Licence to Kill is a kind of obscure little Dylan song about Man. It is, at the same time, simple and profound, but in an ambiguous way. You can’t pin down exactly what Bob is meaning, but the richness of the imagery draws you in to ponder.
‘Man thinks, ‘Cause he rules the Earth, He can do with it as he please.’ Not sure if he means men, or mankind, but it holds water either way. Arrogance.
‘And if things don’t, Change soon, He will,’ it adds, gently but chillingly. ‘Man has invented his doom, First step was touching the moon.’
You can see the story of the Tower of Babel in the background. But against this story of this song, I want to introduce you to Joshua. A little Man.
Joshua is a paraplegic. He communicates mainly with his twinkling eyes and his chuckles and ‘dirty’ laugh. He wasn’t born disabled, but became so as a battered baby, and was adopted.
The fact that he is, and has been, the most stylishly dressed paraplegic in Bolton tells you, before you’ve met him, how loved he is, and has been, throughout his life, which has lasted two or three times what was expected, but is due to end any day now.
That profound love for him has been a life-giver to his mum. You need to read that sentence again, just to make sure you have got it the right way round.
Make no mistake, his mum has come to share her infectious love for Jesus to many many people, though she will admit that her own life has been characterised by chaos more than order. Over-use of the wrong Reset Button (see yesterday’s blog) in earlier days. But her life has been, and remained, secure. Because she has never stopped loving and caring for Josh. Round-the-clock care, done without a day’s regret.
Josh’s story is not mine to tell, but I wanted to give you a glimpse of a little man who has touched the lives of every one he’s met, and been an inspiration to all of them. Totally dependent and vulnerable. The opposite to Dylan’s man.
Joshua. License to Heal.