Thursday, September 28, 2006


God is Chuckling

You can only build defenses against known problems. This is how God got my attention a few years back: an honest, down-to-earth man. Then a man whose main interest is in following Jesus, and then the people of the church that he heads. It's like walking through a series of concentric strong walls, each of which has an undefended doorway in it.

I left the doorways because I knew that complete walls would kill. If the wrong thing found the right way I'd get killed too, but the alternative slow strangulation was worse. I could see that in the lives around me. So, God walked the labyrinthine passage and entered the inner sanctum, where no one else can come.

He could have turned on a flame-thrower and laid waste the whole of my soul. He could have laughed at my defenses and shown how easy it was for him to walk around the walls. He could have done anything and I wouldn't have resisted; I was in bad enough shape to just let anything happen. All he really said was "Remember me?" Then he simply held me for a time.

Since then we have walked. I've tried to throw him out. I've succeeded in the short term but I always sell myself out. Once that particular sun has shone on your world there is nothing else that comes close, and I find myself very surprised as I turn to face him again and ask for his help in walking the way he wants. It's a back and forth thing.

A few nights back I was feeling particularly scattered so I asked God to just... hold me. I needed to sleep. I spent most of the night awake, and it took a couple of days to understand that. Inside me, it seems is a very scared little boy. God reaches out to hold and that boy just panics. No touch can be kind. No touch is for the sake of healing. It's for forcing in a certain direction, it's for overwhelming my defenses, it's to make me do things that fit society more than they fit me. I realized after a time that if God really wanted to do those things, no effort on my part could stop him. He could tear me apart as easily as he sang the universe into being.

What he wants to do is more difficult than any of that: have that little boy turn to Him and smile. Hard to imagine, but God is very creative, very patient, and knows exactly what to do.

Why is he chuckling now? Because I have recently had someone else walk the labyrinth and end up on the threshold of the inner garden. In the same way God did it, she just wandered along and followed the path through the undefended doorways. Why defend against the impossible?

I'll admit that I know nothing of romance and intimate relationships. I can handle the words and when the relationship becomes too close I can use words to deflect the view, like mirrors. In the past I've not differentiated between closeness and danger: if they're close they're dangerous, the alarm sounds and I go into full-on defense mode. It's the same system that makes me run from God. Having recently settled some of that I now find myself in the same situation wondering about this new friend. I doubt that she's interested in hurting me. The alarm still sounds, though, and I'm poised to run. God invites me to hold on, face what's happening, and just keep walking until we all find out what happens next.

I have no idea if her interest in me is anything beyond the intellectual. We've had some intense conversations, but will she be patient?

The timing is interesting. Within days of getting some clarity on this threatened little boy I get into a situation that would have him running for the hills, but he's waiting. Trembling, confused and not knowing what to do, but still here.

I don't know what love is. God is willing to teach. The world will never be the same.

How cool is that!!

The world will never be the same indeed. Awesome.

Keep stayin' open, bro. You can do this.
ditto to Lu's comment. Hang in there.
I can hear Him chuckling! :-D
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