Wednesday, November 14, 2007

There is no one but us

A blur of romance clings to the notions of "publicans," "sinners," "the poor," the "people in the marketplace," "our neighbors," as though of course God should reveal himself, if at all, to these simple people, these Sunday school watercolor figures, who are so purely themselves in their tattered robes, who are single in themselves, while we now are various, complex, and full at heart. We are busy. So, I see now, were they.

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? There is no one but us. There is no one to send, nor a clean hand, not a pure heart on the face of the earth, nor in the earth, but only us, a generation comforting ourselves with the option that we have come at an awkward time, that our innocent fathers are all dead...and our children busy and troubled, and we ourselves unfit, not yet ready... But there is no one but us. There never has been.

--Annie Dillard, "Holy The Firm"

Picture source.

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