Thursday, March 10, 2011

Where are you?

I ask a lot of questions.

I ask them of myself, I ask them of others, and I ask them of God.

My questions are often confusing, and lengthy, and still in the process of figuring out what it is I really want to know in the first place.

I don’t think God minds my questions, because he seems to like them, too.

Jesus asked lots of leading questions, often about the crazy parables he told, knowing no one had a clue what he was talking about.

God’s not quite so cryptic.

God’s questions seem to be pretty simplistic and straight forward, which is kind of annoying, because you know he totally already knows the answer.

I think he asks the questions just to see what kind of whacky answer the human will respond with, and I think he gets a good laugh.

Oh sure, sometimes he may appear stern, but I think like any parent who is listening to his child trying to explain away a situation, digging deeper into a hole, God has to turn his head a bit to the side to suppress his uncontrollable chuckle.

Take Adam and Eve. They’re in the garden, communing with God, everything’s kosher. Cue the snake, Eve eats the fruit, politely shares it with Adam, boom they’re naked. Ok, so they were already naked, but now they know they’re naked. And they’re not just naked anymore… they’re nekkid! They start covering themselves up with leaves, hear God coming, and hide behind some trees.

God asks, “Where are you?”

Like. He. Didn’t. Know.

It’s like the parent playing hide-and-seek, whose child is lying under the coffee table with her feet sticking out the end, completely exposed. Yet, for the sake of the game, the parent continues wandering around the house, being sure to avoid the area directly surrounding the coffee table, calling out “Where are you?”

But here’s the thing for me, God could have ended it all right there. I mean, they ate the fruit, this is not going to be pretty. Like a writer whose story is going nowhere, he could have balled up the paper and tossed the draft into the waste bin. He could have called a do-over.

But he humored them. He played their little game. “Where are you?”

If God wasn’t the least bit surprised by Adam and Eve’s actions, if he didn’t scrap the whole project and go back to the drawing board, why are we so afraid to come before him honestly, just as we are?

Adam and Eve did not like everything God had to say to them, he didn’t just pat them on the head and let them off with a warning. Their actions had consequences. But life went on, and God did not leave them to face it alone. He loved them. He created them. He longed to be with them.

God loves you.

God created you.

God longs to be with you.

If you have to hide behind a tree and some fig leaves to be able to talk with him, ok – he’ll humor you.

But feel free to come before him just as you are. He already sees you, he already knows you, he already loves you.
“The great weakness in the North American church at large, and certainly in my life, is our refusal to accept our brokenness. We hide it, evade it, gloss over it. We grab for the cosmetic kit and put on our virtuous face to make ourselves admirable to the public. Thus, we present to others a self that is spiritually together, superficially happy, and lacquered with a sense of self-deprecating humor that passes for humility. The irony is that while I do not want anyone to know that I am judgmental, lazy, vulnerable, screwed up, and afraid, for fear of losing face, the face that I fear losing is the mask of the impostor, not my own!” ~ Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust

1 comment:

  1. great post. especially loved the last quote. i grew up in a church where it was better to look good than to feel good. it is difficult for me to believe, sometimes, that God does love me just as i am: broken, whiney, bitter and lots of other things that are not what i want to be. once again thank you for posting that lisa ling program. "i am a child of God".