Today is the fifth anniversary of the last time that Charles Bowden’s hands grew cold.
I would like to say that the day of his departure is being noted by people all over the world, but that would be a lie.
There is one gathering happening tonight with friends and family at a bookstore, but that’s about it.
Bowden didn’t write things that warmed the cockles of your heart, indeed, he wrote to make everyone as uncomfortable as possible.
He was very good at that…few mourn the passing of someone who excels at making them squirm.
He made us uncomfortable by telling us the truth about who we really are and what we do… and we are not lovers of the truth despite owning many copies of holy writ.
He wrote about people in power, but he wrote as much about the victims of those powerful people and we prefer not to hear of them if the power in place suits our needs.
I’ve been working on the Potters Field story for months…it started with rumors, then some of the the rumors proved true, and then all hell broke loose.
We gave much more space here to the victims than we did the power that made them such.
Now, the story is fading…the powers that be are silent and one assumes they are taking care of themselves.
The victims are not a factor, indeed, they have not even been publicly addressed by those who hurt them.
The financial details will be resolved by those in control of the money and this whole mess (and the people crushed by it) will be forgotten.
Nothing remotely “biblical” (whatever the hell that means) will occur because for something holy to transpire, victims would have to be more important than power.
There would have to be transparency and brokenness and hard truths would have to be told.
That is a bridge too far for all our institutions, including the church.
It’s also a bridge too far for those individuals who make up the institutions.
Bowden will be remembered (by those few who do remember) as a great wordsmith and iconoclast and for the fact that he he failed miserably in his goal…taken from “Death Of A salesman” by Arthur Miller.
“His name was never in the paper. He’s not the finest character that ever lived. But he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid.”
Chuck wanted us to pay attention, especially when it would make us uncomfortable.
That’s a bridge too far for most of us.
Make your own application…