Ragamuffin Saint

CC BY, JD Hancock, Flickr
CC BY, JD Hancock, Flickr

Blessed are the Linuses of the world, for they shall indeed see the Great Pumpkin!

What is the world without Linus? He is the spiritual one swept away in his belief and set high upon his conviction. Never dogmatic, he is often discovered to be the most grounded of all—if walking on air can be so considered! Life takes all kinds, but it needs Linus because he sees it in perspicuous detail, for he looks with eyes of faith.

What a parable is that episode, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! The world really is a dark pumpkin patch without the scantest clue that it is being stalked. But along comes Saint Linus, hailed in rolls of laughter and guffaw, to snatch up the apathy and announce that belief matters. “Oh, if you could only see as I do!” he tells them. “The Great Pumpkin seeks to reveal himself, but you must be a sincere patch.”

In the cartoon Linus’s Great Pumpkin never comes, and this is always enough to justify the partygoers. In life there is sure to be a Lucy for every Linus to remind him how blockheaded he is for being superstitious; to remind the trusting how much their irrationality costs them: the trick-or-treating, the festivity, the candy, the spectacle of it all.

Still, Linus van Pelt cannot be unconvinced. His heart is pure and his sight has not failed him. When the fun ends, the masks come off, and the sweetness becomes a bad aftertaste, it will be to Linus whom everyone will turn, waiting in the patch, and the Great Pumpkin will come.

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