Friday, March 24, 2006


I finished a post a few minutes ago entitled "Ezma". Somehow, it didn't get published, and so now, I am typing its substance again, but not because it was an overly profound post or because it was even mildly great. Mostly, I am posting again because I feel like sitting at my computer and writing.

Last night, I was the last person to bed in my suite. That is no unfamiliar occurrence. Nevertheless, when I looked into the mirror, I noticed a huge piece of food stuck in between my teeth. And what was my first thought, naturally?

"Oh good. I wonder how long that's been there."

I started typing this blog after I finished brushing my teeth last night. Somehow, at 1:30 AM, this whole experience was profound. But as I got sleepier, I went to bed without finishing it.

Perhaps it should have remained unfinished.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Who to blame?

I was writing to a friend some days ago about the intense inward struggle I have been battling lately. It has to do with kids - and the injustice of some of their situations. God's injustice, namely.

You know what he said? Probably not- I'll tell ya. He said, "kt... you're blaming the wrong person."

I thought to myself, "Oh yeah."

Herein lies the beginning of the answer to my struggle with the questions of freewill and power and the like - the questions of evil in the world; and how could a good and loving God allow so much of it?

You know, as a kid, my teachers always told my class and I, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." And the concept of guilt by association was always a dominant theme. Standing by and watching the problem is just as bad as creating the problem in the first place. Like when a kid's being picked on, and ya'll just stand around and watch it happen instead of sticking up for the little guy. So, God's the big guy, and while the little ones here are being beaten unreasonably or given no good discipline, overfed to the point of diabetes, or going hungry, He stands by and watches.

But after being callused over in belief in that very statement and softened again, I have found that that argument really doesn't work. God knew what He was doing when He gave us freewill.

I've been thinking a lot lately of The Matrix. You know, the scene when Morpheus the big black guy asks Neo if he wants the blue pill or the red pill - that all of his future would rely on that one move. If he chose one, he would forget the realization of the Matrix; he'd forget that everything he always knew was a lie. If he chose the other, he would live in truth, but he would experience overwhelming pain and be handed an overwhelming platter of hardship and impossibility.

Let's pretend for a moment that the movie was only a half hour long and there was no trilogy at all because Neo chose the pill that would make him forget. He chose the bliss of ignorance (for those of you who've watched the movie, he chose the steak) for the sake of avoiding the pain of reality. Welp, the big black guy wouldn't have been able to do anything about it. If the choice was ever really there, he wouldn't be able to do anything if Neo chose wrong.

Welp, in an extremely oversimplified sense, that's sort of how I picture God's stance. He sits facing us with a blue pill and a red pill in His hands. Both of His hands are open no matter how much He longs for us to choose one over the other. He holds them out to us and says, "What will you choose? Will you choose My way? It's harder. But it's better. Will you choose your way? It's more fun, but it leads to death. Will you live for this world whose glory is fading away? Or will you live for the next whose glory is ever-increasing."

He gave us power in choice. He reliquished His omnipotence (for a time) in His love. He gave us the freedom to decide whether or not we would give the power back to Him by letting Him rule in our lives. How it must have grieved God's heart as He gave some of His power - the freedom to choose - to us knowing full well the terrors, the injustices, the pain that His move would cause. But perhaps, He also experienced an overwhelming joy that so many would choose Him, that many would also go against the grain. And Oh! He must have experienced the joy of giving a good gift that was not a pogo stick or a balloon. His gift was much more complex; it's use carried and still carries ultimately heavy weight.

Friday, March 10, 2006


I hate to generalize like I am going to do in a moment, because it is the sort of generalization that rises up some sort of immediate reaction emotion, even for me; but I will anyway because I don't hate it enough to avoid it.
I smile with a mischievous grin as I type: sometimes reaction emotions make for some really great heated discussions - usually, the type of discussions in which you say something that ends up coming out nothing like what you meant it to and one for which you think of the perfect response to much after the opportunity is gone. Fortunately, typing things out on blogs gives the opportunity to take time to ponder responses, and gives us the wonderful option of deleting something that reactively spewed from within.

Here goes:
It seems to me as though most religions - on second thought, maybe all religions - try so hard to get to God (or whatever it is they are trying to get to) that they lose sight of the real thing. Their focus disappears. While this is probably true of all religions, I have most experience of it in Christianity. And, since I believe in Jesus Christ as the ultimate truth, I think it matters most that Christians lose sight of the real thing - who is Christ.
Before I take the credit for a new thought, I must point out that the whole book of Colossians focuses on this very concept. As the church of Colosse struggled on their own, outsiders came in and tried to add to the simple truth of the gospel of Christ. They added all sorts of beliefs on rituals and traditions that should be done in order to follow Christ, but really, all of those things were shadows of the real thing.

The point should be made that some of them
were shadows of the real thing. In other words, not all of them were abscure, completely revocable concepts that were to be eradicated hands down. Some of the traditions could have been good for their faith, but none of it was, because their focus was all wrong. They worried so much about the traditions that they could not see the reason for the traditions.

Figuratively speaking:
The Colossians never experienced the joys and sorrows of the book because they were too mezmerized by the cover.
They never walked into the mansion and witnessed all its beauty and mystery because they spent so much time being captivated by the complexity of the door.
They never became rich from the treasure inside the chest because they were too busy polishing the lock.

How often do we, as Christians, worry so much about acting like a Christian, looking like a Christian, and doing what Christians do that we forget that the substance of our faith is the fullness of Christ Himself - not Christianity, not Christian culture, not church, not church functions, not being a good evangelist.

Colossians 2:17 Such [things] are only the shadow of things that are to come, and they have only a symbolic value. But the reality (the substance, the solid fact of what is foreshadowed, the body of it) belongs to Christ. (Amplified Version; emphasis added)

For more, read Colossians. It's a good book.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Do you ever just feel sad and that's all?

As I sit here "studying", I get sidetracked easily. My mind just needs to know. I'm learning, but not the test material; and part of me wishes I could just learn without tests.

But no matter, the thoughts that strike me tonight are ones of longing. All of them. And all of them about different things. Longing for the people I love to stop making stupid decisions. Longing for the Lord Jesus. Longing for unity with Him. When I won't have to look at Him through this dark glass, but see Him face to face.

There is a certain thing that I eagerly expect. It might be the one thing I don't ever question. It's so deeply ingrained in me- whether taught or not, I do not know - that I cannot deny it for more than a moment. It is the hope that there is more to this life than what we see now. If this is the end, nothing makes sense. Evil, hunger, pain, sorrow, breakups, people crushing others beneath their feet...I question all those. I question God's justice there. I question my beliefs. I question everything I have always known. But I cannot question the hope of Heaven. I may forget about it for a time, but when it enters my mind, there is no turning back. There is Heaven. There is resolution. There is beauty beneath all the drudgery.
I don't know what Heaven will be like. I know that it won't be most of the things that we picture it being; we simply can't fathom complete goodness. Even our best thoughts of what good entails are tainted by a mind that sees dimly. But as I try to ponder the unponderable, I feel at home.

Resolution. No more battles. No more struggle. No more.

My heart longs with the very deepest longing for the fulfillment of the hope of heaven.