On occasion I look at Facebook to catch glimpses of the world--mostly photos of grandchildren or others for whom I pray and have concern and love. I also enjoy glimpses of the world and all the needs, as well as a mix of how others perceive and think, what they like and do.
A daughter had taken one of the clever "tests" one sees occasionally on Facebook. This one was to answer certain questions from a selection of possible answers, and the outcome would link your personality to a certain classic novel. Her personality and life was representative of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
I thought, "Why not?" So I answered with possible selections as best would fit, although some categories were lacking, such as a more spiritual bent. Yet, I think it somewhat captured my essence, factoring that To Kill a Mockingbird is my representative classic.
When did I read it? Ah, back in my sophomore year in high school; my mother was my English teacher that year. I did not nearly appreciate her enough! And I also did not recall much of the novel other than I liked it at the time and knew it had to do with racial prejudice, set in the South and remains a classic.
So I did a little research; and yes, I suppose it does rather represent the idealism and truth for which I strive, and the frustration of the ideal not easily manifested in our temporal world, no matter what the truth-aim of any of us, even the Church.
Yet, I strive in myself for integrity and honor, imperfectly, but with that ideal dangling. And when I experience the persecution or see it, or find the flaws in what not need be flawed, it is painful: a suffering without remedy in this life.
The closest I can come to achieving truth, beauty and goodness, is in the gardens, I suppose. Humanity fails easily, especially in groups or in temptations to position, power and prestige.
I found a quote from Atticus, the attorney father who lost his attempt at saving Tom from prison, as he was unjustly accused of raping a white woman in a time of prejudice without recourse. (We still have prejudice of all types, even within spirituality.)
Atticus was attempting to encourage his son who had been persecuted and physically injured as a result of his dad's even taking the case. Scout, the daughter and narrator of the novel, had her own rose-colored glasses ripped from her face. The world is as it is, and people are not all so kind to one another after all.
Atticus spoke of courage. I love the quote. It helps me today, to persevere despite the heat and weariness, the discouragement of so much manual labor but mostly the futility I feel in regard to suffering as a result of what some did and do in the name of Christianity, that is far from Christ's words and example.
It has cost me dearly and has put me in exile within an exlie. This may be for life, until I die to this earth and my body interred. Some of us are like Tom in the novel, imprisoned unjustly but our lives spared from earthly death until earthly death comes as it always does, anyway.
"Courage is 'when you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.'"
I intend to have this courage. I must see this through--not just the house that represents the Church in being made new, repaired, whatever possible--but my life in the temporal Church, such as it has been in exile for awhile. I must see it through no matter what.