Demonization and deification are much easier with distance
We haven’t seen God for 2000 years. Or the devil for that matter. At least most of us haven’t, and the longer this goes on, the more epic the stories will become. The larger the myth. The more unlikely.
He walked on water.
He raised the dead.
His mom was a thirteen year old virgin impregnated by God. (As a student in my class once told me, “My thirteen year old sister Juanita says God got her pregnant too! But this happened only last week, so our Mama won’t believe her.)
He had Lazarus walking right out of the tomb. And playing golf the next day.
The myth grows as myths do when the person has been gone for a long time.
The same is true for friends and family members. At my step son Jared’s wedding, we saw his mother who did not recognize my husband. They’d known each other for thirty-five years, but somehow she didn’t recognize him at all. Perhaps she remembered her ex husband as having been quite different. Taller? With a long beard? Who knows?
If you don’t see a family member for a long time, what happens is that your imagination keeps working even though the tangled web of the relationship itself hangs in the air like tendrils suspended.
I didn’t see my mother for thirty-three years, and when I saw her again, we were both very anxious. I remembered her as stern and rather disappointed in me. She imagined that I would be angry. We were both wrong. I found my mother to be glad to see me and very open to hearing how my life was going.
But for many people, the longer they don’t see their mother, father, son or daughter, brother or sister, the more likely that person is to become either a demon or divinity. Your father is not a monster, your mother is not an angel, your little brother is not your little brother any more. He is a man now living his own life.
Not a demon. Not an angel. Not a god. Not Lucifer. Your father is a man who loves you. At least that’s possible. You’ll never know unless you untangle the web, walk forward, take hands, and find out that although the imagination is an amazing thing, reality is also worth trying.