Wednesday, November 16, 2005

honestly, i have been a little overwhelmed by my last post. i have been burying my head in cookbooks and going to bed early to avoid this keyboard.
i used to be such a prolific journaler. i would fill up huge books with my observations and questions. most of it though was because i was so horribly in love and rarely had anyone to discuss it with. i imagine that on some level i counted myself so emotionally and intellectually superior that i was forced to converse with God if i were to find an understanding soul. or, and more likely, i was just terrified of letting on that i was so fragile.
but since i have been married, it has been easier and more economical to just talk to my husband- one who can be trusted and who understands. and the horrible agony of unrequited love, while it often gives you much to write about- died with a warm and satisfying thud. as did the constant flow of the written word. it's unfortunate, but i only expend the energy to write about the things that i am passionate about. and in general i am passionate about relationships more than anything else. and in writing about those, more often than not, you expose your own selfish shortsightedness.
but something has flared up inside, and i'll do my best not to smother it with practicalities.
i have been thinking about this page i wrote in my "Life Goal Book" in 1998. i was writing with the hope that i wouldn't completely walk away from my faith while taking an Old Testament class my freshman year at Berea College. It was a great class with a great professor- but that passage about the infants heads being dashed to pieces... i just couldn't figure out what kind of God I had gotten myself involved with. essentially i was hoping that He would talk me off the ledge via the ink in my pen. He did:
***If God is sovereign, and indeed, He is, then He is the ultimate power. Whatever meager understanding we have of the way He works are just that- meager. His power is not influenced by us, we are completely influenced by His power. Nothing that we do has the ability to change Him. The only power we possess is whether to choose Him as our God, or to reject Him and find a different god. (and we all have a god, something ruling our thoughts and decisions) All history, of this world, of our lives, reflects this choice that must be made by every soul, at every moment. This passage from the Old Testament portrays a cruel God:
"Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes;
their houses will be looted and thier wives ravished."
I pondered this God, I devoured every aspect, I tasted the words and they were bitterness to me, they stung my heart- they tore apart my image of God.
My image, though, is so limited by my own experience. I have been given only a tiny piece of the grandeur of God, and what I have perceived of Him is gentle and quiet, passively allowing me to make my own decisions. (my perceptions have changed in the past 7 years) Not to contradict free will, but there is truth here in that (the mind of) God is so hugely beyond our understanding. He does not "allow" things to happen to teach us, the ruling power of the world is not God. He is the God of people- not the God of instituions (and as far as I am concerned, that is what planet Earth is). But when horrible things happen, and He does not stop them... there is no less reason to trust Him. In the worst circumstances, He can be revealed more wholly. His power is infinite (and we have no idea what that really means), and though painful to our eyes, and untempered hearts, it is a comfort. In all situations He is the greatest, He is in control (we have no real basis for comprehending this, either) and there is a certain peace in knowing that a completely good and loving purpose can be drawn out of the most brutal circumstances. He has created every good and perfect gift, and (somehow) He dwells inside of us. He has sent an interpreter (but like in real life, I am often practically deaf). Although, it often seems like my interpreter doesn't want to talk to me- leaving me to sputter and kick in the Truth that I can't understand. But, He is everfaithful and patient in allowing us to consider the alternatives.***
I was definitely waxing inspirational there, but I can still see it. The fog starting to lift. It's not to say that I was suddenly OK with the broken infant skulls and raped wives, but somehow I became less enfuriated with God and more sad at the cruelties dealt out in this world, and for the cruelties we heap on God out of our own pursuit of shiny, breakable things (fame and power included).
I have noticed a paradoxical way that God works, so often He breaks things to fix them. And since He deals mainly in human hearts, if it is to be fixed, it will first have to be broken.


Mack Richardson said...

Brilliant, Sunny. Brilliant.

Mack Richardson said...

Have you read C.S. Lewis' The Problem of Pain? I think you'll find a kindred soul in those pages.