Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Roman Soldier, Flannery O'Connor, Hyperbole. Here's an image of the Roman soldier, and here's an article that talks about the Roman army in Britain. According to the article, the armor and kit of the Roman soldier weighed 90 pounds. This is the burden we carry for our enemy beyond the first mile and into the endless second.

Read in the article what it says about the derivation of our word "decimate". I begin to admire the Roman soldier after reading this.

There was definitely something for a Palestinian Jew in Jesus time to learn from the Roman soldier on that burdensome journey to which Jesus refers, if hyperbolically, a Palestinian Jew who probably had not traveled beyond 20 miles of his home during his lifetime (unless to Jerusalem), but who, of course, knew everything.

The matter of hyperbole puts in mind the introductory paragraph of Richard John Neuhaus article "Kierkegaard for Grownups" in the October 2004 issue of First Things:

"That extraordinary writer of stories about the 'Christ-haunted' American South, Flannery O'Connor, was frequently asked why her people and plots were so often outlandish, even grotesque. She answered, 'To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you have to draw large and startling figures.'"

So it is with Jesus in the SOM. He uses hyperbole - he shouts at the hard of hearing, he draws large and startling figures for the near-blind. We will do anything not to hear, anything not to see. We will do, for example, theology.

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