Sometimes I just have to write. The words nag at me and won't let me focus on other projects until I tend to them. This is one of those days.
The problem of darkness and sin has been poking at my heart lately. It started, ironically, with a very casual discussion about PMS. A young lady stated she didn't think there was PMS in God's original plan, in the garden of Eden. Frankly, I had never considered the thought. All things considered, PMS is a fairly benign annoyance in life. Even on the days that one doesn't want to get out of bed. I only considered the curse to be a "worsening." Perhaps it is because I am a nurse and physiology is pretty routine in my life, but giving birth, even an easy one, could never be completely without discomfort. Bones separate and tissue tears. Premature births seem to cause even more discomfort. But her words did give me pause: what is life supposed to be like?
At a family picnic, I was speaking to my nephew who was updating me on his life. He is a Christian and began relating some struggles he has been having lately with motivation and passion related to his job. His coworker and he decided it was spiritual warfare. I suppose. Certainly I believe that there is such a thing, but I hesitate to claim it too frequently. Perhaps I simply am bored with the mundane idea of working for a paycheck which is nearly gone by the time it is cashed. Life can be tedious. But does that mean satan is behind it? Does that mean it is part of the curse?
And then a young man I know killed another person in a car accident. My heart goes out to the family of the individual lost, but my heart also hurts for the young man who is lost even while he is seen here. Addiction, trauma, brokenness, sin...all poisoned the life of this person who could so carelessly take someone else's.
My prayers were fitful last night. Not restful in joy and gratitude as earlier this week. Last night I wrestled. I pleaded. What are we to do with all this? Why are You so far away? We are so puny and unable to fix this. We consider eradication of the opposition-the ones we disagree with, the ones who hurt us, the ones who we perceive act poorly, the ones who are different, the ones who are less than-to be the answer. And of course it isn't. All that does is create the opposition within us. We become the one who hurts, acts poorly, is different, is less than. We live, not in the Light, but in the darkness of fear, suspicion and pain.
Sometimes I flippantly say, I am hoping Jesus comes back soon, but what that means is that I don't want to deal with this crap. I don't see those other people worth the struggle to extend grace. I don't want to be bothered.
Last night, something else was being birthed in my heart. Although I certainly won't argue if Jesus would like to show up today at 11am, I prayed for courage...courage to live with the challenges and hurts of the inbetween land. And a renewed vision to see the world correctly. Us versus them offers to comfort me, to give me security, whether at church or in the world, but it is a lie. The division makes me self centered and self focused. I want to be brave to love the unlovable, to embrace the painfully broken, to trust God in all things, not just the easy things that go my way.
For God so loved the WORLD...not just the Christians or the Americans or the republicans or the sober or the good families or the ones with a job and purpose...and God gave his son...himself, his beloved...to save us...the broken, the lazy, the struggling, the lost, the addicted, the hopeless, the busy, and the confused pray-ers in the night, like me.