Friday, September 11, 2009

Words from Afar

Thanks to my friends who reminded me today that God has not changed. God is a good God, by definition. His character is good. Do we then understand what happens? Should I agonize over the sad and painful things in life, the things that don't make sense? No. I need to cling to the cross. It is my proof of the goodness of God. When all looks false, dim, dull, and dark, the cross is my evidence of things hoped for. It is the evidence of things not seen.

The tradition I grew up in denied the importance of the cross, forbidding the cross displayed in the sanctuary. The empty grave, they said, that is what matters. That is what we focus on. I hope I am not mis-stating their position. They taught the cross, yet it was the empty tomb that they saw as all important. Yes the resurrection is important, but how many times is the cross mentioned? The cross is mentioned several times, and Paul mentioned the preaching of the cross, as he did the resurrection. You don't have one without the other. The preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who don't believe, but it is the power of God to those who believe.

I the resurrection the evidence that the cross was sufficient?

The cross is evidence of the love of Christ. It is evidence of the plan of God to reconcile his children--me--to himself. It is the substance of my hope. I can't grasp the overwhelming wonder and goodness of this news. One of these days, hopefully soon, I want to grasp this enough to not be so thrown by the woundings of others, by circumstances, by tragedies, by fear.

Thank you to my friends for the needed reminder. Although I wouldn't say my faith has been shaken, I have been discouraged by circumstances. I have wondered, despite my trust, if God was going to allow some very bad things to happen, and if I was going to have to somehow assess the unthinkable as good.

I cannot understand this God. He can be known and yet is unknowable. We can understand things, yet not understand all. He is the ultimate mystery. His ways are beyond knowing. Some people with greater faith or minds less inclined to struggle through things do not have the great trials of faith that I have. Ultimately I believe certain things are true, but I have times when I really struggle to try to fit the pieces of who God is, how he has described himself and his ways together. Some of the pieces are incomprehensible to me, but that doesn't stop me from trying to grasp them.

I don't get shaken in the same way anymore, but I go through periods of grief, struggling to deal with or understand trials. Perhaps it is because I simply don't have a real grasp on the truth of the cross and of the resurrection.

Rainy Day

The world sounds wet today
Soggy, foggy, boggy
Dripping, slipping
Sun is somewhere far away

I am somewhere far away
In Maine, in a plane, on a train
Laughing, playing
Words are showing me the way

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

After Home

I did not know when I left
that it was the last
I thought I was saying see you later
not, Goodbye, so long, farewell.
I am broken up. Defenseless
against the onslaught of
wounded dreams
broken hopes.
Like my breath is gone
caught short
a hit from behind
and I'm flat on my face
with my nose in the dirt
figuratively speaking
but numb, out of sorts