Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Who am I?

Reading Exclusion and Embrace by Miroslav Volf. Inspired a story…a choose your own adventure of sorts.

I am the first born. I have a good life. My name even means that I’m great. My parents love me. I’ve got a great trade and am actually pretty successful at it. I think God must really think I’m special.

I’ve also got a brother. He was born after me. Funny, though, because mom and dad decided to name him something that basically implies “afterthought”. Poor guy has to tend to sheep, something that mostly girls do. But oh well.

Something weird happened the other day, though. You see, we were both making offerings to our Creator. I brought some of the stuff from my fields, because I’m a farmer. And my brother brought some of his sheep. And wouldn’t you know, God was more pleased with his offering, not mine.

Choose your destination:

1. I choose to learn from my brother, to accept him and recognize what God sees in him, and maybe become a little like him. Maybe I have some things to adjust in my own life, maybe I need to create space for my brother to be honored by God. I think I’ll do that. And so I do. I talk to my brother about what he offered to our Creator. I find out that he gave the best portions of his flock. You see, that’s where we had been different. I had just grabbed some stuff that was closest, but had kept the best, because I wanted to have a nice dinner later. So now I am trying to be a little like my brother. I carefully select the best of my farm and bring it to our Creator.

2. I choose to be upset about what happened. I mean, I am the firstborn, obviously God thinks much of me. But if my brother gets more honor than I do, oh, that can’t be. I only have one option, I must get rid of him. I mean, if I do, then that will put me back in my place. I’ll be the one with honor, because I’ll be the only one. Oh, he makes me so angry. Who does he think he is anyway? And what’s God thinking? Argh. Well, here’s what I’ll do. I’ll take him out to a field, that way I can be away from everybody else who might object, and I’ll kill him. Yeah, he is my brother, but he’s stealing my honor. I’m the firstborn. I’m supposed to be more favored, because that’s the way it’s always been.

Who am I? I am you and I am Cain.

5 comments:

Kipper said...

So in response to your response on my unresponsive response...

What we're searching for, striving for, is not a culture of homo- or hetero-, but a culture of love...

Josh said...

Yes. A culture of love. And in love, how do I encourage my friend as well as exhort him?

All have sinned, but that does not mean that we leave our brother in it, it just means that we recognize our own fallibility when we are tempted to put ourselves above others.

daveapplegate said...

have you ever read 'east of eden' by john steinbeck? so far, i've had mixed feelings about the book, but there is a few chapters where some of the characters talk about cain and abel. it becomes a theme in the book about halfway through and i like that about the book alot. i think you should read it. it's long, but it talks about what you're talking about.

Josh said...

I've been interested in East of Eden...is it something I could read before going to bed at night or is it more of a day time reading thing?

how do the characters address cain and abel?

daveapplegate said...

i guess you could read it any time you want. this is america, right? it is a looong book though - just under 700 pages, but well worth the time. i'll try not to ruin it for you, but the story of cain and abel comes up when adam is trying to name his twin sons. i'm starting to realize that it's the central theme of the whole book. another character, lee, unpacks one of the cain and abel verses to reveal quite a bit about human strength and weakness. take the plunge and read it is my advice.