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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Lent / Tarot / Nightmare: The Nine of Swords

Juliette Aristedes "Bendheim Remembrance" Source

The nine of swords is nicknamed the nightmare card. It depicts a person waking from a nightmare.

When I drew this card this morning, I immediately thought of the unbelievably eloquent, nightmare-soothing verses in the Bible. Maybe the most famous is the 23 Psalm. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

My favorite, though, is Psalm 121. "He will not suffer your foot to slip. He who watches over you will not slumber."

indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

And Psalm 91, "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee."

Again, these phrasings are so beautiful, even people who are neither Christian nor Jewish are often familiar with them.

Whenever I read these exquisitely beautiful lines, I think of the times that they were not true. Given that God made these promises to the Jews, I think of the Holocaust.

I recently saw, and loved, the movie "The Shack." The plot is simple. A man's daughter is abducted and murdered. We have enough information to conclude that the killer did the worst to the little girl before he dispatched her.

Later, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit discuss this event with the man. No, we are not supposed to take all this literally. The dialogue is an allegory. It's us, we limited mortals, wrestling with our faith.

One of my favorite lines from the movie is this. The little girl's father says to God, "Nothing can justify what my daughter went through."

I believe that.

I don't have any bigger answers than that.

I've written a couple of longish blog posts recently and I'm going to end this one here. 

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