God is okay with that


One bucket of earth connects us all – dust to dust, ashes to ashes being more than a funeral ritual. One mirror we hide from connects us all – the mirror of knowledge looking back at us, of primping and pricking both at the same time.

Just another day in the life and journey of unconditional love. The resentment bubbling up from time to time. The kicking against self-imposed “obligations” of that Love freely given.

The why – always the why. Why then … why still now … why?

My brother told me something years after it happened. That I had been the focus of anger and blame by another for a long time. And eventually – years later – the angry blamer realised they had turned on me as a safe alternative to the person at whom they were really angry and blaming. I never knew before or during or after.

That memory fluttered around as I read something at first sight seeming so dissimilar.
(Paula Moldenhauer: http://abenewjourney.com/2014/05/26/2488/ – writing about the small stuff – and allowing me to see “The Big Stuff” through through her courage and honesty)

One small “mundaneness” tips me over the edge – my “coping with so much else” all focused on one small mundane “something” at which I can “safely” let rip. At myself, and at my God. My sacrificial valve on the pressure cooker of my living.

Some “sacrificial something” safe enough not to displace the important stuff. That balance I need. The comfort I need. The need for “I am okay really.” The “I really do love you God – honest!”. All embroidered within the why. Within the guilt of thinking why. Of being angry. Of feeling alone. Left alone.

All connected within today’s verses:

But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, “Where are you going?” But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:5-7

Because it always begins with feeling rejected. “But now I am going … sorrow has filled your hearts”

Sorrow and self-pity. It is to your advantage that I go away

It is always about feeling rejected and left alone. If I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you”

“I will be back, Jesus? Really?”

We hear that phrase so often. Know that phrase so well. The nice way of saying “I have stuff that is more important than you. Be brave. Be strong. Be alone. Believe. Believe I will be back. Believe I haven’t left you. Be alone and believe.”

Problem is that we are both parents and children. Parents to our own children. Children of God. We know both the theory and feel the rejection. We know both the theory of being left, and the truth that we were never left. We know and we feel, we feel and we know. And it gets messy.

Maybe that is why the “why” was then, is now – and evermore will be. Just like Love is, God is, maybe that word – WHY???? – is always going to be another “it just is.”

I love these daily walks with my lord.

And what do He and I do with today’s connections?

Seems to me that God sees it both ways as well. He is the parent and he is the child. He is God and He is Jesus. And He knows we know. He knows we ask why. That we always will. That we will screw ourselves up. Time after time after time. Seeing both sides, feeling both sides – and still feeling alone. Still asking WHY?

That we will “fight” to keep that “bad stuff” out of sight as we did as children. We will fight to stay close to Him. Fight to justify feeling distanced from Him. Fight to answer the Why? And get messy inside as we do. Try and hide it as we do. Not “let the side down” as we do.

I need people like Paula and Rebekah to tell their stories so I “get that.” So I can get that God is totally okay with that. Doesn’t expect more. Doesn’t need like we need. Doesn’t count like we count. Doesn’t Love like we love. Is happy that we are who we are. Always.

As a parent I know. As a child I will always ask why.

God is okay with that. I know. Today.

.

With thanks to:

Paula Moldenhauer:http://abenewjourney.com/

And to another whose words grab me in exactly the same way:

Rebekah: http://hiddenwithyou.com/

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27 thoughts on “God is okay with that

    • Thanks Don. Seems to me that writing about the mundane takes more courage than some of the words I do. It’s easier to “draw” things together – to play in the batcave.

      Writing about their daily niggles – that exposes so much, says so much, and (when I read their words) makes me think as much as any of the words I read and write. Kind of blew me away.

      That orchestra again!! Beautiful!!

    • Julie thank you. I love the way He sits alongside and nudges, guides, whispers, plays, goes into silent mode – and all the other connecting ways and people He seems to think we merit! Kinda cool He does that with each of us!! 🙂

  1. I’m so honored by your post here today. So grateful that God encourages your opening up and thinking about the big things by my little ramblings. And I love Rebekah’s blog, so what to be listed next to her makes me smile, too.

    I found your choice of Scripture here interesting. I have been reading through John 14-17 a lot the past couple of years but I hadn’t thought about that section in quite the way you presented it. Thank you for expanding my thinking.

    • Paula (woops!) – the pleasure is all mine. I get a sense He is pulling me in a slightly different direction (and just hoping he isn’t guiding me to be as brave as you!). Yours and Rebekah’s words have really done something deep down inside. He keeps connecting, and I sense he has a timing and rhythm to these connections. Probably when He thinks I am ready for a little more thinking!

      And the choice of scripture? I wish! I follow an online site called SacredSpace who present a daily prayer/reading/reflection. I take what I am given – and yet each day the timing and rhythm of those verses also seems “perfect”!

