I am a medium-large scale Radiohead fan but I must bashfully admit it was only recently that I bought Thom Yorke’s solo albumn “The Eraser”. Undoubtedly the most significant track on the album is the song “Black Swan”.
The Black swan is a symbol for the immediate need to change one’s theories for how something is/works based on new evidence. It’s called the black swan because prior to the colonisation and exploration of Australia, it was widely believed in Europe that all swans were white. When black swans were discovered in Western Australia all that had to change.
Black swans didn’t really rock the world. People could still live their lives the way they had done the day before. But there are some pieces of information that do radically change the way we all live. When The Great War ended, it was popularly believed that it was “the war to end all wars”. ¾ a generation later, the world experienced a black swan – another European war.
But Thom Yorke’s song describes something yet more frightening than a black swan. He talks about a black swan in our blind spot. Evidence that should radically change the way we live is presented and yet somehow it escapes our field of vision. “It should be obvious – but it’s not.”
Now, I suspect that Thom Yorke is singing about climate change – this seems to be the dominant theme of the album. But it got me thinking about the huge problem that having black swans in the blind spot is.
Jesus describes this problem when talking about the religious leaders of his day. Having just given them a huge dressing down in chapters 21 and 22 of Matthew’s Gospel (if you haven’t read it/read it recently do!) he pronounces in seven different condemnations just how blind the religious leaders are. Here is the one they have been waiting for. The one who fulfilled the scriptures they supposedly studied and loved. Yet they intended to kill him.
I want to argue that Jesus is a black swan to all of us. If the events of his life, his death, his resurrection happened – then that must radically change the direction of our lives. But is he in your blind spot?