reading nathaniel west’s the day of the locust, i stumbled through this paragraph, where the protagonist is trying to hold the drunken woman of his affections, who has recently turned to prostitution:
raging at him, she was still beautiful. that was because her beauty was structural, like a tree’s, not a quality of her mind or heart. perhaps even whoring couldn’t damage it for that reason, only age or accident or disease.
i love the church. my life’s work is to serve christ by serving the church (specifically, youth workers in the church). but i can still be cranky about the bride occasionally, right? when i read these few sentences, i instantly thought of the church; more specifically, of the american church; more specifically, of that segment of the american church that continues to be passionate about slick models and approaches, rather than by being passionate about loving people, or even passionate about loving jesus. sure, they’re not all mutually exclusive — i’ll be the first to admit that. but the idea of a church who is beautiful only for structural reasons, not because of her mind or heart; well, that just caught my attention, because i think there are a wad of ’em out there.
but, hey, sometimes those are some pretty sexy structures!
(see the restraint i showed in this post? i didn’t even say a thing about the church whoring herself, or anything like that! well, now i did, but ya know…)