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Not Made with Hands

August 25, 2011

I went into Peter Shaffer’s Equus expecting to completely hate it for attempting to normalize gross psycho/sexual fixations. But in reality, it pits this abnormality against the banality of secular humanists call normal. I still would not call this play “good,” nor recommend it to the faint of heart or weak of conscience, but it remains a fascinating and well-told exploration of man’s need to worship something; the crushing monotony of worshiping nothing and the terrifying consequences of rejecting the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for the work of men’s hands.

All of this is summed up psychiatrist Martin’s speech when he laments to a friend that, despite Alan’s admittedly disturbing and abnormal behavior, he regrets that he must normalize the boy and take from him a worship that far transcends anything Martin himself has ever known and a joy that so-called normal people can never hope to feel.

The truth is that both Alan and Martin are seeking the same thing, but their different circumstances bring them to vastly different conclusions. God is not only the God who ordered the vastness of the heavens and planned the our story of salvation from before all worlds, but He is the Lover of our Souls. The worship of the One True God is a worship that is stunning not only in the way it appeals to our reason, as Martin would prefer, but the emotions to which Alan is so deeply connected. The result is a joy even greater than the joy Martin is reluctant to take from Alan, but we must seek Him while He may be found (Is. 55:6).

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