Wednesday, January 19, 2005
"'Pilgrim?' I thought the horse's name was 'Whisperer'."
Everyone in the room laughs. Even the children. Well, they've seen the
movie and I haven't. Eventually I learn that "whisperer" is a job title,
not a name.
It's an interesting role. I've often said that truth is like a cat: you
just have to sit quietly and let it approach you. Thrashing around just
drives it away. Although our high-pressure society tries to deny it, the
movie presents no radical truth. The best way to make friends is to sit
quietly like the horse whisperer and learn what's inside the other person
by watching and being open.
For as long as I can remember I've referred to myself in my thoughts as
"we." In later years I've tried to break this habit. I am, after all,
neither a multiple personality--at least no more so than anyone else--nor a
king. It didn't work. I still think "We need to head on down this hill
now," or "we'll just try this and see what happens." Why? I have no idea.
And then I ran into the soul whisperer. The Holy Spirit sits quietly in the
field, waiting for the skittish horse to calm down enough, get rid of
enough murderous urge, to listen to someone else and learn thereby to
trust. Trust, once lost, is very hard to regain. So the horse comes and
goes, hair-trigger, waiting to explode away into the wild at the first sign
of the inevitable betrayal.
He lets me go. Run it out. What brings the horse back? I have no idea. Some
nearly insensible attraction, the magnetic field of truth, or perhaps an
attraction of something with no name.
We. What's that about? Have I always known there was someone else involved
in my life, someone invisible, as real as the meat people around me but far
more kind? Kindness isn't usually associated with God so I doubt my
Evidence piles up as the soul whisperer waits. He presents his truth,
holding it in an outstretched hand that I sniff, every muscle tensed to
bolt. Is this a relationship or just being broken to the saddle?
Donald Miller, in "Searching for God Knows What," writes about Adam and Eve
walking with God in Eden. Relationship. Friends. Adam named the animals and
then God made a person for him to relate to, saying that it wasn't good for
man to be alone. Miller implies that the relationship was two-way, that God
enjoyed this also.
God enjoys people? I've barely been able to understand the idea that God
cares. Enjoyment seems to go beyond even that.
"Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NIV)
God is love. QED.
Usually those verses about love are used as a list of our failures. A few
days ago, however, I got to thinking about God and relationships. The list
of failures is a list of God's character. I timidly turned around and saw
the Holy Spirit waiting for me. There was no whip in his hand.
God could have done anything. He made us. He has his reasons and I just
don't know them. I run first, rather that staying still to learn.
I carry the burden of every trauma. My back is bent to fit. LIke the horse
Pilgrim I have to learn that not every interaction with people is like
being run over by a truck. My friends in Lancaster don't seem to mind being
used for this ongoing experiment. I was there for three days this time and
got drunk in their kitchen, and was still part of the family. I was even
fairly relaxed. Because I'm a good actor no one knows how big a deal this
2005 January 19 (idea January 16)
I laughed out loud at your comment. My co-workers thought something was wrong...
Blog entries are definitely "we" projects. I don't worry about it any more. The Holy Spirit is good at nudging us in interesting directions...