There is Liddy ~ & then there is everything else. I am struggling. Too many mornings I am waking up with a burden of grief on my heart: for Japan, for Christchurch, for those the Avoca loved too well & those Yasi overwhelmed; for my friends in Rocky & Mission Beach & the un~named faces that stare out at me from the matchstick debris of their lives. We live in perilous times & we have been warned; the worst is yet to come.
The natural disasters are big & in a sense so out of my control I can accept their awfulness. What I have trouble with is a quite different sort of awfulness because it is within my control to do something about it. I'm just not sure what.
Now I live with this all the time so it doesn't take very much at all to trigger a wave of angst & there are 2 parts to this. I can not begin to tell you how much I envy Liddy & those like her who do not seem to be plagued by these burdens ~ even knowing full well they have other burdens to struggle with. These seem to particularly plague those of us with a propensity for contemplating our navels! Dino has similar issues ~ & I am no help because I am busily wallowing in my own morass, drowning in too much muchness.
Ember hit a nail on the head, smacky~doo~dah! I always just feel like a rather grubby little sinner. No big Pauline sins, just a constant stream of prickles littering my life, destroying my witness, undermining my faith. Just Ugh. It hardly seems worth bothering Jesus, yet again! with such a boring list of failures that I know perfectly well will continue to plague my life because I am not motivated enough to deal with them. Small. Petty. Grubby. Dull. Insipid. I'm not even an interesting sinner, let alone an inspired sinner ~ or inspiring salvation story. I have just one plea; Dear Christ, whatever happens, never, ever let me go!
I just want to take the Holy Spirit & ram Him down into the very marrow of my bones till His fire consumes me from within. It's probably a good thing I can't.
To this unsavoury mix add this delicate balancing act from John 17:21 : that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me". Everywhere I look there are Christians denouncing other Christians as they each make claim that they, & they alone, have the Truth. The Truth. Not a truth, not part of the truth, but The Truth. Well they may but they proclaim it in such a way that nothing makes me want to be associated with that truth. Mostly I don't even choose to read this stuff; it just gets thrown in my face & I can't tell you how much it distresses me. See I don't read my bible as theology. I don't read it as Basic Information Before Leaving Earth. I don't even read it as great literature ~ which it is. I read it as a letter from my God who wishes to chat with me about any number of issues close to His heart & share what is on His mind with those He chooses to call "Friends". I read it as one trained in literature & comfortable with the nuances of paradox & metaphor & I read it as one who believes what God said to Job in the midst of Job's ranting: Come, let us reason together.
There are all sorts of errors in Christ's church ~ & some will prove to be fatal ~ but being human & fallible we tend to move to extremes & lose a balanced viewpoint, a reasonable viewpoint, & the love of Christ flees our hearts. We throw out kindness & gentleness, the products of love, in our zeal & we judge before we know what the other believes or is asking & the Name of God is blasphemed because of us. And when I read my bible I see Paul talking about the body & the different gifts & I don't necessarily think about individual ecclessia but about the wider body of Christ, to each of whom Christ has revealed something of Himself. It creates a huge mess in my mind.
See I don't care about your doctrine ~ right, wrong or indifferent. Can I see the Christ~light shining through you? Do you see it in me? When I speak is it with the clashing of cymbals or is it with the love of Christ? Is my ministry blessed because it flows from the very hands of Christ Himself or am I striving in my wilful flesh?
And I come back to the same resting point each time: Christ alone. I can neither add to, nor take away from. I must hold the All, the bits I like & the bits I don't like, what I understand & what I don't, the contradictions & conflicts because it is all true ~ or none of it is true. I think we all struggle with this to a greater or lesser degree depending on what denomination we belong to, what we have been taught & how we have been taught it but Christ said it was simple enough for a little child to grasp it. It is we who complicate it & make it difficult.
And so I must place all these griefs in His hands, knowing even as I do how they must grieve the heart that prayed that His church would be one, that His church would be united, & that it's dominating tenet would be love.