Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The King and the Maiden

Soren Kierkegaard was a 19th century Danish philosopher/theologian (earlier post reference here). Though Kierkegaard wasn't Catholic, and wasn't all that friendly towards it, he still remains in my opinion one of the most profound and deep Christian thinkers of all time. Much of his thinking reaches deeper than Catholic and Protestant divisions - and that's deep.

And as really, really smart people tend to be (just look at the other contributors to this blog;-), Kierkegaard was jUUUst a tad quirky. But as strange as he was, the man could tell a story! His stories are amazing in their ability to explain in an understandable way, what is not.

In his story of the King and the Maiden, Kierkegaard gives his take on why the Incarnation was necessary.

The King and the Maiden

Once upon a time there was a certain king who was very rich. His power and preeminence were known throughout the world. Yet something was missing in his life that kept him unhappy – he desired a wife. Without a queen, the palace was empty.

One day, while riding through the streets of a small village, he saw a beautiful peasant girl. So lovely was she that the heart of the king was immediately won. He desired her more than anything he had ever wanted. On succeeding days, he would ride by her house on the mere hope of seeing her for a moment in passing.

He wondered how he might win her love. He thought to himself, “I will draw up a royal decree and require her to be brought before me – and then I shall make her the queen of my land!”

But as he considered, the king realized that she was a subject and would be forced to obey. He could never be quite sure that he had won her love.

Then he said to himself, “I shall call on her in person. I shall dress in my royal garb, wear my jeweled crown, my best rings, my silver sword, and my most colorful tunic. I will overwhelm her with my majesty and position and sweep her off her feet to be cone my bride.” But as he pondered the idea, he knew that he would always wonder whether she had married him for the riches and the power that he could give her.

Then he decided to dress as a peasant, drive to town, and have his carriage let him off. In disguise, he would approach her house. But, somehow, the duplicity of this plan did not appeal to him.

At last, he knew what he would do. He would shed his royal robes. He would go to the village and become one of the peasants. He would work with them. He would live with them. He would suffer with them. He would actually become one of them. This he did, and in so doing he won his wife.

1 comment:

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

I find most smart people to be weirdos.

I've always told people how smart you are.