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March 28, 2010

Easter Like Toast

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So it says the guy lived a peculiar life. He was killed gruesomely for the claims he made and for what he did. He somehow got out of his grave, despite much effort to ensure that nothing fishy would happen. Nobody knows how he got out, but many saw him up and around, talking about leaving and coming back again.

We Christians justifiably judge other faiths and worldviews with a critical eye. But lets turn our thoughts to the sensational claim that is the center of our faith. Don't forget that the story is pretty ridiculous if you haven't experienced living in the story; if you haven't much of a reason to believe it; and especially if some person or people gave you a good reason to disbelieve.

My problem is that I've never seen a ghost or angel or UFO or piece of toast baring the image of any intelligent life, much less Mother Theresa. Plenty of "no b.s." type people in my life claim to have witnessed those kinds of things. And I'm watching. Constantly. Jesus, a burning bush would be nice for a seeking, trying to be faithful and open person of The Way. Is a well timed butterfly landing gently on my shoulder too much to ask?

I have mountains of faith in ground reaction forces and other invisible aspects of Newtonian physics. I believe, though with raised eyebrow, in gravity, magnetism, radio waves, carbon monoxide gas, the dual nature of light, and many other things I can't sense.

But those are different...?

Sometimes I suspect that my eyes are wide open in the wrong direction. It's just that after 33 years full of nothing supernatural, I doubt that traditional type miracles should be my focus.

Yes, He is risen! And the rest of us, well...
I gasp and hold my breath at the miracles of faithful living demonstrated all around me.
There is the reality of tremendous sacrifice that people offer in secret to a Father who is unseen. Not "I practiced guitar for hours to play that before the church," but genuine acts of sustained, "absolutely nothing to gain from this" service. Like middle class couples who literally go to the ends of the earth (or to their neighborhood) to adopt a child with known disability.

I roll on the floor, babbling in tongues at the words of my (and other) children in my life. My knees buckle under the weight of their pure love and simplicity. I write it down to remember, lest I forget the kind of faith that flings open the gates of heaven, forever wandering the earth searching for what children bring to the table. Now I found it, praise the Lord, hallelujah.

I've listened and watched quietly as friends respect and honor their wives without them knowing; sometimes in actions and other times in words. Sometimes it happens with forethought and intent; other times while in the cross hairs of conflict and challenges hard to miss. It's like the perfect demonstration of whatever is the opposite of this thing we call "instinct." Call that a miracle.

A pastor who lives what he speaks is better than a miracle, especially when he's truly able to keep it real, having experienced what it's like to be hard hearted and full of skepticism, sarcasm, and good old tomfoolery.

I got lost this morning listening to Amy read to our Sunday School class. It became obvious:

"[Jesus said] Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Jesus prayed during the biggest, insulting, unjustified "no fair" imaginable. The heathen nonbelievers who had their share of opportunity are over on the side, gambling for free clothes. Just a few days earlier Jesus told a large gathering that instead of loving their neighbor and hating their enemy, we should love our enemy and pray for those who persecute us.

This sliced through my head until Luke snapped me out of it, yelling at Judah to stop hitting him with the miniature Passion of Christ whip.

"Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing" is a state of mind that continually rattles my perception of everything. It's a challenge to let go the currency of this world. It's a lesson in the love and grace I need to give and to receive.

That prayer under those circumstances is absolutely the stuff of the supernatural. There's really no other reasonable explanation for it. It's the kind of miracle that I can identify with and helps me choose to live faithfully when my faith is tapped out. It's the kind of miracle that I might miss by waiting for God to suspend the physical laws of the universe and serve up some Mother Theresa toast.

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1 comment:

筱婷筱婷 said...

^^ 謝謝你的分享,祝你生活永遠多彩多姿!........................................