Isaiah is told to prophesy in order to make deaf and blind Israel more deaf and blind. How does that happen?
Perhaps it works like this: Prophets speak in extremes. Prophets shout. Prophets "draw large and startling figures" (Flannery O'Connor). Yet nothing happens. They keep shouting and drawing. Still nothing happens. They shout louder, their colors get bolder. Years, then decades, pass. Nothing happens.
Eventually, the prophetic shouts blend into the background, the white noise of traffic that we no longer hear. Their startling figures begin to look normal, and we might even hang a few in museums. It's the patience of God that deafens and blinds, that leaves the numb ever number.
Beware the knowing smile at the crazy wearing a "The End Is Near!" sandwich board. Yours may be the smile of the deaf and blind. For there is a God who judges in the earth.
Monday, May 21, 2012
It's the Patience of God that Deafens and Blinds
From Peter Leithart in the "Quodlibet" section of the May/June 2012 issue of Touchstone: