Friday, March 11, 2005


Sintered Soul

God holds clouds of hydrogen tightly enough, steadily enough, that the atoms overcome their normal repellent nature. They join and in the union become helium, and radiance. The energy fills cold space and makes our lives possible. If he can fuse hydrogen he can probably handle my loosely connected, but no less mutually repulsive, parts.

You can't shoot a cloud. Oh, you can, but the bullet passes through and leaves the collection of water droplets unchanged. It goes with the wind and evaporates in the sunlight but is safe enough from human meddling.

It's not a bad model for someone who wants to be left alone and doesn't much care where he ends up, so long as the first condition is met. A cloud of soul-parts making its dimly sensed way through a hot, hostile world, keeping as much as possible to shade and calm.

I'm now, however, under the care of a God who believes in relationship. It's hard for a cloud to relate to anyone: where do I end, and the others begin? I just sort of fade off into the cloudy distance. Anyone trying to find me could just walk right through me and never notice, neither of us changed by the interaction. You could just as well find a north-pole magnet with another north pole. You'll never get them together.

You need to understand something about God. He just doesn't know the meaning of "impossible." We look at jobs and say there's no way, especially when the job is one of repair or restoration. "It's not economical," we say. "Scrap it and start over. Tear it down. Build shiny and new. Total it."

God looks at aspects other than economics. It's not hard for me to believe that he doesn't care at all about economics; if you give him any kind of chance at all he'll go into the restoration business, no matter how much work he will have to do. He seems to look only at what can be if he's allowed to work. Even if he's not allowed full access, he will take his license as far as he possibly can and, like the deep-sea fisherman who reels in a half-ton fish one given inch at a time, God will move in to fill any space vacated by a tired soul.

God will chase and find any piece of a soul, no matter how tiny. He will restore it to perfect luster, the way it was meant to be, and then he will join it to the other pieces he has pursued and corralled.

The corral is far from a quiet place. The reason all those soul-bits were scattered in the first place is that they couldn't stand each other, the constant friction and fighting, no understanding, no patience, just rancor and judgment and undermining. For all of them to be in the same place, immersed in history, is explosive. There'd need to be a thousand corners in the corral for each to find small place to hide, but God made the place round.

It's an impossible situation and one responsible for millions of Prozac prescriptions. Running does no good because God is the perfect Shepherd, willing to leave 99 sheep to go and fetch the single lost one, and he won't quit. He collects the parts, contains the corral, and he slowly brings his hands together.

There is only one way this story will end. Fusion. Light strong enough to blow the basket to smithereens. Human fusion is far from cold, but God doesn't use heat to destroy the individual soul-bits and force their merger. He rains love on the whole disordered corral and gradually, oh so slowly, dissolves the wholeness-repellent that coats each proud lonely piece. Mosaic, sintered bronze, each little bit contributing something to the whole while retaining its bit-ness.

Only God would think of this. Only God would do it. Only God has the delicate, exquisitely sensitive touch necessary to capture fragments whose whole history is one of bitter fighting. Only the Prince of Peace could bring them all to the same place without having the whole place explode. What God brought together, I split asunder... and God is reuniting.

Initiated 2005 March 10 (as "Scattered Parts")
Finished March 11

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