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Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Hostage

Tomorrow I could be killed. I could be crippled. I could be accused of a crime I did not commit, the fates conspire to convict me and I am a fugitive or a prisoner. These things happen, and there no safety in prayer or piety. Tomorrow I could find the people I love gone, disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again - perhaps destroyed. I could slip across the life’s blood of what is dearest to me. Tomorrow I could take one last shuddering breath, let go a slow silent sigh before I succumb to the darkness and despair that grips at my heart and crushes my chest. I could repent my integrity, my faithfulness, my salvation, and descend into an orgy of flesh and rage that would turn innocence to stone. I could curse the day that bore me and consign myself to hell.

We are hostage to a fallen world, that lies in the lap of evil, ruled by a dark Principality. God does not govern here - merely intervenes, sometimes. And what we have to sustain us, is a promise. We hope that we will be happy, or that our happiness, if we have it, will continue. We hope there is a hedge around us, to preserve us from a pain beyond our capacity to endure. We have been told we will not be tested to the breaking point. But how weak we are, how small. How alone we are, in this evil place of anguish and torment. Yet it isn’t hell, yet. Shall we find comfort, in this?

God calls himself a father, to us. How can we argue against God? We count our pain as chastisement, and it is for our good. For God is our Father. That he is so distant, is our fault. For he is God, and everywhere. If we have no comfort, did he not send a Comforter? But this is what I know. He calls himself the God of Consolation. Why am I not consoled? A father reaches out, and you feel his hand take yours. What father doesn’t do this?

Have you noticed it? I can’t be the only one. Because I’m not quite as crazy as the world is. I’m still civilized. But some of these things have happened, and not tomorrow. How will we bear it?

Sometimes, salvation is just a habit.


J

6 comments:

Miroslav said...

You know you aren't the only one.

Well written angst here friend.

May our hope in Christ be met in eternity.

Jack H said...

At the risk of being obvious - heaven forfend - we're always the only one. It comes with living inside skin. That it's universal is a philosophical comfort, but does philosophy sustain us? Apathy is not the same as peace. Where is the promise of his coming.

J

Brent said...

Guys, com' on. Lighten up. After listening to y'all, I had to ask my wife to hide the razor blades. Seriously Jack, I appreciate your honesty. We all have questions. Father doesn't seem to mind. We are no longer in the hands of a fearful God waiting to crush us at the first sign of impropriety, dangling us over the pits of hell by a tread. We are secure in Father's hands, though, and that is a safe place to be. You are exactly where you need to be at this point in your life. You will find the way. I left a note on my site about this.

I appreciate the way you creatively express your ambivalence. (Or maybe it really is Dissociative Identity Disorder.) It helps me in processing my own.

Your writing (you) is very moving. You said in a brief sentence what I couldn't say in the entirety of a previous blog, "Apathay is not the same as peace." How I envy your skills as a writer - a conveyer of truth.

Peace.

Jack H said...

Oh, you cruel, cruel man! How ever shall I trust again (meant to rhyme with "rain" ... no, wait! - with "pain"! Yeah!) To mock me in my infirmity! ...

Ah forget it. I've decided X is right. Who's X? Wouldn't I like to know.

I have my little spells. Guess I wasn't getting enough attention. But I just shaved my head. And I just ate a gallon of ice cream, and man, do I feel better! Bring on the Islamists!


J

Brent said...

Please forgive me for being so insensitive. I am sorry. My intent was to be encouraging but mixed too much crap into it. What do you tell a boy that has lost his family save a younger sister and brother in a fire? Nothing. for there is nothing that can be said. You speak with your presence. And allow Father's presence to speak through you. It is an act of faith to let Him speak. Just as it is an act of faith to hear what He's said. I often get in the way. That's where Job's friends missed it. But they were friends, none the less, and he forgave them. We are not friends and I crossed a boundary that is reserved for your intimates. I hope you do have intimates for we can not bare any burdon without them. They are a gift from God. I have read most of your work over the last week or so and have been moved. (I inserted something witty here but erased it.) Maybe it's projection of my own issues. The feel I get is the words you write are like wood on the campfire always wanting more. Always trying to express the pain but coming up short. And you do express yourself very well. Maybe the coming up short part is me not getting it. Sometimes I need plain english. But that's no fun. Like cheating. Anyway...thank you for making yourself available. My prayer is that God would not be the god of comfort to you, but would be Comfort. I hope you understand what I mean by that. It is one of those experiences that are hard to describe...at least for me.

Jack H said...

I've started this response like four times already. Very unusual, for me. Deleted and started over. How to proceed. Cause it sounds like you're serious, that you think you've been insensitive. No, Brent, you certainly haven't been. I have taken no offense in anything you've said. I got the humor, and appreciated it.

I play a hard game of satire, and use my horns too carelessly perhaps, sometimes. If I hoist myself up and leave myself twisting in the wind, well, it's cause I think I can take it. Grr. I'm a *tough* guy. For your part, there is no need to regret anything you've said. It has been entirely in keeping with the spirit of my little blog - both joking and serious - heavy subjects in a light vein. Grief is best observed by silence, as you and I know, but I am no longer silent, :-) and you crossed no boundary. I do retain a certain vagueness, about very personal things, but that is just my way. Details, in this venue, are not relevant or appropriate to my purpose. What a distraction that would be. I let some of my darkness seep out of its box, either to make some point, or just to vent some pressure. In any case, be at peace.

I remember hearing something someone said right after 9/11. Someone said, "Life is horrible." And she said, "No, no. Life is beautiful. But full of pain." Wow. What wisdom. That's kind of my position. Frankly, I tend to see the pain more than the beauty, but I know it's there, and my distorted vision does not diminish anything but myself. Well, maybe it's a good thing. If the scales should fall from our eyes, and we should see the host of angels covering the mountainsides, how terrifying that would be. No?

Thanks for the kind words, re my little essays, here. This is an impersonal medium, but the idea that I might have some small effect - change a mind or amuse or make a point - pleases me. It's probably more work to read them, than to write them. They do tend to just pour out. Maybe I shouldn't say that. *Yeah, J, it's clear you don't try very hard!* (Kidding! I'm kidding!)

Pax,


J