Tuesday, February 21, 2006


This is a scene that I first thought was really entertaining, but the more I think about it the more sad it is to me. After everyone else had left, this man remained - an older guy, at least in his seventies I would say. He sat on his knees outside the door where the shin-otoko had entered, shouting...pleading. I only understood one word: "oneigashimasu." This means, roughly, "please do this for me." If the waitress comes around with a coffeepot and asks if you'd like more coffee, you say, "onegaishimasu." If a deliveryman comes to your house, you say "oneigashimasu" as you buzz him in. As far as I could tell, this man was begging the shin-otoko to return and let him touch him. "He's had too much sake," I thought, amused. But he wasn't giving up; he kept sitting there, kept yelling. Amusement replaced with pity: this old man sitting naked in the mud, either so guilty or so unlucky that he's willing to humiliate himself in the slim hope of having this burden removed from him, this desperate fear of the gods' malice. What's so ironic is that he has the right idea - there is a shin-otoko, a god-man, who really can wash away our evil deeds, our unkindness and anger, and even our fear. "Day after day, every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest [Jesus] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, [his job done]...For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." (Source here.) Year after year, men gather here in a vain attempt to shed their bad deeds and bad luck, some for sport and some from fear - never knowing that the deed has been done! There's no need to stand out in the cold (fun as it is): all of our badness has already been heaped upon the real shin-otoko, Jesus; he was sacrificed and punished and actually killed on our behalf; he showed that this dark, powerful force of death could not conquer him... He loved us - and still does! - with an absolutely perfect love that drives out all fear. (More on this here.) Stand up, little man! This isn't a gift you need to beg for! The real shin-otoko loves you with a love beyond anything you can imagine. Posted by Picasa



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