Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Experiencing the Conspiracy

Sunday night I was so angry with Wonderful Husband that I couldn't speak, other than to be cordial and single-syllabicly responsive.  I went to bed angry and awoke angry.

In the early darkness of Monday I went to my office (Peet's Coffee Willow Glen), only to discover the doors wide open but with neither seats nor fixtures inside.  Remodeling.  (Did I recognize this punny divine clue? No.)  So I went to the next closest Peet's (on the Alameda) and ordered iced coffee.  I never drink iced coffee but I was hot and thirsty and wanted something cool and sweet. (Again with the puns, Lord? Do you think I'm that awake at 5 am, if ever?)

Sat down, opened Willard's "The Divine Conspiracy" and resumed reading.  In chapters 4 and 5, Willard uses Matthew 5-7 (aka the sermon on the mount) to illustrate Christ's Way of right living, ie kingdom living now.  He also completely demolishes common understandings of the purpose and meaning of these chapters -- that Jesus is giving laws or nice rules to go by, etc.  This is really a stunning pair of chapters, esp. 5. If you read nothing else of DC, read this.

I finish chapter 4 and remain angry. By now my anger has turned to fear, and the fear to speculation about proper and final responses.

Chapter 5 says, and I quote: Anger and contempt are the twin scourges of the earth. Mingled with greed and sexual lust, these bitter emotions form the poisonous brew in which human existence stands suspended.(150)

Convicted again.  But over the course of my reading, through Willard's firm and loving teaching of The Teacher's greatest speech, my heart opens and my guts unwind. Slowly light suffuses the world, inside Peet's, on The Alameda, in my view.  I love again, and return to sanity, hope, humor, and home.

It is a divine conspiracy, and Dallas Willard is in on it.

My notes and quotes are updated on Google Docs, within 60 pages of how far I've actually read.

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