Monday, February 13, 2012
Jesus and His Amazing Anti-cynicism Ray!
"Grace and peace to you, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ."
One can learn grace only through experience. Any attempt to storm the citadel of the heart is met with justified resistance, and God doesn't work that way. Even Satan knows it doesn't work, but he's cynical enough to go ahead and use frontal assault as a tool, as a distraction from his real destruction taking place under the foundation.
So... where is hope? Hope, to me, is a nicely wrapped package. When it's unwrapped and opened, inside is another pretty box labelled "Hope." Open that one... and you get the idea. Is there a final box? If so, will it simply be empty? So long as there is another box to open, I can believe that it will, eventually, reveal something real. Maybe it's just endless regress, a vaporous carrot that can be seen, chased but never tasted.
Cynicism covers any situation. How can God touch the rock-defended heart that expects dynamite and hammers, and has a backup plan based on the idea that anything which looks good is too good to be true. The soul remains turtled up in the basement, refusing to be taken in by inconstant promises.
And yet, all these things spin out their own tales through time. Nothing lasts forever, and God is infinitely patient. His plans have deep roots nourished in kindness and truly seeking that ne plus ultra of human love: laying down a life for the beloved. In the human realm there are often excuses. God has no excuses. He cannot fail. So, he waits, outside the wall, waiting for a time, maybe just a moment, when circumstances force a change. At that moment, the holy orchestration of maneuvers sounds some pure note that sounds just the right note to resonate in the enturtled soul, and it briefly rings.
At that moment, the soul may cry out in distress, in something like hope, realizing its plight and its sickness from living in that dank corner. Perhaps it will allow God's touch. I did. I invited it, even. I asked God to intercede in a mind that was about to erupt into internecine warfare. I didn't care about future implications, which is a rare state for me. Besides... this is God. He's not real, anyway. And yet... he touched. His hands soothed the aspects, and his touch halted their preparations. The war was stillborn.
Hope died that night, although I didn't know it then. Hope, in me, was based on being able to see through everyone else's lies. Now God had his hands in the works. I had admitted defeat. I had resigned myself to whatever it was God would do, and what would be the point of a life in which I, qua I, had no role? I had fiercely defended my identity against all comers for 50-odd years.
Since then, the path God has had me walk has been precise by necessity, between the Scylla of self-destruction and the Carybdis of self-abnegation. His precision has to be applied in subtle ways, a wafting of scent, a brief glow of light, a touch of breeze, a barely-heard note. I am yet fiercely protective, fiercely predictive. God can allow no recognizable pattern to emerge, lest I perceive such, predict it, and turn pattern into rule to perform and thereafter forget.
Cynicism rules all. It's the grey wash over every perception, the steel plate over touch's skin, the jackhammer noise, the cloud around the silver lining. God is the God of silver linings. How does he change my belief? By any way he can, which is mostly by example. He believes in me and I, although short on hope, continue to breathe because the body has its own ways; mind may quit, but body just keeps on doing what bodies do.
There has been a progression from that night of emergency peace-making. Once that immediate outbreak had been stilled, there were still longer-term problems to fix. The suicide may be called back from the physical edge, but the internal abyss yet awaits and the soul hovers ever close. In me, it was lack of peace that kept me there; what could be the point of a life lived perpetually waiting for the unwinnable war? Distraction ruled. For a time.
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6, from Biblegateway)
In our world, peace comes with destruction. History shows endless examples. "If we just remove this obstacle, we'll have peace forever." God knows well the lie implicit in the statement. He sets himself to a much more difficult task, not only bringing peace but assuring the growth and life of the formerly embattled soul. The iron lid may look like peace. It isn't.
The Prince of Peace moved one day a few months back, moving in amongst my guarded soul-fragments, following his hands that had been interposed between them for years to prevent war. Now, his objective is not prevention but growth. He moved in, sat down, and... simply stayed. No preachments, no fireworks. Nothing, really, but something I called a glow although I didn't really know what to call it. I know his scent, I know his actions, his voice. This is something different, and only recently did I finally begin to understand what he's doing.