"Cows are my passion. What I have ever sighed for has been to retreat to a farm and live entirely surrounded by cows–and china."

Charles Dickens

May 21, 2011

The Agony and the Ecstasy

The Ecstasy of Saint Catherine of Sienna by Batoni
This whole Rapture thing has been endlessly fascinating. Of course, any Bible reader knows that no one is supposed to know the day or the hour, "not even the angels in Heaven." There have been doomsday predictions throughout history––this is nothing new. Lives have been ruined when people sell their worldly possessions in advance to follow some mortal person and their convictions. The difference with this Rapture date is that it was widely hyped in a massive PR campaign of billboard, websites and media attention. It is probably the first "viral" Rapture following.

The Ecstasy of Catherine, Self-Portrait, 2011
The idea has made for jokes among pundits and even on Facebook. There is almost a "what if?" amidst the snickering, however, and a "oh, you can have those self-righteous people of the Earth" mentality––we don't want them here any more! There are even pet services for non-refundable pet care after you've been raptured. [I maintain that if my pets can't come, I'd rather stay behind with them. Then again, I firmly believe that there is a soul or spirit in every living thing.]


I can not find a source for this image––it seems like something Ken Brown would do.

I'm sorry that this whole Rapture thing for May 21, 2011 has made non-believers make fun of Christians or of anyone who has faith in something greater than themselves. Like so many things, it's the squeaky wheels that get all of the attention and Pastor Camping and his followers (and so many of the conservative Christian base) do not represent all Christians, just like Osama Bin Laden did not represent all those of the Muslim faith. The problem with this false Rapture stuff is that it gives faith a bad name, too. It also makes people think that perhaps other religions or paths to God are wrong, and that's just not so.

© Anne Taintor
Our youngest son, surely destined to be a poet or philosopher or perhaps even a man of the cloth, said to me today, "I think that Jesus will come back in 2012 and show everyone how to live here––not to destroy the Earth. It will be like a new world for everyone." He worries a lot and thinks a lot. He also has a wicked sense of humor, a prerequisite of everyone in my family. He shares my sense of "storm hype" and I have to be careful of what we say to him. All day he was asking about when the Rapture is happening––fortunately he knows my sense of humor enough by now to know that I can be sarcastic with the best of them. But then he came out with his little pearl of wisdom for his sometimes cranky mother.

© Anne Taintor
But what today's "Rapture" hype has done for me––and, I admit, it's still not 6pm yet (an hour away) so I suppose I shouldn't rule it out––is that we should live each day as if it is our last one. Embrace the day, find joy in it, and do what you can to make it productive for yourself and others. Practice kindness and good deeds. Treat others as you want to be treated. Be compassionate to all people and animals. Forgive, make amends or move on. Remember the stillness, walk in the light and truth and avoid the shadows, and take time to listen to the birdsong each day. And try to laugh your butt off as much as possible!

Above all, love and live. And like the changing seasons, each day is a chance to begin all over again. Tomorrow, May 22, will dawn. And there is rapture and gladness to be found in every day––if you seek, you shall find.

You come back when you're ready!

Catherine

PS It's 5:20PM Eastern Time––I just spoke to my husband and suggested that he and the boys be home by 6PM. "For supper," of course, but, well, just in case. There's a large bridge between us and Somerset, 12 miles away, and I'd rather we all be on the ridge together, you know, "for supper."

2 comments:

  1. I love the "Down At The Rapture With George". I didn't realize who George was when I first saw it. LMAO!!!!!

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  2. Hello my name is Tom, I happened upon your blog by seeing the link on Amish America. I enjoy reading your post as they are wonderfully crafted. My wife and I take several trips to the south fork area. We like to purchase from the fruit stand close to Dutchman Market. The people of that community are very nice and hospitable. Good luck to you and your family in your adventures on the farm.

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