I had a problem with my phone. It kept telling me I was running out of space – that I should “manage my storage”. Which caused me to think about my “storage”. It is gigabytes of video clips. Little moments our family has shared. That is precious personal loving living “stuff” – stuff the world will never see on Facebook or YouTube. “That” is us – our family – personal AND precious. I don’t want to “manage” that.
So rather than delete, I extracted them to our computer first. And now I am making 15-20 minute compilations of the 700+ clips no longer on my phone. But the “naming convention” my phone and computer use for files means they are in no particular order – no neat chronological sequence. The same grandchild is years old and then days old. A grandchild is a baby and then another is also a baby. Back to back, one after the other, a complete jumble – a random chaotic gorgeous surprising and delightful jumble. The “chaos” adds so much that I had not expected. And I have no desire to “straighten it all out” – because seeing each of our family from this new perspective is enchanting!
So let’s talk God. As in “The Bible God”. The God we read about. This God:
At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to Jesus, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” He said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’ Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’” Luke 13:31-35
There are four Gospels. None the same as each other. Stuff gets jumbled. Stuff gets chaotic. Doesn’t fit any neat chronology. Isn’t any neat design that we like (that we need to fit God into the boxes we design and carry …?)
Why does Luke this and John that … Why does Matthew copy this and Mark not that … Where is the beginning and where is the end … Why won’t this fit … ?
What do I do with all this “stuff”? How do I manage my box of “spiritual storage”? Can I embrace the chaotic non-chronological absence of disorderly sequence – or must I catalogue each moment and “straighten out God” as I journey with Him?
More and more that seems at odds for something so precious and personal. A filing job. A forensic job. A disconnected piece of work. More and more it makes the words of my God Soft Hands Jesus into (just) “The Bible” – an artefact – something to venerate and worship … “This is the Word of the Lord.” … “Thanks be to God.”
More and more I am enjoying this random chaotic collection of biblical clips. More and more I feel connected to “our family” in the chaos. More and more I am becoming more open to hear and see and feel our God (whom we call Jesus – whom we call the Holy Spirit – whom we need to be arranged in a certain order and hierarchy that we then call The Holy Trinity).
More and more I find God better in the chaos of love. The chaos of a perfectly placed bouquet. The chaos of rowdy fellowship with no obvious conclusion. The disorder of someone with a perspective quite unlike my own. The jumble of biblical family life with all the imperfections and frustrations of living together – and all the joy and connection of belonging together.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name … Impossible for a prophet to be killed … You will not see me until … Hens … Chicks … Wings … Get away from here … Go and tell that fox for me … I finish my work … Stones those … Hens … Chicks … (which came first – the chicken or the egg …?) This is the Word of the Lord. Woops – zoned out there … “Thanks be to God.”
Doesn’t quite fit the messy jumble as it used to. I wonder whether it ever did.
Unless I prefer my God that way.