This is our truth, tell us yours
Its’s palm sunday today in the Western Christian Calendar. As a child it was always one of my favourite church services, after all you got something to take home other than a numb bum from the pews and cold knees from the strange leather thing that looked like it better belonged in some dungeon. (Actually I was raised Catholic, it may have had a dual purpose)
Palm Sunday is a day of celebration, an oddity in the period of fasting and denial that is lent, and a strange start ot Holy Week. Jesus entered Jerusalem in triumph, palm fronds waved and coats turned into an impromptu red carpet to mark his arrival as king. The people celebrated the coming of their liberator, their saviour as they sung Hosanna. It quickly turned sour though, and within days the cheering crowd was a baying mob.
It may seem odd for a Christian, even as unorthodox as me, to say this but this seems the inevitable result of believing another person can save us and of expecting that person to conform to our ideas of who they should be. It seems to be a common failure of humanity, creating an idol then tearing it down when our creation proves to be real and not Pygmalion.
So often this attitude is prevalent in communities who claim to know better, who claim to want to allow everyone to be an individual, but only if that individuality is expressed in ways that fit with preconceived pigeon holes. Should you not want to fit their ideal of who you should be, or not be able to the palm waving crowd can turn on you in an instant.
If this is something we can all be guilty of, this creating false idols from real people, then destroying the person when they cannot live up to our creation, what can we do to prevent it? The solution is, as far as I can see, to be self-aware and self-reflective. If we admire someone is it because we truly see what they do and support it, or is it some image we have in our head, or as in some cases because of how this image reflects on us? Are we seeing clearly, or are we in a hall of mirrors where every image is distorted?