I have no right to be writing this post. It isn’t political, or humorous; it touches lightly on theology, but not as you might expect. A few short words about shortened life.
David Foster Wallace hanged himself the other night. I had never heard of him, had not read his acclaimed novel, “Infinite Jest”, and I have no obit, no praise for his work, no “Left us too soon.” to shake my head over.
Then why mention Wallace at all?
Affinity. A bonded humanity. Bear with me.
I guess I was affected by Wallace's suicide in part because he was younger than I am; to find life that miserable, that unbearable is sad. He was renown for his humor.
There is happy humor and unhappy humor, happy funnymen (example: Patrick F. McManus) and unhappy funnymen (Sam Kinison).
The clown’s painted smile often hides a frown.
Here’s the theology you might want to skip over: Man was created for God’s Praise, to commune with our Creator. But we live in a fallen world, where many (most) are separated from God.
That this IS a fallen world is very apparent to those humorists working out their displeasure with agile minds and acid tongues. Much of their humor is based on how rotten, how unfair the world is.
Anger turned inward will eat you up. Anger turned outward adds to the fallen state of the world; as what you sow, so shall you reap, and angry begets angry.
As I said, I have no idea about Wallace’s work. But I think we can infer that he wasn’t happy, that the world seemed wrong to him, or he wouldn’t have wanted to leave. His writing may have been joyous, humorous, without a touch of anger or bitterness. That’s the outside man seeking applause, kudos, laughter, hoping to bring peace to the inner man. The clown’s painted smile.
For the most part, I’m a happy funnyman. Because I was made to be at Peace with God nearly 30 years ago, I have no anger at being stuck in a fallen Creation. I do not vent at God, as Kinison (a former Assemblies of God minister) did until his car crash. I still have a dark side, but it would fit in a thimble with enough room left over for your thumb. Meaning that I’m human, but I’m getting over it.
I said that these would be a few short words about a shortened life. God sets the number of our days, and He decides when we've had enough. For His children, He decides when we are ready for More. It is a wonderful, joyous thing to be at Peace with God.