Miracles confuse me. The ones selected as worthy for publication.
I have talked to people who claim to know – but GSHJ remains reticent on the whole issue. I have heard from people who say that prayer is where the magic happens – as far as I can tell GSHJ just shrugs His shoulders. Others say that “connection” and “flow” is how it all takes place – a connection of power – GSHJ continues to examine His fingernails as He lolls on the sofa behind me. Special words? Need to be an apostle or a saint? Work my way up to be a kind of God Celeb before I can switch on the power? Nope – that doesn’t get Him busting any moves either.
“On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to the disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Mark 4:35-41
I can empathise with the (damp) dusty peeps. Because when GSHJ shows his raw “God face” – His raw God Power – I shrink back a little with “who then is this”?
And I think of that poor tree. The one whose season for fruit was months away. How GSHG “blasted it” (because He was hungry??). Zapping a tree has to be on the Miracle List – but the “love vibe” seems absent. And here – giving the forces of nature a rollicking – followed by a telling off for the damp peeps? Does Jesus have the occasional “bad hair day”? (well that got a chuckle from Mr Implacable – still checking his nails, but that thought seems to have caught His funny bone). Okay, so no bad hair days (I so wish that was the answer – it would excuse my own grumpy days so much more easily!).
So just where is the Love in these moments? What am I missing? (and that seems to have caught His interest – as I scan the verses again, He is behind me and – this is hard to describe – kind of “synchs my eyes and mind” to one phrase: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”)
Sleeping on the job, Lord? Not quite up to your usual standard, Lord. Remember all the stuff you have been preaching – would be good if you sent some our way! Just a humble reminder, dear Father: when we are freaking out, your job is to take away our fear. Is there any chance you could join us for a minute or two – like Right Now?
And I hear Him speak:
“When I am gone and leave you a different form of Me – will you remember tonight? When I have died and risen – will you remember the small stuff – like tonight? Or will you think you have got Me all understood – all neat and tidy? Will you remember the withered tree – or will you waltz around with all the answers? Will you preach the “Good News” – but live it in a very different way (do “the Pharisees” ring any bells)? Will you catch fish for the numbers – or outflow Love because Love does?
(And a small aside … just where did “The Great Commission” come from? Me, or you? I hear that phrase and see “your own withered tree”. Where is the love … what is that all about … can someone explain why you even need that phrase? Thank you.)
Paul, the short answer is this: I could give you everything. But how would that benefit you – how would it “increase your love” – your relationship with others (let alone Me) – your faith – your own power? How would we be “more perfect” if you were able to read this bible “book of conversations” – and know all the answers. How is knowing everything “love”?”
And I pause. And ponder again …
It is so easy to keep “God in a box” – no matter how “unboxy” I wish to be. So easy to have a few conversations and then finish His sentences without checking.
How it is required to never (EVER!) say:
“Me and Him? We are so connected! You aren’t – probably never will be – it takes ages and ages – it takes humility – it takes serving others – it requires me to stand at the back of the queue – just as I am doing now. See this spot here? This is the back of the queue. I know that – but you don’t. And that’s why you need to be saved by me. Because I am better than you. I am part of the Great Commission – that’s just who I am. Don’t thank me for saving you – it is my duty. I love you – isn’t that obvious – everyone at church says so – I just ooze love!”
And I pause. And ponder again …
I need that withered tree – that giving the forces of nature a hard time. I need these conversations – the unanswered questions in this book of conversations. It saves me from screwing God over – saves me from screwing you over – but most of all …
It saves me from screwing me over.