How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
‘Blowing in the wind’ was an important part of my teenage years. Early 60s ‘pop-music’ was fun… about boys, girls and being in love. Here was something more serious…
Up till then I had only heard serious songs sung in church. Bob Dylan was writing songs about humanity… war and peace, life and death…
He asked questions. Leaders in religion and politics asked difficult questions and told me their easy answers. The answer is Dylan’s difficult questions were ‘Blowing in the Wind’.
How many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
Dylan’s questions are still relevant today.
He saw the futility of war, the tragedy of meaningless deaths, the hopelessness of continuing slaughter. Then it was Viet Nam; today it’s Afghanistan; too many mothers fathers and children dying for no justifiable cause.
He asks: ‘Aren’t two ears enough to hear this pain?’ ‘How can people turn a blind eye to all this injustice?’ Cries of war and cries for freedom appear to be ignored.
He says that we have responsibilities beyond ourselves. Having seen and heard what’s going on we should be involved and take action.
How many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
In Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan a man asks two questions: ‘Teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ and ‘Who is my neighbour?’
Jesus story of the man robbed, beaten up, ignored and eventually helped includes violence, prejudice. religion and compassion… Jesus ends with a question: ‘Who do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’
For some big questions the answer may still appear to be ‘Blowing in the Wind’; Dylan and Jesus ask us to think, come to solutions that we can own, and respond in words and actions.