CHAPTER NINETEEN: The Cadre
Twine is a cord made from multiple strands that have been first twisted and then plied together in the opposite direction to give it strength and keep it from unraveling. Like a community of men, it is a substance that is far stronger than its component parts.
Comprised as it is of organic and perishable material; twine has not left an archeological record. Unlike shards of pottery, it provides modern man with scant remnant with which to trace its origins. But while we don’t know precisely when ancient man first learned to spin hemp into fiber, we can surmise from its utility that twine has been with us for as long as man has been committed to improving his condition, because civilization could not have been advanced absent a method to hold its disparate parts together.
Picture all that ancient man would have needed to protect, feed, and clothe himself, and imagine him doing it without twine. How could he have secured a point to his spear, made a fishing net or a sandal if he had no way of binding things together to be used in synchronicity? We know that twine has been with man from the start, not because we have pieces of it to carbon date, but because it had to have existed then for us to exist now.
Yet, as elemental as twine is to human civilization, we hardly notice it and take it completely for granted.
When Clark Griswold told his kids that they would miss out on seeing “the second largest ball of twine on the face of the earth” if they didn’t calm down and get in the Family Truckster, they just laughed and rolled their eyes. They took twine for granted in the same way that they assumed their father’s love and protection would always be there when they needed it, simply because it always had been in the past. In their minds, twine didn’t rate a museum any more than fathers do for it is only at the very moment that things break completely apart that people realize how much we need something to hold them together.
The Minivan Centurion knows and accepts this basic truth. He expects his tireless efforts to hold his family, community, and nation together to be uncelebrated, maybe even mocked. He recognizes that the Splitter has enticed many of the very people he is charged to protect into viewing the Three Dots with which the Creator has equipped him to do his difficult work as a toxic substance that is breaking us apart, rather than the necessary ligament that holds us together.
If he were walking alone on his compromised adventure, the Minivan Centurion might be enticed into believing that lie as well and lay down the sword of his manhood to become just another Fat Ted, obedient to the dictates of the Meteorologist Jims rather than the Creator who formed him from mud to love and protect His creation.
But he does not walk alone. Instead, the Minivan Centurion heeds Solomon’s admonition that while one man can be overpowered and two can only protect themselves, a cord of three strands is not easily broken. He views himself as a humble strand of the coarse twine that forms the Cadre of Minivan Centurions who bind this nation together around the Radical Notions that the tomb was empty and that all men are created equal. These are the essentials for which he is willing to fight when evil comes to Freedom’s Park.
The Minivan Centurion also knows that if he stays on azimuth there will come a day when he will have reached his ultimate objective. On that day, the Creator, who alone knows each man’s final pace count, will return his flesh to mud, and welcome his spirit back home to account for all that he has done while in the body, both good and bad.
On that day, the Minivan Centurion yearns for nothing more than to have his Creator tell him that has done well, that he used his Three Dots as the Lord intended, for the love and protection of those little ones He placed into his hands.
If we have been faithful, this is what each member of the Cadre shall hear: I gave you a sword and you used it in the name of peace. Blessed thou art peacemaker. Lay it down now good and faithful servant, for you are home and for you the battle is over. Rest now.
Rest now, for the Cadre fights on to hold The Middle.