>Weather-Inspired Theological Ramblings, I suppose

>Ladies and gentlemen of Chattanooga, summer is upon us.

I awoke from a relatively decent night's sleep having completely thrown off all semblance covers protecting me from whatever cold might permeate the warm night. My hair had been matted into a clump on top of my head, held in place by a vanishing layer of sweat from my apparent tossing during the course of dreaming, and there were thin strings of sunlight filtering through pollen that had somehow escaped into my room through the open window and onto my arm, making me appear as though I had grown some sort of zebra scales. I could hear a bird close to me and a lawnmower somewhere off in the distance and the ever-present but quiet bickering of my neighbors over the clanking of their pots and pans as I rose to silence the alarm screaming at me to wake up. I was going to reset the little numbers to allow for fifteen or so more minutes of sleep, not because I needed it, but because it felt like the right thing to do, and besides, I had plenty of time to spare. It was not even 7 and I had no obligations until at least 9.
I was going to do this, that is, until without warning my brain snapped directly to attention. It told me to push the shower a little bit, to forgo stopping to get a coffee on the way to work, to leave the phone on the charger for a few more minutes. I stepped on to the back patio with a glass of water and felt the exact same thing I had a summer ago on a drive across open plains and farmland and through the dreadfully boring stretch of 65 that passes into Indiana. There was a breeze on my face and the silhouette of our duplex painted in shadows on the lawn cast by the sun rising on the opposite side of the building; the words of Nietzche rang in my head and brought a bitter taste to my mouth.
Gott ist tot.
I realize that this quote is often used out of context of what Nietzche was trying to say, but even a misquote gets the point of his message across: "God is dead. God remains dead. We have killed Him" (The Madman, section 125). I took a moment and knew that Frederich Nietzche could never possibly have seen what I have seen in the short 20 years I've been around. He could not have sat across the table from a woman and had his world realigned by the crinkling in the corner of her eyes as she laughed. He could not have stayed up all night and felt the oppression of darkness crushing his spirit, only to have it rejuvenated by the simple call of a sparrow and a stray beam of light coming over a hill off in the distance. He could not have looked at the spectacle of human imagination recorded in books and stories and page after page of the writings of people who had truly figured themselves out. He could not have ever been burdened by a load which was entirely his to bear, only to feel it lifted off of his shoulders and released from his carriage as long as he would let it go. He couldn't have felt the bitter cold of winter, killing all life as he claims we have killed God, because if he had, he would see that when the snow receded and sunlight warmed the grass, white lilies and green grass grew back all the more beautiful than when it had gone to sleep. The birds which had escaped south always returned to build their nests anew in the crooks of budding trees in his front yard.
We cannot have killed God, because, simply put, He is life. In the most hopeless and desolate situations, in the deepest and most inescapable holes we dig, there is always life. As long as you breathe there is life, and even after you cease your breathing, there will continue to be life. He gave us a pretty clear set of instructions to attain this life and made it centered around His Son, who died to give it to us.
I would ask Nietzche to his face today to deliver that statement again, but it seems that God is not the one who is dead, for there is a world teeming with life all around me... instead it is Nietzche.
I laughed to myself at the irony and stepped back inside.

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.