Of late winter observances and evil

It seems that late winter, illness, Lenten fasting, Purim and some Psalms are all of them about evil, which must be faced and seen for a mature spirituality and human functionality to be born in me.

I may even need to stand under evil–or have it as an understanding.  I don’t yet know why it’s around or how to treat it.  I do know it’s there in me and in the world.

The book of Ruth has no villain.  People die, but aren’t killed by others.  One of Naomi’s surviving daughters-in-law chooses to stay with her own people, but that’s not deplored.  Ruth and Boaz are heroes.  Their kinsmen who don’t make heroic choices of sacrifice and alliance with strangers aren’t vilified.  They just didn’t get stories about them into the history books.

Esther’s book has villains–or at least one.  It’s grisly and violent.  This is the story that gets celebrated–in the late winter.

Ruth’s book just gets quoted for engagements.

Let’s face that gristle and gore together: even sometimes in sundae school.  Then stomp our feet on top of it, clean out our pockets, dream of being as beautiful, or at least as preened, as Esther.  After that, we can eat poppy seed pastries and smile.