Genesis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Television

They Call the Vineyard Moriah

I know, it's Wednesday, and I probably appear to have nothing to say about this week's texts. It happens that I have some ideas brewing, but I took part of the day off today since there are activities at church all weekend, and I wanted to be prepared in case I felt crummy the day after taking methotrexate. There was more Scorching Ray today, and #1 Son tells me there is no saving throw against that spell. You just have to hope the opponent will miss. So maybe next week I'll be luckier.

Jesus henry ian cusick
Meanwhile, we are watching Season 3 of Lost with The Princess, who was too young for the show when it first appeared in 2004. Tonight we saw a favorite episode, Catch-22, a flashback episode for the amazing Desmond, played by Henry Ian Cusick.

If you're not a Lost fan, you may know him better as Jesus.

I think it's safe to say he is our favorite guy on the show.

(Because we are reluctant to publicly admit how much we like Sawyer, okay?)

At any rate, he is part of my favorite couple on the show, and I love his story, and his accent. Catch-22 shows Desmond at a younger age trying to make it as a monk.

No, I'm not kidding.

Here he is with the first guy to call him "Bruthah."

And in a moment of deep connection with this past Sunday's text, the monks Desmond joins (temporarily, he washes out by drinking the expensive wine himself) have a vineyard called Moriah.

Desmond asks why they call it that? He offers a critique of the story of Abraham and Isaac. Why would God ask such a thing only to leap in at the end and solve it all?

Brother Campbell points out that otherwise it wouldn't be much of a test, would it?

And so they call the vineyard Moriah, that place where testing occurs, where last-minute reprieves do occur, where the angel of the Lord speaks to you clearly in your own darn language and you don't turn the other way thinking you are being tempted by Satan or, worse, your own weakness.

Yes, this story is still on my mind.

I'm approaching chronic illness from all sorts of angles, trying to maintain my sense of humor, employing a little denial when necessary to have some fun, yet also asking, why the heck did this happen now? Why a course of appetite-encouraging prednisone after losing so much weight? Why joint pain and stiffness when I was working so hard to get in shape?

Abraham, up on the mountain with the boy he waited for, must have wondered, too.

Desmond has to make a choice about saving one person at the risk of sacrificing another, but because it's Lost, the basis on which he makes the decision turns out to be faulty. Still, he makes the choice that is obviously right and risks having something else bad happen.

(He hardly ever buttons up a shirt, but that's another matter entirely.)

Of course, I've watched season 4, and I know that the real lesson of Desmond's story is that love is more powerful than time and separation and the efforts of bad people and the exigencies of weather and geography and crazy magic Craphole Island.

Abraham, despite having his child nearly snatched away, does indeed become the patriarch of not one, but two, peoples, so I guess that's a happy ending, too, in a broad sort of way.

Me? I'm on Moriah, wondering when in the world that ram is going to appear in the thicket, turning the story over and over in my mind and heart, because it will not let me go.

7 thoughts on “They Call the Vineyard Moriah”

  1. I was really hoping for that saving throw!!
    I totally understand the wanting to have the necessary denail and the “why me, etc” I am there right with you. I am just reminded about a book that I read when I first found out that my oldest had Cerebral Palsy – Angel Amoung Us by Dale Evans “God never gives you anything that you can not handle”. No matter how small or how big that thing is, we have what it takes to make it through it.
    There has been days in the past 20 years that I sat and cried because I did not know how to handle stuff, but I always made it through it. I guess that was training for being diagnosed with RA. I was moving way too fast and doing way to much – what better way to slow me down! I am sure that we will pick up speed again after we take the rest that our bodies need.

  2. You’re in our prayers. And we’re Lost fans as well. Ray taped it for me every week while I was working to finish my undergrad. Peace.

  3. I’ve been trying to formulate a comment for the last 10 minutes.
    Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  4. (((( Songbird)))))… I have no easy answers to offer, but I can send you a hug.

  5. (((Songbird)))
    (And: Okay, okay, I think it is time for me to watch Lost. Nobody told me their were nearly shirtless dudes.)

  6. i truly get lost watching lost. so i gave it up… sometimes no matter what we just cannot engineer things in this life for ourselves. it’s that unknown path that Abraham set out on… we’re still on it i guess… buttoned up shirts or not.

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