Tuesday, July 17, 2012

paradox wrapped in enigma

The greatest mystery you'll ever encounter on God's green earth is the human person. People are endlessly fascinating: constant pools of mystery to be delved into. Paradoxes wrapped in enigmas. The essence of a human being is a creature trapped between chronos and kairos. Having a life in the physical world of time--chronos, but living their life in the deeper reality of a time outside of time--kairos.
Many authors, Madeleine L'Engle especially, is fascinated by the tension between kairos and chronos in our lives. We all have moments of kairos--the silence the rests in the music of life. She writes about a moment when chronos seemed to stop, and the floodlight of warmth of a moment of kairos permeated her being:

"After a long and very difficult labor the doctor dropped a small wet creature between my breasts. 'Here's your son, Madeleine.' He said. And I heard the angels sing."

The golden warmth of a world beyond the world burst through the dingy exterior of pain, suffering, and blood that plagued the chronos of the moment. In a human, there are moments where the glorious luminosity of their grace and elegant beauty shines through, but the wearies and worries and uglinesses of the exterior often are the only visible portions of a person's character. It is so easy to get lost in the layers and layers of armor each human being accumulates through their life in chronos. Perceptive souls look for the kairos--each person has it in them. The angels only sing for those who are willing to listen.

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