Profanity

pro·fan·i·ty/prəˈfanədē

  1. blasphemous or obscene language.
  2. Similar: idolatry sacrilege irreligiousness ungodliness impiety unholiness

Einstein really was a genius. Everything IS relative. Something is moving “fast” only compared to a slower background. “Light” only appears so against darkness and the profane is only recognized in front of the backdrop of the sacred.

I tend to use “profane” language with a freedom that is not typical among other pastors I know. I try very hard to be judicious about it, however; being conscious of whether I’m building someone else up, or tearing them down with words (Ephesians 4:29)

But this morning, the idea of “The Profane” settled on me in a new way. It’s Monday, about 6:30AM and I sit in my usual spot near the front window in my morning routine. But due to the corona virus, I notice there is little, I mean very little traffic outside. The silence it;sekf gets my attnetion.

So I opened up the windows and listened.

Birds. So many birds.

Stillness.

My own heart beat.

This was not a foreign experience. I have sought and enjoyed this kind of quiet many times: in the wilderness. But in 17 years, it’s never occurred in my home, just a block from a major thoroughfare. I have become accustomed to the background noise.

In the midst of these few, strange and serene moments, a lone vehicle purred past. I could discern the differenc ebetween the noise the tires made on the pavement, the engine, even the air moving around it. The noise stoof out like…well like a swear word in church. It was profane.

It violated the quiet.

A rush of thoughts followed: “Oh, how I long for this silence and the simplicity and peace it represents! How right it feels! How it slakes a thirst I sense in our world for peace! We are slaves to a bigger/better/faster/more Master!”

Then, “Who am I to judge us? Are we really supposed to reject all the progress we have made? I sit in a seat of judgment that rests on top of hundreds of years of advancement and “noise”! I’m cutting off the branch upon which I sit! Fool.”

I don’t know what to do with all of this. I just know that against the backdrop of wind in the trees, the songs of the Chickadees, the Grossbeaks and the Crows even the sound of my own heart, the sound of…pursuit is a profanity. And I am a swear word. God have mercy on me, a poor sinner.

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