      Thank you – you are making a difference to me in a wonderful way!

      • So . . . with your name being Paul and mine Paula I have to tell you a wonderful discovery I made. I’d always seen the official meaning of our names in those name book as “small” or “of small stature.” But I found a new meaning on a bookmark, “dependent on God.” Don’t you love that? I love it that we are not small. That we can be vulnerable, but not weak. We are dependent on God. And that makes us humble and strong all at once!! (Humble is another meaning I’ve see for Paula)

      • Hahahhh! Now that prompted a chuckle! 🙂

        Paula – you triggered a memory of a certain vicar: our renewal of vows some years ago … and this vicar went to each of our family and our names … presented each in such a wonderful and loving way … all connected. And he saved me until last. “Paul.” And said what you wrote: “Small. End of.” And the ringing laughter around the church. It was perfect. It still is a very precious memory!

        Thank you! And “humble and strong” – I like!! 🙂

  2. Paul, you have such a tender soul. I have love the Gospel of John, but reading your meditations on it have peeled back quite a few more layers for me. Some of those sections are truly heartbreaking for me, thinking of that “sorrow”.

    I cannot believe you shared my blog here (*shyly pulling back my lips*) Thank you, I am so moved, truly. To think that anything I write means anything to anyone else is truly humbling. I also follow Paula’s blog, and enjoy her words as well. She has the wisdom of one who is farther along the life path than I am.

    • Rebekah – Just over a year ago I started writing. And felt very vulnerable. All these super words flying around. Inspired. Of God. With God. Wise and loving. And I added my words.

      Something happened. Not immediately. But stuff happened. God stuff. My age didn’t matter. My bible knowledge (or definite lack of) didn’t matter. Who I am, what I do for a living, my family, my life and living – none of that mattered.

      What mattered was God. Only God (or the Lord, or Christ, or the Father or any and all of the names we prefer). I had been searching unsuccessfully for such sharing in my own church, my “real life”. And yet within (what I and others – I think – call) this community – I go to church everyday – have communion every day – grow every day – come closer every day – become braver every day – and then find the lord points me to another. All here. In the “virtual world”. “New” people like you. Like Skye. Like Paula.

      And that pulls away another layer. And lets me see even more beneath.

      If I could ask you one single thing it is this: don’t spend too long thinking your words are just your words. They are of God if you allow. And as you drop your pebble of words into this still pond – the ripples He brings to others. Like me. And then He goes to work with His ripples. The ones you caused by dropping your pebble.

      So many pebbles being dropped. And each pebble is neither greater no less than any other (no matter the confusion of qualifications some seem to have acquired and think it gives their words an extra “oomph”). Little Monk explained something once.

      That a “pastor” can reach a certain type of need, a certain type of question. Yet that same pastor will be unable to reach others. Simply because of the title. And that is where you come in. And I come in. And all of us come in. Titles are what we give each other. What God gives us is our own special pebble. That makes our own special ripples. Just the right kind for Him to do His work with everyone. One at a time.

      (And I wonder where that little speech came from! If it has any meaning for you and your lord – cool beans. If not – then delete it without a further thought. It’s just another pebble)

      🙂

      • So grateful for this community too, Paul. How we can all find acceptance as we try to peel back layers and understand more the mysteries of God that we will never fully understand. And yes, you are so right about them being God’s words. Sometimes I struggle with that. I want them to be mine. But if the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, if everything in the world is His, then the words are his too.

        p.s. I thoroughly enjoyed your speech 🙂

  3. Your daily walks with God inspire me, Paul. Tears welled in my eyes as I read the passage from John, thinking about the leaving and how it feels to be the one who leaves, but especially how it feels to be the one who is left. The emptiness of presence is suffocating. To walk in the space that was once occupied and feel the weight of absence. To catch the lingering scent and know that tomorrow the space will refill with something else.

    You write with the transparency and verbalized internal wrestling I admire. You don’t sugar coat, write “fluff”, or post just to post. You post because, like Jacob, you wrestle with God and don’t let go until you are changed. You aren’t afraid to admit when you are wounded. Then you get back in the ring the next day. And invite God back in, too. You are fighting out those “Why’s” in the ring and revealing the “messy insides” to us.

    Thank you so much, Paul, for being an inspiration to my faith or for being a writer whose words I never want to miss.

    (Sorry I’m still catching up. I know I’m WAY behind. But I treasure your words and don’t want to offer you anything less than heart words, too.)

    • Heather, I have seen your catching up!! And it makes my heart sing. Thank you.
      Rather than try and match your words on each, I am going to roll around your comments and see where he takes me. Because you always send such wonderful ripples with your thoughts. Always.

      🙂

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