Have we forgotten? Have we forgotten what it’s like to walk amongst a land of freedom, peace, and joy? A land flowing with milk and honey and dominion over the birds of the air and fish of the sea as gifts from our creator.
Have we forgotten the lonely pain that afflicted us striving to give of ourselves but coming up short from what the animals provide, an imitation of flattery, friendship, or affection?
Have we forgotten the deep sleep of our father as he lay to rest and was recreated with a newfound passion and joy? Have we forgotten the look that was given from the first couple in complete and utter love? No use, no ulterior motives, no you vs. me. Just complete trust and acceptance, understanding, and mutual respect.
Have we forgotten the feeling of the breath of our creator filling our lungs as we took each step in freedom from fear? Have we forgotten the experience of wealth beyond our wildest dreams? Not a wealth of this world, but of fulfillment, knowledge, and perfection.
Some would say the chasm between this portal of fantasy and folly is too far to be breached. The past is so far gone it is no longer a distant shadow, but a fading portrait of rumors and tall tales. Swimming around like a massive fish, getting bigger and bigger, but less and less true.
Some would go further and say we misremember our place. That we belong right there next to the animals, not with a dominion but as equals. Equals in freedom, intellect, and will. Debased to the point where our dignity doesn’t come from our creator but wells up from within ourselves. We make our own dignity and it can, therefore, be bought and sold, dragged and destroyed, hung up to dry like a pile of half washed clothes.
We are the “some” who would believe this faux image of man’s original light. The way we treat our fellow man has proven we have bought the bait. Our past not only washed away but erased like it never was. An empty tapestry of hopes and dreams and ambitions. We try to add more paint to cover up the mess, but it gets worse and worse till we cry out in pain for ourselves and others. Something must be missing. Something must have been forgotten. This can’t be all that the human person was meant to be?
“Are you not misled because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?”
That old dusty book grandma used to read to us late at night so we would quiet down or be stricken with the wrath of God? What could that possibly answer about our current predicament of hatred and fear? Misunderstanding and loneliness abound and some 2,000-year-old tired bedtime story is supposed to have the answer to our purpose? The pages begin flipping in a desperate attempt for something to lurch out and give the answer we so desperately need. Shuffling through the first few pages as the dust settles at our toes. Wondering, pleading, hoping. What is the answer? What does it mean to be human? Can we even begin to get back what we have seemed to have misplaced or completely forgotten? What is this modern-day thorn that pierces our very existence and threatens to choke us till we can’t breathe?
“Then God said, Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness… So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them… God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
We pause with a deep quizzical look of reflection overcoming our face. The question still remains. What is our modern-day thorn? Is it our disbelief in the scriptures or is it our lack of faith in the restorative power of God?
Tommy Shultz is Director of Evangelization for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative and the founder of Rodzinka Ministries. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith.