Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mystery Play in Madison, South Dakota

This evening my three youngest children and I attended a mystery play in Library Park. Of course it was not advertised as such; rather, it was called "Puppets in the Park." This puppet show was partly to advertise for a VBS and generally to witness.

Having lived in the South, I'm fine with witnessing and almost invariably have been affirmed by being witnessed to--affirmed in my own faith, anyhow. But back to the show. It didn't take long, sitting on the grass with my children to think of the mystery plays. Here, centuries later, we were participating in outdoor, public doctrinal entertainment. I found the experience literary and anthropological--but such is the "academic" and easy approach to a sincere display of faith.

The problem lies in what to DO about such a performance--how to absorb and then act on these kid-values: really believing in the life- and world-transforming nature of a gospel of love; the reality of the conflict between good and evil; the value in not complaining, in receiving with gratitude; the idea of spiritual training and discipline for successful living.

I come back to Flannery O'Connor in Wiseblood--the idea of not really believing the doctrines one supposedly subscribes to; the idea of doing well enough without redemption.

I come back to Noel Polk in Outside the Southern Myth--the metaphors of sheep and soldiers.

I come back to where all literature leads me: do I want to be holy--but not yet?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home