and hers (their joint sense of impotence ?) they together sought a solution that was never going to work.
Fear is Ok if its a real thing. Its not always the problem to be rooted out either,  but it is generally something to be faced? :  If you don't want to see what it really is and how close  , you will limit yourself and your vision of a growing future .
It's great to be in a place of security.  Infact it's neccessary to be  in a place of security to really explore the places and spaces around you  . To know the value of what you have discovered beyond yourself , you have to know what home is.We all live with abundance and scarcity and we all have to live within the space we are given .The paradox is of course that we have to know which boundaries are real and closed and which are open to those who would dare to explore them. In another wonderful truth  we have been given a unique place to explore which means we can feel very lonely in it .Do good  in your space .  Life is short - wander but don't get lost .
Where do you fit in - comfortably and honestly ? Read Psalm 23

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