I had the misfortune this morning to be forced to wait (aptly enough) in the waiting room of the surgeon who removed my appendix. That experience in itself can be of some interest, as Flannery O'Connor made clear in her story, "Revelation". And I really was glad to be getting my stitches removed. So, why the misfortune?
There happened to be a television mounted in an overhead area, as is the apparent wont of doctors' waiting room designers these days, with a sign draped over the bottom lip of it proclaiming, "Do Not Touch the TV."
And on this television, there happened to be playing "The View" with a panel of women comprised solely of pop culture and decidedly liberal-leaning divas. Whilst I filled in three-pages of new-patient forms, these opined at a volume well past conversation level on such varied topics as a pastor who blessed Sarah Palin "in Jesus' Name," their strong objection to discussion religion and politics in open forums (but not voicing objections to the same in public arenas, apparently), and other significant topics such as fear of aging (but not death).
As I slowly ground my teeth and applied all the force of concentration back on the forms needing filling, my high opinion of the man who extracted my appendix slowly diminished while sweat fomented on the brow on which I tried to maintain the appearance of normalcy, lest the other denizens of the waiting room think they were in the presence of a deranged loon.
Now, thinking back on this auditory equivalent of dental drilling without Novocaine, the association that comes to me is the depiction that C. G. Jung gave in his autobiographical book, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, of tribesmen who blustered and strutted as long as the sun shone. But when night fell, they quaked and cowered near the campfire till dawn's light reassured them once more.
These "View" gals are happy to cast proud, dismissive, and complacent aspersions toward those who find their substantiality and source of hope in the God revealed in the Church's Scriptures and Traditions when the studio lights and cameras lend them the ephemeral being of celebrity. But let reality make its rude presence known in the words, "cancer", or "there's been an accident," or "he/she died on the way..." - and the quaking, cowering pagan would quickly out.
Blessed are the virgins whose lamps are filled when the Bridegroom comes (Mtt 25:1-13).