Tuesday, September 12, 2017 9:10 AM

The best that is in humanity?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 9:10 AM
Tuesday, September 12, 2017 9:10 AM

In the August 30 edition of The Christian Century, the following poem by Charles Hughes appeared:

The Widowed Professor’s New Purpose

His lectures that he likes best
Usually concern Camus.
Each year, he does La Peste,
Which wasn’t always true.

“A parable to be read
By a word itself absurd:
First rats, then people, dead…
The cause is never cured…

“Despair comes in, even seems
To push the envelope
Hard. But the book’s deep themes
Are human love and hope

And how these things endure
Amid death’s ravages –
Or may.”

He’s growing sure
It matters what he says.

Hughes is referencing Camu’s major work, The Plague. The Plague, you may recall is about a town that is ravaged with the bubonic plague. The plague enters the town mysteriously and leaves just as mysteriously. The book shows how human beings rise to the occasion with love and compassion. When things are really bad it seems that human beings are capable of expressing the kind of love and compassion that really needs to be practiced each and every day. Amazing is it not, that in Houston no one wanted to know if one was a certain color, ethnic origin, religious persuasion, gay or straight, rich or poor, right or wrong, left or right. No, none of that at all.

Interesting to me, the Nazarene who died on an ugly hill upon a cross never asked such questions either. I find myself, once again wondering, why does it, all too often, take tragedy to bring out the best that is in humanity?

– Doug Fairbanks

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