it's come out of the closet--literally. very few people have known about this before now. wait wait, i'll explain.
one of the things about the protestant tradition is its under-use and under-emphasis of the sacraments. of course, going with my at-times quaker sympathies i also see the side of how perhaps they are not necessary for anything, and only detract from our mystical connection with God--setting our focus on the physical. that's probably a really poor description of why they don't feel the need for sacraments, but this whole debate is one i'm not really wanting to get into here.
more importantly, i see the need and purpose of symbols in our lives. tillich gives a wonderful explanation of their function: "the language of faith is the language of symbols" because "man's ultimate concern [faith] must be expressed symbolically, because symbolic language alone is able to express the ultimate."
bible college was a very significant year for me. God did some great healing in me, and i learned much about living as a disciple. towards the end of my year there i took a trip to calgary with a good friend of mine. while in the mall i found a symbol. it was kind of expensive, but after some consideration i decided that it was a very good memento for my time and all God had done in me. it would remind me of how i needed to fight for my heart, and for others. that there is much going on in the spiritual realm that i need to be constantly aware of.
i brought it home, kept in its box. i thought, i will put this up someday when i own a home. well that's getting farther and farther away, if i even live the sort of life where i would own my own home. and so it's sat in my closet in my room for 5 years. until now. it is set out in the corner of my room for me to remember. to see the battle always before me.
i have a giant 5 foot scottish claymore broadsword in my room.
sure its funny considering i am pretty much a pacifist. but it's the symbolism. braveheart has always been my favorite movie--not only does it have the major theme of father-son relationships, it also presents the theme of calling forth people to really live. there is much this movie stirs in me. and there is much this sword represents beyond that movie. if i could explain to you all that this symbol meant to me than it wouldn't be a symbol. but a symbol must be seen to be functional. and so now it is in the open.
well, we didn't get dressed up for nothing.