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by Bruce Newman
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It is said that the world is a magical place to a child. It was certainly so to me. I remember being totally absorbed watching ants crawl through grass with a magnifying glass, counting how many cars that went past my house before I counted to one hundred or just feeling myself being swallowed up in the starry immensity of sable space on a clear night.

So what happened to the magic? Did it leave me like a spirit cast out, or was it ever more than a creation of childish wish fulfillment? As I pondered this the words of an old Rez Band song I remember from years ago came to mind.

When I was just a kid I thought everyone was true
How 'bout you
I'd stand up in school
With a hand on my heart
How true - through an' through

There goes a kid, a kid with a S.O.S.
There goes a kid, a kid with a S.O.S.

All of my days were spent listening to those
Around me, what they'd say
I was taking it in and they were dishing it out
Always right, what could I say?

There goes a kid, a kid with a S.O.S.
There goes a kid, a kid with a S.O.S.

I was sent to Sunday school
We all learned the golden rule
Teacher thought we were all real sweet
The kids in the class swept her off her feet
That was in another time
Before confusion ripped my mind

There goes a kid, a kid with a S.O.S.
There goes a kid, a kid with a S.O.S.

Ideas here, questions over there
Like the leaves in the trees, everywhere
Climb up in one and what have you done
It really doesn't get you anywhere

There goes someone, someone with a S.O.S.
There goes someone, someone with a S.O.S.

There was a time when looking at the news seemed to be a matter of looking at extremes that rarely occurred close to you. Now those extremes are commonplace. If you caught a sniper’s bullet just walking into Wal-Mart it would be front page news but it wouldn’t be the surprise it once was. Not in a world of terrorism, parents drowning their children in bathtubs and disgruntled employees extinguishing the lives of co-workers routinely. In all this I hear a gut tearing cry of horror film proportions; an attenuated scream stretching like warm taffy that escalates on the musical scale of some mad opera, skirling upwards like bats trapped in a steeple. I hear an S.O.S.

But the media doesn’t hear that. The “experts” don’t hear it either. They hear factual events separated from meaning like a skeleton without flesh. They hear an opportunity for another public survey or five year study to be added to all the others that never gave the magic answer. They hear the reason we need to add one more medication to those we already can’t remember to take. They hear another reason to turn lose an army of counselors who have enough plausible answers to trick you into feeling undisturbed enough to keep going but leave you feeling like you just paid a Beverly Hills price for a cheap nasty room with a naked light bulb hanging from the ceiling.

We are back to the days of the Judges were every man does what is right in his own eyes. Our news is nothing more than replays of the failed attempts of people with an S.O.S desperately trying to use new technical toys, drugs, repackaged theories, downright force or some other diversion (as Pascal warned) to harden themselves against the withering loneliness of being your own god.

Certain outlet stores sell clothes that have minor defects unnoticeable enough that we’re happy to buy them at cheaper prices. But if a store were to try selling nothing but “irregulars” of greater and greater defect they wouldn’t sell much. We only buy manageable defects, pants that still look like pants, not pants that look like they were made for a mutant.

The defects are not manageable anymore. They are spilling over and breaking out. We’re being told to buy psychological clothes for mutants and pretend that they fit bodies of normal proportions. And that’s what we do as we try to escape that feeling of paying the Beverly Hills price for the cheap nasty room.

But I don’t believe the magic ever left. It is we who left it. It has always been there, never ceasing to speak. We just have to get the child’s mind back (which is not to say immature) into the adult body. That will turn off that S.O.S that keeps sounding like a car alarm, and replace it with a nature that is of the kingdom of God (Luke 18:16). We have no business going mad for God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Tim.1:7).

By the way, the rest of that song goes…

Years have passed and lots of things
Have bounced between my heart and brain
From army green to down in the drain
No place to go and half insane
Like the clouds that are full of rain
Jesus came down and spoke my name

No more alarm because I see You
No more alarm, no more S.O.S.

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Member Comments
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LauraLee Shaw 02 Apr 2008
Lots to ponder here. Thought-provoking and artistic at the same time.


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