Walking Upside Down
Luke 15:1-3; 11-32
..."he was lost and he has been found. ."
There is a delightful animated film about a small boy who learned to walk on his hands instead of his feet. The story stresses the pressures toward conformity in our society. The little boy's strange behavior had the most pleasant results for him. Walking on his hands gave him a radically different perspective on the world. He could smell the flowers without bending down. He was close to the earth so that he could see vividly the beauty of grass, and he met the butterfly eyeball to eyeball as it skimmed along the ground. But his parents were deeply distressed. Their darling child was a misfit! So they took him first to a medical doctor, then to a psychiatrist, and then to a social worker. All of the newest theories were employed to change the little boy's behavior. Gradually he was made to learn to walk like all other humans--on his feet. The parents were relieved; the doctors, social workers, and others who had helped were proud of their success. But now the little boy began to see the world as others saw it: dirty, ugly, polluted, and filled with persons obediently doing what was expected of them. His short-lived posture that had enabled him to appreciate more easily the beauty of the world was ended. Now he was like everyone else.
This parable illustrates the manner in which conformity is of the highest priority in our society. It also suggests the way in which nonconformist positions in religion are made to fit into the mainstream of thought. It suggests how we expect people to move, act, and live within our mindset.
Jesus walked on his hands. He saw people as children of God regardless of social position, the color of their skin, their race, what they wore or did not wear, and their religion. They were children of God. He called people with money to share, to provide for those who did not have. He was crucified for walking on his hands. And God having the final say, raised Jesus, and continue to calls each of us to walk on our hands as well. To smell the flowers, the earth and to look into the eyes of the butterfly. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
Father River Damien, sfw
P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, CA 94164