Daily Proverbial, from Ecclesiastes, 17 July 2012

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Ecclesiastes 4, verse 11.

One of my favorite movies is a James Bond movie: “The Spy Who Loved Me.” It was made in the late 1970s, back when Roger Moore was 007, and he was at the height of his goofy interpretation of the world’s coolest secret agent. The movie pits 007 against a wealthy industrialist who wants to drown the world. In saving the planet from a watery fate, 007 teams up with a Soviet agent, who just happened to be named “Triple X” (or “XXX” and who just happened to be Ringo Starr’s wife, Barbara Bach). It’s really pretty corny, and it’s laden with the double entendres that became part of the movie series’ trademark.
One of them is when Bond and his Soviet paramour are talking about ways to survive in the wild. Naturally, the alluring girl takes the lead in describing how she would survive on a cold night. To preserve body heat, “shared bodily warmth”was required, preferably between two people shed of both their inhibitions and their outer garments. You can imagine the rest.

You and I are cold on our own. We are fragile. We aren’t 007 and we aren’t indestructible. It’s no coincidence that, other than the notes on a scale, the only thing I think country music and hip hop have in common is their celebration of two people keeping warm. Let’s face it: the natural world is cold. A few weeks ago we were in the desert where it quickly rose from 70 in the early morning to 100 a few hours later. Even in the middle of the summer, if you found yourself stranded there at midnight, you’d better have your blanket handy. It gets chilly at night even when ‘chilly’ only means 65 or 70 degrees. After a day in which the temp might have been 105, that isn’t warm. If your core temperature got that low, you’d die. Without something, or someone, to warm you your chances of survival are greatly diminished.

It’s another reason for partnership, for having someone beside you who cares enough to keep you warm but also enough to let you warm them. Like we mentioned yesterday, God made Adam and Eve for each other, for a reason. It wasn’t some random idea: there was purpose; there was reason. According to today’s verse, one reason we may infer is warmth. Man and woman: we keep each other warm. I’ll admit: being alone is one drawback to being on the road so many nights each year. I miss my wife, having someone there beside me. I might prefer to travel alone, work alone, and have my schedule to myself versus traveling with a co-worker or team. But I’d be lying if I told you that I don’t miss having my honey around at night.

If you think about it, too, this verse means more. God’s love fits perfect in our lives; we were designed to live within it. In all of human history, only God Himself on the cross was ever truly alone. In those hours and dying minutes there, He was alone in the world like nobody had ever been before (or has ever been since). Spiritually cut off, rejected by the people who had worshipped him only days before, dying the death of a common thug, He hung there in total solitude. He did it to warm our souls from a chilly death. He did it because, until He did, we were indeed cold and dead. We couldn’t do this ourselves; we needed His help. How can one keep warm alone? How can one alone keep alive the spirit of man? The answer is “we can’t.” Not on our own. We need help, even when we think we don’t. We need help and we need it from God.

In the spirit of the movie I mentioned, “nobody does it better.”

Speaking of the movie, let’s get back to James Bond. Of course the next scene involves international espionage via lip-lock. Of course there are lots of outlandish gadgets. Of course 007 gets the girl in the end and signs off with a trademark quip, courtesy of a cheeky screenwriter. Of course this is one of those movies my kids would never watch with me because they are way to cool to watch such stupid things with their old man. It really is a campy over-blown movie and I think one of the reasons I enjoy it is just because it is that way. That was one of the first movies I ever wanted to go see on my own, when my parents would let me go see a PG movie without them; to be honest, though, I don’t think I did. Still, it’s a reminder of my childhood, and it’s a reminder of how shared bodily warmth can warm you to your soul when you’re sharing with the right person forever.

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