Before I get into this, I realize there are few other holy things as well besides the Holy Cow, like holy mackerel, holy Toledo, holy jumping, etc. There are others, which I will not mention in my blog for obvious reasons. I will wait for some more comments from you before my next blog on the holy cow.
Meanwhile, do you recall in my introductory blog, a quotation from Bishop Liddon? In describing one of the unique human aspects of Jesus, the good bishop said “In Jesus, there were no defects of virtues.” It sounds like an oxymoron. How can virtues have defects? Let me try to explain. One of Liddon’s readers explained it this way. “If my left foot is longer, not necessarily shorter, I am a lame person.” Using the same maxim, allow me to add: If my left hand is longer than my right hand, it is uncomely and cumbersome. If both my hands are longer in proportion to my body then it is awkward. Can I drop in another Sanskrit word here? It is called Ajanabahu, or persons with longer hands. Now, that is a good word for my old friends with some background in Sanskrit. Hey, I thought I forgot all those quaint Sanskrit words! Those longer hands can be very useful technically but not necessarily comely.
The point I am making is that anything out of proportion and unbalanced is normally uncomely! Ah, here I come again to my theme of moderation. Let me give some unique examples from life experience. Mind you, the following are not 100% accurate. There are always exceptions, but these are close enough with a degree of exaggeration to illustrate the point. After all, did not Jesus similar tactics to drive a point home?
Have you ever come across one who is a personification of so called integrity? You may find him/her an intolerable person. Perhaps you are living with one who is extremely fussy, given to or looking for perfection, insisting on minute details at all times? This person can be difficult to get along with. Do you know someone who feels totally given to righteousness? You may be close to one who has a tendency to be unforgiving.
It is interesting in this regard, to read the story which Jesus told, of a Pharisee (religious leader) and a Publican (sinner). In the interest of brevity, I will simply give the reference as recorded in Luke 18:9-14. You will enjoy reading it. Jesus was a great story-teller.
Here is an odd joke. Have you seen a guy who is always organized, methodical, with his desk always tidy? He has a sick mind!
Surely you can add plenty to this collection from your own experience. You get the trend of my thought. This is what I describe as the defects of virtues or as the good Bishop described as warping or disturbing influences.
Now, you must be thinking, “Danny, I agree (or disagree) with what you are writing.” But are there any real or living people with the defects of virtues? My answer is – with fear and trembling – yes. We have already found out that Jesus did not have these defects of virtues (more on this subject in later blogs).
I have often wondered if this was one of the reasons why Jesus purposely called himself the “Son of Man” – manushyaputra (in my mother tongue as well as in Sanskrit).
Despite significant human limitations, there are occasionally men and women who have balanced this excellence. Let me make a reference to a Biblical character. King David was given a strange but lofty title – man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22). The question is – Why David? Why not father Abraham, the man of faith, or Moses, the great liberator, or Joseph the spotless, Daniel the Statesman or Elijah, the fiery prophet? These men had less “shades” than David, so to speak. After all, David had blood on his hands, didn’t he? The point is not simply that David was a great king, a great song writer or a valiant man; but along with all those attributes, he redeemed or balanced himself with a human spirit constantly seeking after a merciful God. He combined his strength with tenderness. In fact, he expressed sincerely his own need and desire for God when he wrote “as a deer panteth after the water brooks so panteth my soul after thee” (Psalm 42:1).
On a personal note, I had observed this balance of virtues and moderation in my own dear mother (late Mrs. Chandramathi (translated, beautiful face like the moon). Also my own father, Paul, orphaned as a child, married to a rich aristocrat, later lost all wealth, yet maintained throughout a smiling face, trusting God weathering all obstacles.
Yes, there are those who did not have the defects of virtues. Think on this; maybe your own father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, your teacher, mentor, children, or one of your close friends. Perhaps you cannot name one yet. Then consider Jesus Christ, the friend of sinners.