I tried to read before church on Sunday morning, in the natural light of the big windows just outside my room. But I had to just put the Bible down and shake my head. Again, I just couldn’t relate to David asking God to condemn and hurt his enemies. This just totally doesn’t fit into the way I understand the world to be. And so much of the Bible, for so many years, after so many issues I’ve had with frustrating passages, have all exasperated me in this same way.
As I sat there, so exhausted and vexed with this God I was trying so hard to follow, I thought, “Seriously, God, how can you expect me to do this?”
Then a couple of old thoughts toppled together in my head, kind of like when you suddenly recognize a bunch of random letters on a church message board actually spell out a phrase. And it said something like this:
“All the ways that you do not understand me are doors to know me more.”
Suddenly, like a rush of wind had surged in a stale house, rusted hinges in my heart cracked and doors that had been long shut, creaked open a little.
I went to church an hour later and, sometimes it’s weird like this but, as I sang with the worship I just broke down in all these sloppy ways. The burn and dripping from my nose, and then my eyes leaking– animating joy splashing up inside my torso. It was like new fuel was being poured into a dried up, old lawnmower, or water in a dry sponge or something. I found myself stomping my feet and swaying in a little two count, right there in church. I don’t remember that dance ever coming out in worship before. A new dance had been taught to me, somehow, when I wasn’t looking. Even though I had been so frustrated with God that morning, I was beginning to realize that maybe, this whole time, those very things were the ways he was trying to woo me.
Is this the way he flirts with me? Challenges me a little so that I will push back and he can pull me into a new dance?
Is my God the way that sometimes I must sit, and press into the discomfort with a teachable and patient heart, and only then, and only sometimes, will he whisper his new thoughts to me?
Is He the way that he places closed doors in my house, because he wants me to knock at them until he unlocks and opens whole new parts of himself to me? Is He the way that he might not even choose to answer? But if He does, is He the way that what meets me will be unpredictable and wild? I might be met with a hurricane.
And when I uncover a door that holds back a hurricane that would knock everything around, maybe I can try not to let it frustrate me like an old grumpy wife that says, “I’ve spent so much time putting this house in order and whenever you show up you just want to change everything!”
I have been the complaining bride for so long. And when he calls me into a storm I can either grasp the safe banister to my basement or I can let his powerful current take me into unknown rooms, to more intimate knowing of Him.
Oh, to be beckoned by the best type of un-tame husband. One whose wisdom was already ancient in the days of the dinosaurs. That breathes in the vacuum of space because his ways that are wooing me were the architects of physics and time.
Who am I to look upon what I see in this world and say, “You are wrong”?
Who am I to say I need to understand You before I can love You? And how could I claim I must agree with You before I can follow you?
I remember back to that Sunday, in church, as joy and hope overcame me. It felt so cleansing, renovating, and redeeming. Like the start of something new. It felt so powerful that I wondered about something. Was God the way that He was the one who whispered those beautiful, powerful words that then came to me, “Today is the day you marry me.”
Raw Spoon, 8-26-16