Borrowed Truths

The Hired Holy Man

the hired holy man
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The Hired Holy Man

Isn’t it amazing how the lost will always seek out some supposed man of God, some pastor, priest, holy man, to come and say words over their dead when it is time to bury their body. It seems to matter little what religious affiliation they adhere to, as long as they have a white collar, a Bible in their hand, or the pretext of leading a flock of some sort, they need that religious pretense in those last moments of grief. “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” (Eccl. 3:11)

They do not know why they perform these tasks, they really do not understand this desire to have the holy man perform the last rites or say some flowery Biblical words over the coffin, they do not even require a previous knowledge of the individual they have hired to perform the task, all they know is that it seems like the right thing to do, as if by this act not only is their loved one being laid to rest in the proper way, but this last service to them is seen as a form of contrition, allowing the dead entrance into whatever bliss the one they have hired to speak over the body mentions. They leave the gravesite as most do, crying and grieving, feeling as if because someone said something out of some book that they never read that their lost loved one is now safe and secure, free from any of the burdens of this life, enjoying a bliss they too hope to attain.

For a few days or perhaps a little longer afterward, they will behave a little differently, a little more introspectively, their works will become more attuned to kindness, and then in time they will return to their normal daily routine and habits. It is an interesting play to watch, the feigned humbleness not only at the gravesite but in the few days that follow after it, they have found it forced upon them to come to grips with their own mortality, the permanent cessation of their existence. They will formulate in their mind the place they also will occupy after their demise, they will search their past to find all the good things they have done to gain entrance into this supposed place they have envisioned in their own mind, the heaven they have decided exists. They will become self-aware, for a while, and then life will begin to intrude upon them, and they will forget.

They may listen to some of the words being spoken at the gravesite, but they will not hear, they may promise to show up to church, but those promises go unheeded, it is not their time yet, they are at their weakest, and yet will still deny the hope and truth that is available to them. Cut the check for the Holy man, wait for the will to be read, or simply divide up the spoils of the one who toiled their whole life for the things of the world, say your goodbyes and head back into the known world, the world of the living.

I have watched strong, grown men break down and cry at these moments and for a few days afterward, I have witnessed to them of the hope that is in Jesus Christ, and I have heard words of acknowledgement, handshakes of thanks have I received, and then a few weeks later I have seen and heard them behave as if it was just a passing emotional break. The world has called, and they have run back into it. When the next loved one dies, they will repeat nearly the exact same routine, they will hope that when their turn comes that others will do the same for them, that they will be remembered with fondness, in kindness, that after the little sandwiches are consumed they will not be completely forgotten. They will hope that the fires of hell are just some made up story by that Holy man they hired to say the flowery words.

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