UP ABOVE THE BEETLES
There had been a nagging thought sitting in the head of a young tender upstart of a thing as it paced up and down a garden centre stationed in the middle of nowhere, or anywhere that wasn’t where he wanted to be.
He fancied a stroll along the beach.
But that wasn’t the issue.
No, this thought occurred to him just as he spotted a beetle darting across the clear pavement.
It was the second creature he’d spotted that day. The first had been a robin. Tiny little thing.
He didn’t have this thought with that. He’d never allow it.
With a beetle, and with any insect, the thought persisted.
The thought that puts you between roles.
Roles that were vast and simple.
The simple action of the common man, acting with senior authority of a commanding God.
A God who need not say a word to cast judgement, and end days, short as they were already, for the insect.
It took but a simple step.
It had to be quick, mind you, for the insect wasn’t going to just take a rest, they never do. They are always scurrying. Always.
You had to be sharp, make your decision within the time frame allocated, place that bold step forward, and smite the insect with all your might.
That’s the thought that persisted.
And it always did.
The boy fancied himself a good soldier, a servant of something he deemed fit to be God. He likes to think he shared some kind of communion with it, or him, or her, or all three.
There wasn’t such a clear way of identifying it. It had no shape, it had no number, nothing came before one, but people often say in circles a God is the one above all, so it can’t be nothing.
And yet others say the universe came from nothing.
What came before nothing? Was there a number nobody knew about?
That was the scarier thought, one that did not persist as much, but on this warm sunny summer day, it was all the boy could think about.
A number with no brand, no visibility, no shape.
No way of being judged.
The boy let the beetle scurry away, too distracted by all the other joyous thoughts he’d allow to process, thoughts that he was paranoid would be clouded by thoughts pertaining to what he’d been taught by the word of God, by the word of his parents, that life was sacred, and to take any life, ANY life, not one excluded, would see you judged, on the day you passed, or even, if you happened to be Stateside, were made to pass on.
The boy shouldn’t be thinking this way, he was too young.
But that’s just it…we’re all too young at this stage, aren’t we?
None of us have lived millions of years, at least not in our physical manifestations, no; no we live for the tiny little moments and to embrace the vast and simple notions that shape us as numbers of varying shape and stature
It’s just to take a bold step forward, and not step on something in the process.
No matter how small in importance it is, and how it may impact the waking world.
It is, after all, a number.
A number with shape, size, scale. Branding.
That which you believe in, it has no shape, it has no number, it’s above that, it’s above all things. It leaves an impact on you, and you’re content with that, you want to feel good about that, you don’t want to cheat it; you don’t want to disappoint it.
And so the thoughts turn to simple things again, and the boy’s parents drove him home, and the boy thought to himself, ‘I could really fancy a stop by the beach’
And when the car drives past the beach, and that opportunity passes, he thinks to himself ‘was that because I complimented stepping on the beetle? Was that why my parents didn’t decide to stop for a bit and let me have my fun?’
Thinking it was one thing, saying it to a parent was another.
And so the boy asked when being put to bed, first he asked the mother, and she didn’t know what to make of it, so she asked the father, and he didn’t know what to make of it.
All they knew was the boy had spared a life.
And they were proud of that. They let him know they were proud of it.
And the boy went to bed feeling good about himself, feeling something had compelled him to show mercy that day, something trusted him that day.
He liked to think the shapeless number, the one beyond or behind all recognizable numbers, was one worth counting towards, or very likely counting backwards to, so he too could be ultimately counted. To be said to matter in the final analysis.
For each step forward takes us back to these thoughts, these snap judgements of our own, it all comes back to the word of God. Which God you ask?
The one above the beetle or the one above the child?
Is there a difference?