Saturday, January 20, 2007

how walmart makes me feel

I sense a real watering down of humanity. When I walk through Wal-Mart and look at the faces, when I think of how I occupy my time, the things that we delight in are temporal and base.

I have one great, great, grandfather that sat a horse in the cavalry for all 4 years of the Civil War. He came home from that war and mortgaged his family farm to publish a book declaring his fury at what he had seen and was seeing in the nation. The family was disgraced because of this book and destroyed all the copies as my grandfather decided he believed no longer in a literal burning hell. He lost his farm and spent his declining years living with relatives. There is, luckily, a copy in the Library of Congress and also a copy at Harvard Divinity School. His name was Joseph Reid McCain. It is believed that his ancestors came to America from Scotland through Ireland during the potato famine.

On the other side of my family, I have a great, great, grandfather who built the first house in Atlanta. The place was Decatur Street, the year 1842. He is buried in Oakland Cemetery and appears in the Atlanta history books. He rode out with the then mayor of Atlanta to intercept General Sherman as he marched toward Atlanta, their intent to plead with the Yankee to spare the city. General Sherman approached the city by another road, so the opportunity was missed. His name was Thomas George Washington Crusselle. It is believed that his ancestors came from France to America with Lafayette during the American Revolution.

I want to be Arwen. I want to find myself in a desperate situation like she did and look down deep and pull out of myself something truly heroic. She found the beloved travelers seeking safety from their enemies and physical aid for their wounded friend. It was decided that he needed to be taken to help and safety or surely die. It was decided that she was the faster rider. She mounted up with Frodo in her arms and rode with all her strength. Against overwhelming odds, she outran evil, taunted it, prayed, was vindicated by the overwhelming power of good and saw her enemies crushed. She then prayed that her virtue should pass into the boy saving his life. That’s what I’m talking about.

Mike’s Uncle Clyde died recently and was a decorated WWII hero. A bomber pilot, he flew the Flying Fortress on 35 missions over Europe. At his funeral, the minister read an excerpt from Band of Brothers:

St. Crispen's Day Speech

Shakespeare's HENRY V

C. 1599

This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

And that’s how I feel in Wal-Mart, like we are holding our manhoods cheap. I feel it other places, too. I feel it before God in worship. I feel it right now at my computer as it’s noon and I’m still in my pajamas.

9 comments:

h. said...

I feel ya Caroline!! I mean, ask my mom, I've compared Walmart to the anti-Christ. That may be extreme, but I love drama.

I'm re-reading una libra that you sent me my freshman year at Auburn while I was down-and-out. ... The Journey of Desire by John Eldredge. To me, this book is like much needed water in my desert. SEE, then and even now as I read it again -- you are Arwen to me.

Annie said...

I feel like I just played pinball and every bumper was genius. Well done.
I hate Wal-Mart.

tatum said...

gosh you are smart. and good. i love the "holding our manhoods cheap" line. i'm sure i'll be thinking on that one for a while.

you're family history is incredible. no wonder you're so amazing.

Ryan Kennedy said...

blog you blogger. You can't give me something that good to read and stop there.

Katie B said...

Seriously.
You're holding our manhoods cheap by not bloging.

Annie said...

Where are you? You breathe in, you blog out. Come on!

Sherri R. said...
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Sherri R. said...
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Storeytwin A said...
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