In the final book of the Bible, the now elderly disciple, John, was that last man standing. He was holed up in a hovel, a cave of exile, near-blind. Yet, he feverishly scribed God’s final decrees to Man. Apocryphal and intensely packed with allusions and allegory, the messages were intended for the early churches established after Christ’s death. The group was supposed to be scared straight, like a police program for errant youth, intended to steer them from a life of crime.
It may be a great parallel, but impressions and change made, vanish within generations.
As testament for the sad assertion above, I offer the to-the-bone direct assertion while God had given his people a rainbow sign to show the inhabitants of Noah’s Ark that all was refreshed. Instead of ending the world with water, God would end it with fire next time.
Which brings us to last week, when over two dozen fires blazed in California coalesced to destroy over three million acres, with more fires storming up the west coast. Flames gobbled oxygen and spewed out smoke so thick that visibility was obscured for miles, yet highly visible via satellite cameras in space. The air quality impact was noxious and vast up/down the entire west coast. It seemed like Armageddon has arrived.
One of the best, and most blatantly direct writers of the 21st century, James Baldwin interpreted the fire next time to mean that if we fail to solve the issue of racial inequality, we (or God) will bring a destructive fire upon our civilization. The racial unrest has become evident and I feel certain that people of color will not back down. Simultaneously openly racist folks haven’t given the unfavorable habits of the forebears and civil war is being waged on various cities’ streets. America is experiencing Armageddon and our nations’s highest elected official appears to applaud – ?
These issues can’t be solved in a blog, so enjoy this soulful song, sung by one of my favorite rockers, who happens to be a Hoosier, like me.