A number of years ago I received a notice from the Postal Service that an insured package, requiring my signature, was waiting for me at my local Post Office. After arriving there and signing for the package, I took a moment to look at it. It was quite obviously from Europe, the address hand-written in fine old European cursive script, wrapped with great care in the fabric and sealing tape of an era long since passed. Prominently affixed on the top surface of the package was an envelope addressed to me in my name in its ancient ancestral spelling, nuancing its pronunciation as only my mother called me many many decades ago. In bold script on this envelope was written the remonstration to open and read the contents of the envelope before opening the package itself.
After carefully removing the nascently embrittled parchment letter from its envelope, I began to read its contents. The package, it said, contained one of the finest Violins ever produced by Stradivarius. “Open With Great Care”.
My Great Uncle, whom I had never met or even known of, had passed many years before, and out of love and remembrance of my mother, had willed it to me. The many, varied, and old postmarks on the package silently bespoke of a long history of search. It was insured for two million Pounds Sterling. Gasping from yet another shock, and raising my head from my reading to absorb this latest bit of intelligence, it was just in time to see a man dressed in an arcane European uniform of some sort, respectfully shake the hand of the Postmaster, And, with the look of relief on his face of “A Great Mission Accomplished”, he quietly departed into and through the Post Office building.
Even though not a violinist myself. The name Stradivarius speaks for itself like no other.
Later, at home, I carefully opened my gift on the kitchen table (kitchen tables are a great unsung loci of history aren't they ?). The light through the window above the kitchen sink, filtered as it was through the emerald leaves of an old Valencia Orange tree in the backyard, amplified the amber hues of this legendary instrument.
How could I have received such a thing ? What a gift !? What a responsibility !? As I contemplated and tried to absorb the implications of this gift, as fate would have it, my neighbor with whom I often share a morning cup of coffee, opened the back door and let herself in. A welcome sight. Without a word from me, and no other word from my neighbor, the reverent word “Stradivarius” was uttered by her like a holy vesper.
“How is it you know this ?” I asked.
“Many years ago I worked for a luthier in New York”.
“Humph, who'd a-knowed it ?”.
“May I ?”
“But of course”
Carefully handing my new treasure to my good neighbor, I was rewarded by the precise and careful tuning from surprisingly skillful hands. Soon followed the elegant strains of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.
After this peaceful pleasant interlude my neighbor respectfully asked, “do you know how to care for such an instrument ?”
“No” I honestly replied
“Do you even know how to play the violin ?”
“No” I again replied.
“This is a World Treasure, you should not regard it as your possession and property”
Yes, there was a certain compelling force to these words.
“I do know the care and keeping of such a treasure”.
And with many other such persuasive words and demonstrations of skill and knowledge I eventually found myself watching my dear and trusted neighbor departing with the Stradivarius carefully and firmly underarm.
Later, sitting in my armchair, I was convinced that I had done the right thing. My neighbor's qualifications for the control of this great violin were unignorable. So, I sat there for quite some time consoling myself with the rightness and righteousness of my acquiescence. But something slowly began to nag at me. It was as if the voice of my Great Uncle and Bequeather slowly, clearly, and kindly began to reason with me. “Listen Please” the voice said, “Carefully consider my words” he continued, “Many, many, years ago our family and the Stradivarius family were great friends, the violin you inherited was a personal gift to our family from the Maker himself and has been passed down father to son, uncle to nephew, many many times. Some have neglected it, some have cherished it, some have produced the music of angels with it. Some could not understand it. But none have ever earned it. It is a Gift. From its Maker, to us, never to be sold, never to be relinquished.”
“But I'm not Qualified to own it ! I have no skill ! I have no knowledge ! Who am I ?!”. I blurted out to an empty room. Sitting there in my self-induced awkward silence for some time, I gradually began to hear again the low, calm, and now familiar avuncular voice say:
“It is not about Qualifications, it is about Inheritance and Ownership”.
“But I know so little !”
“Knowledge and Skill and Wisdom can be acquired. As your appreciation and passion for this gift grows, so will your ability”
“Shouldn't it be given to someone who knows how to play ?”
“All receive their own gifts. This Gift is Ours. Learn to Love it Dummy”
And now you understand Male Headship.
It's not about Qualification, It's about Ownership.
It is a Gift given by God to Men, Guaranteed in writing.
You All know the Scriptures.
Men please listen. Women please heed.
Men, please learn & show this gift with a kind, humble, but not weak, spirit with ca ca,ca....courage.(you'll need it in today's world, and may God have mercy on your soul. Oh man ! And by-the-way, just because you shouldn't have to earn it, that doesn't mean you can't earn it).
Women, please learn & show an understanding of this gift from God to men with the humility of a kind and true wisdom, as did Jesus.
men, please see Gen 25:34b, and meditate on it 'til you see the connection. (and please compare with heb 12:16)
men & women both, please see “Who is Jesus ?” on this website, and May you discover a balance such as you have never known .....
post script: if I've learned anything on my “spiritual walkabout”, it is that it is a much 'deeper game' than I had ever imagined..... and, yes, it really & truly requires your whole 'heart, mind, soul, & strength'.... truly truly it does.......as someone used to say.....