Theophilis Goodyear: Saints Tend to Die in the Gutter…

Cultural Intelligence
Theophilis Goodyear
Woody Guthrie wrote many songs that expressed many different ideas and perspectives. But I think this one is my favorite. And it expresses my philosophy better than I could ever express it myself. I don’t know where he got these narratives from. I think some of them may have been divinely inspired.
His song “Ship In The Sky” perfectly expresses so many things that I almost don’t know where to start. But lets start from complexity theory. The song expresses the fact that none of us can survive without everyone else. And I think it also expresses the idea that children are more than merely unperfected adults. Often they are born with more wisdom than we can ever hope to attain or explain. Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when he said, in Matthew 18:3, “Truly I say to you, Except you become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
I think Woody Guthrie’s song expresses all these complexities. How did he know that? I don’t know! I suspect it was because he had extraordinary wisdom.
It’s my personal belief that there are, in fact, saints. I also believe that most saints are imperfect. I even believe they are sometimes *profoundly* imperfect. If there’s any difference between saints and the rest of humanity, I think it’s primarily due to the depths of their insights and their ability to express them in ways that the rest of us can grasp. If that’s the criteria, then Woody Guthrie gets my vote for consideration as a saint.
But if saints tend to go unrecognized, maybe that’s the way of the universe. Or as John Lennon once put it (and I paraphrase): every now and then a man comes along with a profound message, but people tend to worship the person and completely forget the message.
So maybe that’s why saints are so obcure. If they were flamboyant, they would be worshiped and their messages would be lost. And since humility is the only authentic response to the fact of God in the face of God, maybe true saints have to get down in the mud and lose their pride, but without losing their sense of dignity and compassion. Who knows where they come from or why they’re here? Who knows where they go when they leave? But they touch our lives in profound ways. Maybe we should just appreciate that and try not to over analyze it.
The song “Let’s Work Together,” is a very wise song. But I think this song contains even more wisdom. Profoundly so.