In the specially Christian case we have to react against the heavy bias of fatigue. It is almost impossible to make the facts vivid, because the facts are familiar; and for fallen men it is often true that familiarity is fatigue. I am convinced that if we could tell the supernatural story of Christ word for word as of a Chinese hero, call him the Son of Heaven instead of the Son of God, and trace his rayed nimbus in the gold thread of Chinese embroideries or the gold lacquer of Chinese pottery, instead of in the gold leaf of our own old Catholic paintings, there would be a unanimous testimony to the spiritual purity of the story. We should hear nothing then of the injustice of substitution or the illogicality of atonement, of the superstitious exaggeration of the burden of sin or the impossible insolence of an invasion of the laws of nature. We should admire the chivalry of the Chinese conception of a god who fell from the sky to fight the dragons and save the wicked from being devoured by their own fault and folly. We should admire the subtlety of the Chinese view of life, which perceives that all human imperfection is in very truth a crying imperfection. We should admire the Chinese esoteric and superior wisdom, which said there are higher cosmic laws than the laws we know.
And yet it was also true that the tumor could not be removed by our doctor, and as a result of that a strange medication had been given him that enabled my brother to become even more of an enigma than he was before, and as a result of that there came to exist not only the machine and the inertia that came with it, but a change of perspective among the townsfolk that was a result of their interactions with the various phases of my brother. And so it was that when the flood began to rear its terrible head, not only was there the inertia that we all had to deal with, but a sense of the sublime that we had begun to feel for the waters which had roared upon the horizon.