In this new book I want to write, I want to write only about things that all human beings can recognize as being true. I don’t want to be me, but I want to be each person that reads my words. I want to be filled with the memories and thoughts that brought you to this place where you drew these particular conclusions about what was true and what wasn’t. This is why I write so much in the second person. I strives to become You.
I want to define in a short list what is perfectly good and what is perfectly evil, and then everything else can get in line behind either one, and it will be so obvious who or what needs to be removed from the book.
What is evil, but a turning away from God? So says Augustine. All of this stuff–pop musicians, cartoons, fast food, cars, etc.–it’s not good or evil. The only place that evil appears is when a human being falls in love with stuff more than God. However, the God most humans think they are in love with is just another idol as well–one they’ve erected in their heads and churches. The best way to turn toward loving God completely is to turn toward loving your fellow man. If you are always running to the other side of the street to avoid engaging even eye contact with someone, then you are turning away from God. You might be trying to get away from perfectly harmless human conversation and activity that is simply invading your sense of personal space, but you are ultimately cutting yourself off from humans.
It’s not just the very rich who cut themselves off from humanity–it’s anyone who has the means to place themselves in a bubble of self sufficiency and ignore their neighbors. It’s all of us, or at least most of us.
Is a $650 pair of shoes being sold on a street trafficked by many who don’t have shoes or have only the thinnest of flip-flops covering their feet a certain kind of evil? It is a symptom or sign of the way in which enough of us have made it clear we are willing to turn away from fellow human beings. Would banning that price or those shoes make a difference? Of course not, no government is ever going to successfully legislate what it means to be a decent human being until Christ comes back. Stop waiting for that perfect President to make everything right. There is no perfect ruler of us all except the triune God.
The shop that sells that $650 pair of shoes can only meet its demise in a proper sort of way when each of us decides that such a price for shoes is absurd and the money saved is money that could go to helping others have warm, comfortable pairs of shoes during the winter. But, each of us has to decide that for ourselves. Any one of us who is forced to make that decision without having come to it completely of our own accord is going to be representative of us not getting to where we need to be, yet.
Where we need to be is each individual returning to God, which is really returning to the least of these here on earth. No matter how much we strive to do it, we will need to keep being reminded of how we need to come back.