Thursday, November 15, 2012
Toward Freedom XV
The last few months haven't been pleasant. I've been living in the middle of a knock-down, drag-out three cornered fight between what is, what might be and what can be.
The main thing I learned as a child was how to blend in externally, while keeping my internal world as I wanted it. So I thought, anyway. The external tends to penetrate anyway, given time, and there has been plenty of time. It takes constant effort to keep the internal world secure, and eventually the burden is too great. I gave up ground and inhabited an ever-smaller place.
There's also the problem that I detest the very things I'm trying to protect. This is another attitude that soaked in over the years; I may believe in tenderness and the wonder of gentle things, but the world gives these no respect and my protective coloration had to adapt. I picked up the hatred.
How can one live while hating parts of oneself? It's difficult, and I'm not the only one to find this out. I suspect this is why it takes so long for any person to learn anything real. I've become jaded and cynical. God shines his light in and I don't like what I see, and that adds to the existing self-hatred.
And yet... God does not judge. He shines his light in there because light is what he is. His purpose is not to cause pain in me, but to do something I don't understand. His love for me isn't dependent upon anything I do. He can't love me more than he does at this moment. No matter what model I use for my future it has no effect on how God regards me.
"Come on," he says. "Let's dance in fun and tenderness." I snarl and back into a corner, not believing.
"Don't come close to me. I'm not the person you want me to be, and probably never will be."
"You are the person I want you to be. Right now."
"Oh, right. Tell me another funny one."
Unending kindness is slow and strong. Even the most world-wise junkyard dog eventually will get the message that this hand is offered in real kindness, not to simply trick and then strike.
What is change? What change is needed? I thought I knew. I thought Christians of various kinds knew. We're all wrong; real freedom is, like God's love, something utterly unlike what I run into in daily life. I'm apparently not going to be made into a model Christian, nor modelled after Paul or anyone else. Jesus, always surprising, is my teacher, guide, and if I allow him to be, my comforter. Playmate, too, for a day on the beach or a bike ride. Human values originated in God.
2012 November 15