Entering the Lion’s Den

We all know the story of Daniel being pushed into the lion’s den. It’s often shown in illustrations for kids. I’m sure that in reality it was absolutely terrifying.

Daniel went into the lion’s den because of false accusations within a system that he had no choice but to work within. I keep seeing all these messages in the blogs and forums: “do XYZ and it shall be good.” The virtue that is often the conclusion of the story of Daniel is that the lion’s didn’t eat him.

The problem is that most of us are not Daniels. Most of us are Frodos. I am sure that I am not spoiling anyone if I talk of the Lord of the Rings story/movie. Frodo is basically a typical guy–he’s a middle class guy, a gentlehobbit as Tolkien would say, and he’s just enjoying reading books, smoking his pipe, farming a bit, chilling. He goes on this huge quest, but throughout, he never really knows what he’s doing, exactly where he’s going, or even what’s going on around him. He doesn’t even really succeed–where most of the other guys get to slay monsters, lead armies, do dangerous recons, discover weird secrets and so on, Frodo carries a glorified piece of jewelry around that he’s constantly tempted to use even though he’s told it is evil and will doom all life. But at the end he gives in anyway; the mission to destroy it only succeeds because of a guy who’s even more tempted than him and his buddy who turns out to be more resourceful and heroic.

So he goes home. To what though? How does he explain what he did, what he accomplished?

Well, he can’t. So he goes home, writes a journal. He’s never the same person again.

I think of the guys who are walking wounded. The cures, the offerings, they aren’t enough. Daniel goes into the lion’s den: he doesn’t go anticipating triumph; he goes because he was caught praying to God when he wasn’t supposed to. It’s tempting to go with what Daniel said about the angel protecting him, shutting the lions’ mouths, and say “that’s the Christian condition”. The problem is that it is not. Stephen the Apostle for example is martyred in spite of having been chosen, having been clearly acceptable in the sight of God, and having courageously offered witness of the Gospel to the Sanhedrin.

In both these stories, one biblical, one fictional, we have a guy just doing his job as best he can. He’s not trying to become a great hero, he’s not trying to humiliate anyone or do anything wicked; in fact if he had his preferences he probably wouldn’t even be there, but he has to be so he makes the best of it.

There are guys out there who I know lost children, lost wives, family, relationships and whatever mistakes they made did not deserve that. Sometimes the only peace we can give them is acknowledging that it has been hard, and to praise the strength they have endured with.

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5 thoughts on “Entering the Lion’s Den

  1. Sometimes the only peace we can give them is acknowledging that it has been hard, and to praise the strength they have endured with.

    I agree. We like to offer pat religious answers but sometimes there are none. Sometimes bad things happen despite our best efforts.

    Sometimes the best thing to do is listen and acknowledge that. Good post, SS.

  2. I want to put a different take on the same phrase Elspeth commented on.

    I also dislike pat religious answers. I see those a lot on wife’s side of the family, and they are very sincere, and those answers seem to function very well. They just do not function as a salve for the hurting person, rather as a way to FEEL as if the one sympathizing has DONE something.

    That aside

    I find that telling these men about red pill truths can be helpful. Some still cannot see reality, but others grasp right away the injustice they have fallen under and channel that to something besides just moping around. Small but important distinction.

  3. Amen brother! Amen! Good message. One thing that has been very frustrating to me in the four years since being frivorced, is the lacking of any kind of community for divorced fathers. There just seems to be a lack of compassion for us. All the compassion seems to go to the frivorcing mothers, even in the The Church. Although I long for something more tangible, I am greatful for the community of the manosphere/red pillers.

  4. Empath:
    Interesting article. Simone Weil wrote in ‘Waiting On God’ that the further an individual or a culture moves from spiritual law, the more it becomes subject to purely natural law. In a lot of ways, the story of Daniel is a metaphor for that: the lions couldn’t hurt him but they killed his false accusers. Our culture has broken down so that the lions now fear nobody; and devour the faithful and the sinner alike.

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