To cop a phrase from James Jordan, we really need to understand the difference between “weird” and “deep weird.” Please understand I’m using these terms in my own way and I don’t mean to implicate my friend in anything that follows (unless he joins in the fun of his own volition).
In our world, and since the dawn of history (about five minutes after Adam and Eve left the garden), there has been a gravitational pull to the weird, to be different, to want to be set apart. This is the universal human desire for holiness. It is simultaneously the desire to be accepted, to be claimed, to be different, to be special, to have a calling, a purpose, a meaning in life — fundamentally our longing to be back in the Garden again.
But the Fall is a universal desire to be special, to be different, to be weird on our own, in our own way, with the inner light of my appetites leading the way to the refrigerator of whatever the Hell I want right now. You see, we know that we are naturally wrong, naturally incomplete, naturally lacking, and so we hunger for more, we thirst for fulfillment, completion. The problem is that we don’t want the medicine we need. We need the “deep weird.” We need Wisdom. We need death and resurrection. But so often we settle for less.
So people find consolation in whatever the going “weird” is. If it’s ripped pants, pink hair, three more piercings, gaudy make-up, icons, dietary bling, fastidious immodesty, bands no one has ever heard of, stylish glasses, esoteric theology, whatever. If it’s in a catalogue (whether mass produced and mass mailed or found on a little known myspace cave), and it’s a little bit different, then the suckers gather round and the Sylvester McMonkey McBeans set up shop.
But Wisdom is a woman screaming her head off in front of the White House (Prov. 1:20ff). Wisdom has disheveled hair and mascara running down her cheeks with tears, and she’s pleading with the crowds who walk by Central Station, trying to ignore her, embarrassed for her lack of dignity, her lack of suave. She’s obviously a mental patient. Not only is she screaming. Not only is she crying. Not only is she scandalously reaching for the young men walking by, she says judgment is coming. She’s a doomsday prophet. She’s preaching a sermon about hellfire and brimstone and then she breaks into what might be mistaken for a ghoulish cackle. She says when the fools fall, when the simple stumble, she will laugh. She will belly laugh at their torment and their anguish. And when they finally turn to her in the end, she will not hear them. It will be too late.
Wisdom screeches over the farmers market, demanding to be heard, insisting that it is urgent, that this is the difference between life and death. But the respectable types, the cowards, the ones who only like to toe-dabble in the weird, come along tsk-tsking Wisdom, telling her that this is way over the top, she’s making a mountain of a molehill. Can’t the simple enjoy their simple pleasures? Stop making such a big deal about things. Is there really anyone so bad as all that? Just think, you might actually be turning people off to Wisdom. Aren’t you shooting yourself in the foot? Tone it down about it. Let’s have a casual conversation, maybe a powerpoint presentation? And some scones and a cup of tea?
Wisdom is a screamer, a shrieker, and she is not respectable by the world’s standards. She calls men to true humility, to true repentance. Die to your idols. Die to your selfish desires. Die. Come and embrace me, the Mad Mother of Creation. Lose your self-awareness. Lose your philosophical air. Lose your academic kudos. Lose your pagan past. Lose your pathetically mild “weirdness” — your faux holiness. Lose it all, and come into the deep weird, embrace Wisdom. But this is too weird, too strange, and seems utterly repulsive to the natural man.
What? Come and die?
Yes, come and embrace the Screamer, the Fool, beaten to a bloody mess, dying on a Tree.