Monday, May 17, 2010

Very much annoyed

I loved yesterday's reading from Acts. Paul casts an evil spirit out of a slave woman. Does he do it out of compassion? Because he was filled with the Holy Spirit? No. He did it because he was "very much annoyed" because the woman had been following Paul and Silas around for days saying, "These are slaves of the most high God."

"Annoyed" is one of those emotional states that doesn't get much credence on the Christian emotional spectrum. At least in my experience, being annoyed in church matters often gets overlaid with a veneer of saintly patience, accompanied by a deep sigh and a wan smile and a small shake of the head. Ms. Beezle-Bubb, I'm sure, would consider this more seemly than any more overt sign of annoyance.

And then here comes Paul, healing someone out of annoyance. I like that very much. It makes me laugh. It makes me wonder how many things we can change and heal when we finally lose our patience.


Anonymous said...

this passage has always confused me! how does Paul know the woman needs to be healed? he seems to be reacting to the words that she keeps repeating over and over again - but I keep thinking that when she says "these men are servants of the most high God," that's actually a perfectly accurate description of Paul and his friend! what's so crazy about that?

LKT said...

It does have the ring of Monty Python's "ex-leper" sketch. "Then he healed without so much as a by-your-leave." Really, when you read it, it's just that he's fed up with the yelling. What does happen to the (slave) woman after this?