Monday, May 17, 2010

Seeing the Lion

(Part 2 in the series, Experiences of Mystery and Wonder)

< Previous post                                                                                                                     Next post >

The lion has roared. Who shall not fear?
- Amos 3:8

Several years ago I heard Michael Richards ("Krammar" on the Seinfeld sitcom) telling a joke on David Letterman's Late Night program. It immediately struck me as one of the most theological stories I had heard in quite a while. Michael Richards said "Did you ever hear a kid talk about his trip to the zoo? You ask the kid, 'What did you see at the zoo?'

'Oh, we saw a lion (expressed in a ho-hum fashion, eyes half closed).'

“That kid didn't see a lion,” Richards continued. “What you do is when you take the kid to the zoo, you pick him up and put him over the fence where the lion is. The lion is coming up to get a closer look. The kid is yelling, 'Aaaaauuugh! Aaaaauuuugh! Aaaaauuugh!' Then just in the nick of time you grab the kid by the collar and yank him back over the fence. Then you tell him, 'Now! You've seen a lion!' "

A mystic can understand the theological truth of that story. So when you think of modern theologians you can think of Paul Tillich, Rosemary Ruether, and Michael Richards. Tillich, a systematic theologian, spoke of God as the Ultimate Ground of Being. Ruether, a liberation theologian, talked about authentic vs. inauthentic ways of appropriating the transcendent. Richards cut to the chase when he said, "Aaaaauuuugh! Aaaaauuuugh! Aaaaauuuugh!"

< Previous post                                                                                                                     Next post >


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...