“an idiot for Thy Kingdom”

Alan Jacobs from a few years ago—a post which I discovered by reading through this tag on his blog. The prayer he makes at the end of the post is prompted by his reading of this passage in Rebecca West’s Black Lamb and Grey Falcon:

Just then my eye was caught by two large, loosely formed spheres in neutral colours, one blackish grey, the other brownish black. These were the behinds of two peasant women who were employed by the municipalities to weed the flower-beds at the corners of the square. They were being idiots, private persons in the same sense as the nurse in my London nursing-home, who was unable to imagine why the assassination of King Alexander should perturb anybody but his personal friends. They were paid to pull up weeds, and they wanted the money, so they continued to pull them up, even when the students raised a shout and brought some gendarmes down on them not fifteen yards away. As I looked at those devoted behinds, bobbing up and down over their exemplary task, and the smug face of the automatic rebel, I thanked God for the idiocy of women, which must in many parts of the world have been the sole defender of life against the lunacy of men.

Jacobs:

I read this passage and I think: Lord, make me an idiot, an idiot for Thy Kingdom. Keep me focused on the weeds I need to pull, the garden I am charged with tending. Let the lunatics run and shout as they will, but keep me at work on my humble daily “exemplary task.” In the name of Jesus I ask this. Amen.

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