On Sunday, we talked about the supposed wisdom of Solomon, but learned how important it is to be foolish. Or in other words, sometimes what we think is REALLY wise (i.e. smart, logical), turns out to be useless and not life-affirming, while what is deemed foolish is full of love and possibility. There are all sorts of negative stereotypes throughout history and literature about fools, but right alongside them are the images of the “holy fool,” and the “wise fool,” those led by heart rather than head. If one’s world is built only around things that make logical sense, create winners, and conform to social convention, then, as philosopher Sam Keen points out, Jesus is a fool. Intoxication with the world, and the world’s approval, means missing the precious movement of the Spirit calling us to do things that are strange, daring, loving, and just.
Foolishness represents a particular form of wisdom; the wisdom that emerges when we drop rational filters, and operate from the heart rather than the head. Then we find the friends, the lover, the partner we are meant to know. Our friends in the San Francisco Night Ministry do something we’d consider (with logic) to be unwise. They walk the streets of the Tenderloin at night as a human presence for those in need of even the slightest indication that someone cares – nothing tangible, just presence. It’s risky business. You could get hurt or killed. But it is loving foolishness.
At the heart of progressive Christianity lies this understanding – that foolish love, and that means the boundless grace of our God, trumps rules, logic, and even authority, every time. Jesus knew that. Love wins. Thank goodness there are plenty of fools today. Be one, for love.
May peace and foolishness be yours,