Not Responsible for Accidents
Originally uploaded by KBlood.
The kind of responsibility I’m thinking about is both difficult and dangerous, especially where it effects children. But we are living in a difficult and dangerous world, and no amount of sticking our heads in the sand is going to make it any easier. Western man has tried for too many centuries to fool himself that he lives in a rational world. No. There’s a story about a man who, while walking along the street, was almost hit on the head and killed by an enormous falling beam. This was his moment of realization that he did not live in a rational world but a world in which men’s lives can be cut off by a random blow on the head, and the discovery shook him so deeply that he was impelled to leave his wife and children, who were the major part of his old, rational world. My own response to the wild unpredictability of the universe has been to write stories, to play piano, to read, listen to music, look at paintings – not that the world may become explainable and reasonable but that I may rejoice in the freedom which unaccountability gives us….

No wonder our youth is confused and in pain; they long for God, for the transcendent, and are offered, far too often, either piosity or sociology, neither of which meets their needs, and they are introduced to churches which have become buildings that are a safe place to go to escape the awful demands of God.

To be responsible means precisely what the word implies: to be capable of giving a response.

- from The Circle of Quiet by Madeline L’ Engle
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