Monday, November 17, 2008

Incongruous


Living in the Connecticut suburban town of West Hartford, a walk to a nearby park meant taking in the sights of other houses and yards along the way. We appreciated the variety of houses (each one being individually designed, rather than a development of similar houses). That house has blue shutters, this one has columns in the front, over there we see a yard landscaped with flowers instead of shade plants. Inside, everyone has their own story, but it typically includes a marriage (and maybe a divorce), some kids (maybe little, maybe grown), a job in Hartford or nearby, soccer balls and lacrosse sticks, etc.

Here in NYC, a constantly astonishing feature is how very different people and institutions can be lumped together in the same area. On the floor of the building where my office is located are non-profits, a consulting firm, a security firm that seems to protect Russian oligarchs or something like that, and a hedge fund manager. But the other day took the cake:

Walking Number One Son to school the other day, I dropped him off at the church building where his school meets. And next door, it seems, is the house for the current season of "America's Next Top Model". I found this out when my eyes landed not on a model, but on a pink plaid limousine that was half a city block long. It waited for the current hopefuls to alight to take them to an important session of catwalk training with Tyra, or something like that.

The point is that the street is mainly residential, with normal apartments and a number of lovely brownstones interspersed on the block. Yet in Manhattan, this is close enough to all of the fabu world of fashion to make it worth the producers' time to take over one such brownstone and convert it to Big Brother for Thin People.

Theologically, this helps me to grasp why the new creation is described in terms of a city. I'm preaching on Revelation 21 this coming Sunday morning, incidentally, and am struck by the very physical description of the new Jerusalem. It's very symbolic language there (every part of the description arises from Old Testament promises being fulfilled), but physical and substantial nonetheless. There will be massive variety (from every tribe, tongue and nation), and while the streets will be paved with gold, the pink plaid limo will not be a feature...

2 comments:

SeaPea said...

wait, is that a MINI converted into not so mini??

this is a funny:

http://www.discoverymagazine.com/articles/d1992/d9208d.htm

Wo said...

I just discovered your blog last week, Cliff, and I'm lovin' it! Who knows--maybe there WILL be pink plaid limos in the new Jerusalem--and maybe scooters, too!

Jen Wotochek