Another post, another contemplation. This time, it is on another book from my time at Trinity Academy, The Stranger by Albert Camus. I promise they won’t all be on former Trinity curriculum, but a good few will be.

Long story short, the book follows a guy named Meursault by starting off with his mother’s death. He later shoots an Arab, blaming it on the blazing sun. He then is found guilty after trial, and is sentenced to death by the Guillotine. This book is known for its display of absurdism as well as existentialism. Camus rejected the claim of existentialism, and that somewhat makes sense as the character Meursault is constantly rejecting and inkling of religion. However, the absurdism is quite clear throughout the course of the book. And one way in which I see that reflected specifically is actually in a quote from Camus on his novel:

One would therefore not be much mistaken to read The Stranger as the story of a man who, without any heroics, agrees to die for the truth. I also happened to say, again paradoxically, that I had tried to draw in my character the only Christ we deserve. It will be understood, after my explanations, that I said this with no blasphemous intent, and only with the slightly ironic affection an artist has the right to feel for the characters he has created.

When Ms. Franklin brought this up in class, specifically one portion, always stuck with me. Every few days, weeks, or months this would always come back to my mind. And because it kept coming back to my mind, I finally decided to re-read (yes actually) the book a couple weeks ago.

…the only Christ we deserve…

Albert Camus

This quote, since it continues to come back to me, will make up the majority if not all of my contemplations, or if you’d rather call it rambling or thought-dumping, in this post.

Meursault was a murderer, uncompassionate, and someone that probably could not consistently be called a good man. He did not know his mother’s age when she passed and did not cry over her passing. He shot a man five times and blamed it on the weather. And with those points and a few less significant others, I kept wondering why Meursault was equated to Christ. And the only argument I can seem to ‘justify’ as a valid answer is how both were outsiders. Both were seemingly strangers to the environment around them, almost detaching them from complete involvement in the world. But in all of my thought on this over the past couple years, I have come to realize one thing that eased this tension constantly bugging my mind. And as I investigated the question provided by this thought,

Do we deserve Christ?

I was gonna say hot take, but I feel like it is not or should not be a hot take.

Regardless (here’s my hot take) we do not deserve Christ.

Personally, I think this is a pretty reasonable statement to believe. It recognizes our total depravity and by association our need for a savior. And not just any savior, but Jesus Christ.

  • If that is something you don’t understand or want to know more about, feel free to email me at jacobcurrin723 @ gmail.com .

We are all equally undeserving of a savior. Jesus is far more beautiful than we can ever deserve or understand. And the beauty of his sacrifice is something that is important for us to remember. While all He endured was not in and of itself beautiful, the weight it carries is where the true beauty lies. In our total depravity, He filled our aching hearts.

One thing a friend of mine at college said has always stuck with me.

“May we never forget the weight of His sacrifice.”

Noah Calvert

That sacrifice should be the weightiest thing in our lives. He redeemed us when we didn’t know we needed saving. And there is an importance in the lives of Christians that should come with the recognition of that weight. Christians are called to share the gospel narrative throughout the course of their lives. And the gospel is something that has radically changed the life of each and every Christian, so choosing to not share it is about as selfish as one can be. The world is continuously yearning for meaning in their lives, for a reason and rhyme to it all. Well, Christians have that answer the world is crying out to hear, so why not share?

Now, somewhat back to the book. In light of how little we deserve Christ, Camus’ statement seems to make more sense. If we don’t deserve Christ, then who do we deserve? Is it someone like Meursault, a man who is honestly not very admirable?

To compare Jesus and Meursault, their levels of care are near opposite when it comes to the degree of care. Meursault cared about as minimally as possible, while Christ’s care was always the highest. After all, the Lord cares for us in ways that are beyond our comprehension. If His care for us is beyond the greatest care we know of, I think I can confidently say it is pretty amazing.

I wouldn’t want a savior that I deserve, because I deserve some pretty bad things based on the life I have lived and the life that I will inevitably live. So, to me at least, I’m grateful that I don’t deserve Jesus. And, I hope you are too.

This could very well end up being the worst piece I write here, but I don’t mind too much. Even if that one person isn’t left thinking about a minute portion of what I said, it was still nice to somewhat flesh out my rambling mind. See you next time!

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