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Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Speck in the Universe

It's late, I've running on a rather minimal amount of sleep, and I must be up with the sun to trot around the loop with our new class. Yet, as is often the case when it really isn't the time to be writing, I feel the need to do so. People asked me today what my hobbies are. I quickly threw out the usual, reading & writing & eating out. I added, "and ethnic foods" just to make me sound a little more interesting. Reality is, though, that writing is what drives my soul.

So tonight I look at my blank screen, watching the words form as my fingers reach for the necessary keys to create the meaning, and I wonder why I feel the need to write. I know, but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to say so.

I read an article today that someone else posted a link to on FB. It was a controversial article on a site known for its controversial stance. The author seemed to be struggling between asking to be understood and an ego trip in their new-found freedom to leave organized religion. Or so it seemed. People's comments were flying back and forth on my friend's posted link, discussing the author's intent and purpose in writing such an article.

I said a few words, still carefully edited as I have not yet found that I can share freely on spiritual matters without fearing that there will be repercussions. Perhaps the environment I grew up in, that I still exist in at times, created the barrier and forced me to limit my searching to a small circle of trusted friends who are on a similar journey. I understood, though. Oh how I understood.

The author was blunt, too blunt at times perhaps. They were trying to reconcile the sanitized, part of the 144,000, following the blueprint, converting the world in the end-times picture of the perfect Adventist with the reality of life. The examples they gave made me cry. They wanted to know why the foster mom with the $500 diamond ring was kept out of church office while the pompous lawyer who drove a $50,000 BMW chaired the nominating committee.

I sat on the nominating committee at my home church once. They were asking for names for elders. I carefully read the description of elders in my little red NIV Bible, then asked, what about Bob? (not his real name) Everyone sort of bemusedly pushed my suggestion aside and went on to nominate the CEOs, the lawyers, and other acceptable people. Bob had the biggest heart of anyone I'd ever known, he loved his kids, he was genuine in his love for God. But he never went past grade school and he was divorced. I sat there, watching as the nominating committee played the politics game, placing the chess pieces strategically on the board, protecting the queen, while leaving the pawns defenseless. And I cried inside.

My heart breaks for the searching. It breaks for the earnest who sincerely want to do the right thing in the best way they know how. I know we are each on our individual journey and we cannot prescribe to one what they must do, but I long to see more of a seeking to understand each other's experiences in ways that we can encourage rather than destroy fragile hearts.

I too have been where I desperately wanted to fit in and be accepted, but no matter how hard I tried I never felt like I quite measured up. There seemed to be something wrong, and it always seemed to be me. I tried to account it to my sinfulness, as I heard many times that there was nothing good in me. It took me years to re-translate that thought into: God has created me and I am a beautiful creation. It took me years to realize that the wrongs were with the system and faulty reasoning.

I still haven't arrived at a perfect understanding of Who God is and how I fit into this world. Some days though, it is enough just to accept that God is God. And Love.

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