There are few things in this life that I appreciate more than a long conversation that still has me thinking the next day. And the day after that. And, likely, sometime the next week.
Last night, Josh and I got the opportunity to spend the evening with our dear friends Megan and KC. They are, by far, two of my favorite people. Every moment we get to spend with them inevitably goes into my “favorite moments” file. And every time we leave their presence, I find myself changed, usually in no small way. And last night was no exception. It was what I like to refer to as an “nothing at all and everything in the world” night. We literally did nothing. And yet, those moments have this way of becoming everything to me. And it’s still very hard for me to verbalize exactly what we discussed and what it means for my heart, but this is my attempt. It may make me sound borderline nuts. Prepare yourself.
Today, I’m finding myself thinking of God as a wall. And I envision myself walking across the top of the wall. And it’s frequently very difficult, in my humanity, to stay on the wall. Not because it isn’t a strong wall. It’s perfect and capable, MORE than enough to support me; just because it’s a pretty narrow wall, and I like to wander. And then you add in the wind. Pushing at me from either side is a raging wind of voices, and those winds make it difficult to focus on the strength of the wall beneath me, because at moments the winds feel just as strong, even though I know they could never hold me up the way the wall does. And on either side of the wall is a safety net. On one side is a safety net, and in it are a lot of people. People who stumbled or got pushed or maybe even leapt off the wall and into a safety net that says “Truth is truth is truth is truth, and it’s truth for everyone, and anyone outside of that truth or questioning that truth is wrong.” And on the other side of the wall is another safety net, and in it are a lot of people. People who stumbled or got pushed or maybe even leapt off the wall and into a safety net that says “There is no real truth. Every man is his own truth, and he owns that truth, and it’s just as much truth as the next guy’s truth is to him.”
In talking with Meg and KC, last night, one thing that was said that still has me thinking was something to the effect of this: We, as humans, need to rely on something tangible for our sense of everything, including truth. Which is why we have the Word, and we rely on it for our sense of truth. The danger is when we separate the Word from God. When, out of our need for something tangible and stable and black and white, the Word becomes just another set of laws, unconnected to a living, breathing, moving God who is at constant work in our hearts and lives and convictions. Just another way for us to prove our righteousness against the unrighteousness of someone else.
I do believe in truth. I believe in truth that is as absolute as eternity is long. I believe God is truth. I also believe that God has no interest in carbon copies. I believe He has no use for a Body that has a hundred eyes and only one foot. I believe that God finds infinite creative ways to manifest His truth in each one of us. I believe that the world in completion is a place where we can all exist in unrelenting faith in the perfect balance of God, who has no need of any safety net in order to just BE truth.
I was raised to believe that when you go to church, you wear a dress because anything less isn’t presenting your best to God. I don’t believe for a second that God cares what I wear when I come after Him.
I was raised to believe that Christian rock music is just too worldly to be of service to God. I don’t believe for a second that most of my students at school are ever going to listen to Bill and Gloria Gaither and be moved by it.
I was raised to believe that dancing is something to be avoided, because of the immoral things it can lead to. I dance like a fool on a daily basis, usually multiple times a day, and have no intention of stopping anytime soon unless God suddenly demands otherwise.
I was raised to believe that going to movies in the theatres is sinful, because you’re not only supporting the movie you go to see, you’re supporting the R-rated ones, too. I believe that the cable we paid for in our house did the same thing.
And yet…I find myself looking at Paul’s words when he reminded us that some people find it sinful to eat meat, and some don’t. And that the important part isn’t the consumption or non-consumption of meat at all. It’s that God speaks individually into every person’s life and tells them who they are and what being Christlike looks like for them, and its our job as brothers and sisters in Him to encourage each other in that Christlikeness. It’s that I’m aware that the differences in convictions between my parents and I probably aren’t an indication that one of us is sinning and one of us isn’t…but an indication that God is a person God, who IS truth to each one of His children on an individual basis.
Still wrapping my head around this one. Still trying to dig the heart of God out of it.