Tuesday, January 7, 2014


The history of mankind is shaped and given direction, we tend to think, by great events, by pivotal persons strategically placed, visible to all, as implacable as fate, that drag us in their wake, as they plow ahead into a future that could not have been any other than the one we now live in.

The vast machine and scope of the Roman Empire seeded by a single individual, Julius Caesar, which itself seeded the whole of Western civilization. The intricate apparatus and miraculous achievements of the modern natural sciences seeded by great thinkers and scientists of the Renaissance, themselves the product of plantations seeded by ancient Greek philosophers.

Our current political map of the world seeded by revolutions and wars that we know by name, caused by great men we can also name, great though not always good. Luther, Cromwell, Robespierre, Washington, Napoleon, Bismarck, Lenin, Hitler, Roosevelt, Churchill, Gandhi, and Mao. All very visible in their time, and forever after. We study them to try to understand today, which they godlike made.

But these are the externals of history only. They are not what and who really drive the race irresistibly forward, only the agents that keep us from going over the edge, or maybe bring us closer to it.

The real movers of mankind are mostly hidden, invisible to nearly all humanity when they appeared, though in time their epiphanies gradually came to light, and then slowly faded from sight as they became foundation and framework to everything else we know and see.

The world, believers and unbelievers alike, celebrates the birth of a child two thousands of years ago, born poor, homeless, and endangered, a refugee unknown to all except a mad monarch, a handful of shepherds, and perhaps three mystery men, born hidden.

A remnant of believers in who this child is today celebrate an event obscure when it occurred, his baptism in a remote river by a religious prodigy, who alone recognized when he performed it the epiphany of his God, signaled by a voice, to all but him, hidden.

A space of only three years provided this child, now a man, time to make his message known, despite the miracles that followed him, to only a few thousands of persons in a land that, though the crossroads of the world, was a backwater avoided by the wise, again hidden.

And finally, condemned to death as a common criminal by hanging on a scaffold along the roadside, exposed to the ridicule of the rabble that he came to rescue, his work the redemption by resurrection of the race of Adam, wholly unknown when it happened, was hidden.

Hidden from the world, who yet shapes and directs it, who writes its history on a hidden scroll stretched wider than the heavens and just as invisible to those who see only sky and reject it, he was, he is, and he is to come, who is Lord of all, and who is with us now, as we live even as he, hidden.

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