I’ve Never Seen That Before

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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The video I've posted on the homepage today is a funny one. (You can view the video here after we take it down from the homepage.)

A group of "performance artists" froze in place in Grand Central Station for 5 minutes. The people walking around were stunned. One reached out and touched a woman to see if she was real. They had no way of explaining what they were seeing. Nothing in their experience had prepared them for this. Some laughed. Some looked a little scared. Some walked a little faster, hoping to escape and not have to figure out what they were seeing. The unexpected and surprising can make us a little uncomfortable. Years ago I kicked a little metal ring in the parking lot of a local grocery story. I must have hit it just right because it flew much farther than I intended. It rolled a long way right into the center of the parking lot, where there were no cars and only one woman walking to the store. The ring rolled right in front of her. From her perspective, it looked as though the ring dropped out of heaven. There was no one around her and no explanation for this ring that was suddenly rolling across the ground. She was so scared and befuddled that she almost ran into the store. And I don't blame her. It would have scared me too. Sometimes I wonder if she is still telling the story to her friends just like I'm telling it to you.

We expect the world to be just the way we, well, expect it to be. Day after day, things are always the same. And when things don't look as they should, we are stopped dead in our tracks, stunned and immobile. Pulitzer Prize winning author Annie Dillard wonders why we aren't just as shocked and surprised when we read the gospels. If we really read the scriptures, she says, we'd have to wear crash helmets in church because we would constantly be falling out of the chairs in stunned amazement.