Opinion

Vanity

Garry Gamble

Some might say the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel comes off as one of the more colorful—even bizarre—personalities in the Bible. Consider the unconventional prognosticator’s memorable vision of dry bones coming to life in the valley. It was Ezekiel that “ connected dem dry bones,” if we are to believe the Delta Rhythm Boys who parlayed the freakish event into a legendary ditty.

I, for one, give Ezekiel credit for rallying (this is going to sound redundant) “dem ‘bone dry’ dry bones.”

If you flip back a few chapters in the book of Ezekiel, from Ezekiel’s memorable vision, you will find the prophet—as this is what prophets do— speaking on behalf of a sovereign God: “I asked the people to change their lives and protect their country. I asked people to fix the walls. I wanted them to stand by those holes in the wall and fight to protect their city . . . but no one came to help!”

What causes humankind to ignore the Divine?

During the summer of 2013, I put a pen to paper and attempted to answer this question.

Vanity, Vanity

Garry Gamble

In our arrogance we deny all we know to be true
In our pride we change the words on the pages
We rewrite history and the stories of our lives
as we need them to be

We replace sanctity with indifference
We celebrate depravity and crucify all virtue

We have ears but choose not to hear
We have eyes but choose not to see
We sacrifice all that is sacred at the altar of self
We hold the sphere more divine than the Son
Vanity, vanity . . .
Vanity has replaced our humanity
Amusement’s become our meaning
Treacherous, this path that appears right to a man
But ends in destruction
Our vanity has led us to insanity
We’ve turned the world upside down
And Truth’s nowhere to be found
Hell’s become our sky
And we live beneath its lie
Decay’s become our way
In mind and thought
The heart and soul distraught
These false ideologies we have bought
The senseless babble we’ve been taught
Ambiguous abstraction supplants concrete facts

See the hopelessness and despair it has wrought

Corrupt with greed, insatiable its appetite
We hide behind pretentious platitudes
We manipulate attitudes
Deceitful smile, siren voice
We leave the powerless no choice
Devoid of honesty
Plump with evil intent
The temple veil’s been rent
Gorged on power; void of light
Darkness becomes our eternal night
As I laid my pen down, I concluded,
Let all the world keep silent
For the Lord is in His holy temple . . .

Former Cook County Commissioner Garry Gamble is writing this ongoing column about the various ways government works, as well as other topics.


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