Are you still with me? I hope so.
Leaving aside many things, I want to draw two points from this.
Firstly, there is nothing new under the sun. At the top of page 155, Tom’s decision to visit the tavern is held up as a moral failing because his wife had other plans for the money. We are not told what these other plans were, but apparently they were more important than clothing his children, as that need was mentioned almost as an afterthought. “It was a moral failing for Tom to go to the tavern, because his wife wanted to use the money for something else (and also because his kids needed clothes, but that’s far less important…).”
Secondly, as I read the story, I could not but help feel that despite the author’s intent, it is not a story about drink at all. Rather, it is allegory of what I see all around me–a social condition that leaves far more walking husks of humanity than liquor. Every day I interact with young
ladies females who determinedly give away bits of the kernel of themselves to whomever will take a bite. It is as if their overarching goal in life is to ensure that should they ever marry, naught but a husk remain for their future husbands. While Tom in the story realized that his drunkenness was robbing his wife, children, and himself, do those he is an allegory of recognize the robbery they are committing?
I fear not.
Yet it is not just women that I see destroying the kernel to leave only a shriveled husk. I see young
men males frantically distributing the kernel of their masculinity wholesale to whatever female will give them in return an illicit morsel of her kernel. It’s as if their overarching goal is to reduce their masculinity to a paper-thin husk tossed by the wind and trampled underfoot. Do these recognize the robbery they are committing?
Again, I fear they do not.
There are many dried-out husks of humanity walking around out there. Husks of men and husks of women, frantically seeking fulfillment by making themselves emptier.
Don’t be a husk.
Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself; For emptiness will be his reward. Job 15:31 (NASB)