Thursday, February 18, 2010

Till we have faces, I don't see.

I went to church on Sunday, and it was a long awaited relief. This East Coast thing is very...different. I have not met my neighbors even though I've got two doors six inches from mine. I don't really expect to know their names unless I get really ambitious and introduce myself. Anonymity is the norm.
The people at church were warm, but not fake. We sat by an oncology nurse practitioner who began her career at my facility. Her husband is a techie and musician. They and their children are hoping to be missionaries in the Middle East by the end of the year. They invited us for bagels with their family after church. They've adopted a kid from Guatamala and have three of their own. They also invited us into their small group. I'm itching to be a part of it.
Anyway, church. The pastor's laying the groundwork for a series related to life's big question: Why? He's speaking about the question with words that relay that he's asked the question before like the rest of us. Simple words weren't enough for him either. He needed more like the rest of us.
It's a tough thing for a pastor to address. It would be so much easier to preach a sermon on prosperity or to get people all hyped up about God being alive and everything else. But he's taken it down a notch and pricked every heart. He's treading carefully, thoughtfully.
He advises us all to draw a closed shape like a circle or a square. It represents God's wisdom and knowledge. He asks us to shade in our portion of wisdom and knowledge. "Do you have a dot on your paper? Can you even see it? Maybe some of the answers to the why's lie within God's wisdom and outside yours."
I'm glad it's not the end of the series; it would be a real bummer. But it lays the groundwork. Why deformed bodies? Why beatings? Why brain death? Why trauma? We wouldn't be asking if we understood. But perhaps there is an answer. Maybe we don't have access to it.
Haven't you heard so many people say, "When I get to heaven, I'm going to ask..."? I stole this idea from this sermon. It was stolen for the sermon from some writer (CS Lewis?). Maybe when we get there, our knowledge and wisdom will brighten and all we'll say is, "Oh, I see."
"Now we see through a glass dimly, but then, face to face." It's my hope, and I'm hanging on.

No comments: