Oh the pressure to write!
And what to write about? The stats take a dive when I don’t write. What if they never come back? How am I serving my God if I don’t keep writing? How am I a good Christian if I don’t go to church, don’t read the bible and don’t write regularly? Can I still be one of the Chosen? Or is my membership lapsing as my visible commitment wains?
All because I am not writing (and not going to church … and with no diary full of good works).
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:4-6
How can I be “rewarded” … how will I know I have been “rewarded” … and when will this reward be given? Because if not visibly and in front of others – how will anyone know – how will I know?
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.” Matthew 23:27-29
How can I avoid looking “beautiful” on the outside yet “dead” inside? Why must there be a difference … why is so often there a difference? Why must I learn how you do things around here? Why must I learn to not irritate those who hear only what they want to hear? Why is my (visible) “commitment” measured in (visible) attendance, in (visible) giving, in (visible) joining-in and (visibly) being one of you?
Why do you – why do I – measure at all?
“In days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed the firstborn of both people and animals in Egypt. This is why I sacrifice to the Lord the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.’ And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead that the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his mighty hand.” Exodus 13:14-16
Why must I accept this God who kills those who displease Him? Who wipes out entire nations through the bloodshed and death of human beings just like me – just like you?
Why can I not read this bible as I would any “party manifesto” – created for a purpose, written to control, a document of belonging – a document of and for the Chosen People. Why can I not call a lot of it fiction – a visible deal with visible conditions? And why can I not call it that – yet still see something wonderful inside – why must there be a visible difference I don’t talk about – why must God be such a mystery – and why do “we” excuse this “God of mystery” with such polished (visible) skill?
And why must I not talk of these things as I learn how you do things around here?
(and why don’t you?)