Hey you! Yeah, you. My dad is a baby boomer.
You think he’s outta touch? No, I don’t mean “you all”, not “you–generation Z”, just you. The one I’m pointing at. That’s right, you. You think my dad’s outta touch?
You think that you have something to say? Don’t look at your friends. I’m talking to you.
And look at me when I’m talking to you. This isn’t about your age group. I’m not talking to a generation. This isn’t about your friends or your hair color. I’m talking to you. Men (both male and female) look each other in the eyes when they talk. You want to talk to me, then look at me. Like, starting now.
You think you can just say what you want with no response? You think your words are so powerful that there is no response? What have you even said? Summer is here? You want my dad, who has seen more summers than you, to preach, “The Sky is Falling”? That mantra used to be preached to teach children the sky isn’t falling, and that you should think for yourself. And now you want my dad, who has never seen the sky fall, to believe he is wrong?
You want my dad, who worked fifty 50+ hour weeks per year for forty-seven years straight, to feel guilty because you cannot believe how little you get paid at a job that doesn’t require you to know how to read?
Oh, you can read, you say? What’s the last book you read?
You can’t read. You’re illiterate. Do yourself a favor and admit it.
Eyes up here.
Ohhh! Look at those eyes. Now you’re angry. Good. Just like all the stupid characters in the books you can’t read. Thank you. Now, why don’t you go ahead and stand a little bit farther away while we finish? I don’t want you to hurt yourself in the event that your next “movement” is with your fist.
What else? You want my dad to stand in lines holding signs instead of stand in line for his oil change on Saturday’s? Good luck.
You want him to pay for your college, too? After paying for his and his children’s, I’d imagine he thinks he’s contributed enough to college.
Anything else? What’s that? Oh. You want my dad to be open to change? You want him to be gay like you? Oh, I see. You don’t want him to be gay, you just want him to like you? How about this? First, you get your dad to like you, then– What? You have no dad. Hmm. Well, that’s too bad. Because you can’t have mine.
It was the fall of two years ago, putting me shortly after my thirty-sixth birthday. I was in the midst of some men who were mostly fifty plus years old.
The particular interrogator I faced carried his ninety-seven years venerably. He was respected by all, by which I mean all jumped at the opportunity to serve him–even the seventy year olds who were twenty years his junior. Most often, if the short time I spent with him indicated anything, the service rendered was simply bringing a blanket to keep away the cold.
His topic of inquiry: Origins. Beginnings. Genesis.
He asked me because he had heard me say that I studied such things.
I didn’t know what to say.
Reader, don’t misunderstand me. I had my answer at the ready. Yet I was quieted by the emotional aspect of the stated query. This elder is about to meet his maker. Possibly that weekend. And he’s not only respecting me enough to see what I’ll say (though I have always suspected he’d cast a fool’s line), he’s maintaining his tight grip on the joy of investigation.
The content of his question eludes my memory, but it was something to do with the peoples of earth that the Bible characters met and from where they spawned. I told him, “I don’t know.” But I went on to tell him, “No one knows. Moses didn’t tell us. And we should be very careful when listening to someone who makes a claim otherwise.”
Today I will add that this, as with Paul’s comments on another profound topic within Beginnings talk, “This mystery is great.”
I couldn’t tell if he approved–of either my answer or me.
My reason for sharing this experience here is to give a glimpse into what I think is one of life’s pleasures which is unique to Christianity.