December 21, 2012

Who are You?

{I want God, not my idea of God}
C.S. Lewis

I wonder sometimes. Why let sin happen? Why let Satan feed us lies? Why destroy kingdoms, let innocents be killed?

I do not have the answer.

Sometimes this bothers me. I want to know why. What is the purpose? And the question so many ask: How can a loving God allow this to happen?

Sometimes my selfish and human heart wishes God were more, well, different. I sometimes wish He would just save everybody. He could do that, right? But I remember He is a God of Justice, and punishment must be given. Consequences to actions, debt to be payed. The best and yet saddest part of the story is that our debt has been payed, and still men's hearts are cold to Him. This leads to other thoughts.

Do we choose Him? Did He choose us? Both? Does every human have the opportunity to choose Him? Is it fair? Is God fair? Who is God anyway? Who is he really?

There are people on the other side of the world who are as, if not more, dedicated to their beliefs than I am. How can I say that I am right and they are wrong? Of all the people to be right, I am not the most likely choice. How can I believe that they have been deceived all their lives?

Because I have been deceived. I have believed lies about myself and other people. We are all trying to fill our void, a void that is only able to be filled by Him. They have filled their lives with religions and beliefs, whereas what I have found, what I have been given, is more than a religion. it is a God, a real God who listens, speaks and loves me. He knows I don't deserve it. Christianity--not in the general known sense of the word, but in the truly wholehearted relationship with God, the Trinity: Father, Spirit, Christ--is the only belief that declares the truth about humanity. We are all sinners; selfishness is our downfall.

Think about every problem in the world. Poverty. Is this not caused by the selfish actions of the rich and powerful? Could it not be cured by selflessness? What about murderers? There is selfish gain whether psychotic pleasure, protecting oneself, or bettering one's circumstances by being rid of a person. Robbery? No-brainer selfishness.

I have been wrestling with God, as Jacob did (check out Genesis for that story). God will always put my hip out of joint , He will always prove His Holiness, His sovereignty   "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5. Some might think it a cop-out to claim that God is so other from us that we cannot understand Him. But they have no faith.

Can you really look around you and claim that everything developed itself? That the endless palette of the evening sky is pure accident? I understand there are complex scientific processes, and I believe God's hand is in those processes. "The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens; by His knowledge the deep broke open and the clouds drop down the dew." Proverbs 3:19-20. To say that He created it in a poof, that is generalizing the thought and depth of detail that He created all with.

What I am trying to say I guess, after all of that is that I still have questions. They are hard questions some of them. I also have faith. For whether He answers my questions or not, He is who He is. Whether I am convinced or not, He is God.  He is steady when I am fickle and changing. "I am who I am" He said. He cannot be defined by our words, our thoughts, our emotions, our vision. He is wholly other. Holy.

And I want Him.

Not some god made up by my ideals and wishes. Him. I believe in Him, not my version of Him. And I will follow Him. It is so hard and yet so simple. I don't need answers. I need to trust.

"But as for me, I trust in You." Psalm 55:23b

December 17, 2012

to write

Constantly, I check my reading list of blogs, hoping for something inspirational, moving or intriguing to  appear. I crave the souls of people, and the warmth of their words. No new posts have appeared as of yet, even when I tap the page closed and open again with two minutes. (as we all know, this works... well, never.)

So I decided to write my own warmth tonight.

Lately, the itch to write has been incessant, nagging my fingers to tap out words, phrases, sentences, fragments, run-ons, anything. Yet I have nothing to say. Nothing I want to say.

I do not wish to say this or that because I am afraid of what people might think. Will it sound corny? Tacky? Badly written? Ridiculous?

I try to pretend that no one will read this. I am not fooling anyone. I know I will post a link to this post on Facebook and more people than my usual two or three regulars will soak in the letters I have sent to float on this ocean of white. It makes me nervous. Writing makes me even more vulnerable than usual.

{... only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things.}
Anton Chekhov

I fear writing foolish things. 

Dickens, Bronte, Gaskell, Tolkein, and Lewis are mountains of writing I may never reach, a daunting thought. But I have a little hill of my own to climb. I must write. And so I will, I do-- every time realizing that my fear will come true: I will write a great deal of foolishness. It must not matter. I have been blessed with a gift with words in my own way and time. To pretend it to be otherwise is spitting in the face of the One who gave it. He has asked me to use my gift and I will. 

I do not have to be the greatest writer in history. I do not even have to ever publish a book. If I can use my words to lift others up and show them love, then I have used my gift well. I simply have to trust Him. When He asks me to write, I will write and trust Him to move through me in whatever way is best. It is in my hands then out of my hands so mysteriously and beautifully. I can write--be myself, who I am meant to be--and not worry, not fear.  

This is freedom.

December 10, 2012


Procrastination, an art of which I am a master. Whether a Jedi or Impressionist, say I cannot, but a master I am. (Yoda is obviously voting Jedi...) Quibbling specificity aside, the very last sort of words I should be typing are blog words. I should be writing about architecture, Dickens and Noah. Interesting, perhaps only to myself and my sister, but not thrilling.

Instead, my mind wanders to strange ports of thought. I have a running picture of what my mind looks like. Perhaps someday I will explain, but it is an attic. In it are many objects, one of which is a small box, the word HELLO wood-burned into the top. All my thoughts about this funny word are kept in this small, dark box with a sliding lid.

hello. I love this word. I cannot explain any truly deep or philosophical reasoning, except that it seems a cheerful and optimistic word. Hello is always cast from lips with hope, hope of a response. It is a greeting word, meant to acknowledge another person. Stemming from this admiration for the word, I have a soft spot for songs with the word "hello" in them.

I can only think of a few songs with the words hello in them now, but I know there are more. Hello is just a word meant to be sung.

hello Seattle, I am a mountaineer....

hello, it's me again, a whole lot's changed...

and all I did was say hello...

Of course I don't like just any song with hello in it. But still, I like the word hello. It is simple, yet sometimes takes all our courage to say. Perhaps these are just the incoherent ramblings of a weary college student who feels as though school withdrew an enormous sum from her brain and ran off like a vagabond into the sunset. Perhaps not.