Monday, November 26, 2012

Evening confession

For the most part, my experiences as a blog writer have been very positive. I have tried to stay away from topics that would incite controversy, but not always with complete success. Sometimes I've expressed ideas that I thought might draw down criticism or judgment, and I received none. Sometimes I've written what I thought could not possibly draw me into an argument, and yet it did. Even when countered, I've tried very hard not to let my blogs become arenas for verbal battles. I was not always this way.

I first started blogging as a parallel testimony to what I was doing on the street, which was reading the Word of God aloud publicly. I wanted to document what happened when I did this. Surprisingly, I rarely encountered any opposition or aggression when reading the Bible publicly unlike others who, preaching their own message while waving around a black leather-bound book, often drew crowds of mockers. I tried to follow what Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes, to be strong when the Word is strong, to be weak when it is weak.

What my experience taught me about this was, you can't force Jesus down people's throats, especially when you've got Him sandwiched between slices of your denominational philosophy. Though my mission on the street was carried on in this pacific way, sometimes in the blog world I was not quite so harmless. Sometimes I criticised, even blasted, people and systems that I have a problem with. In my comments on the blogs of others, I also pressed what I thought was my advantage. This was, to be sure, quite wrong of me, that is, if I really were a follower of Jesus.

How little we see, sometimes, when we hide Him from view by our smoggy intentions. Smog, mind you, not smoke, not the smoke of the Presence, which surrounds Him alone, but smog, the unhealthy byproduct of our anxieties. Yet we mistake the one for the other. We hide ourselves from God when He comes calling, and then complain that He hides Himself from us, when we call. This is the ground floor of the human condition, which I share with everyone I meet, and our experience together is that only One can raise us from this degradation, yet we try to raise ourselves by lowering others.

My blog was once visited by a woman who implied that she is the Woman mentioned in the book of Revelation. When I followed back the link to a web page that she provided in her comment, I couldn't believe my eyes. Rarely does one encounter another human being whose audacity is so glaring. Yes, I've labored under the delusion that something I might say or do could help save someone. This is a common delusion, especially of those who would like to teach others. Myself, I know there is only One Teacher, the Messiah, and at my best I am only repeating what has been handed over to me.

I deleted her comment, which was harmless enough, though it carried a sectarian overtone and a premonition of higher knowledge, so that no one who came here might be confused or tantalised by the claims she makes in her web page. But it still astounds me, and startles me that such a person could exist. We hear of public figures like the Puerto Rican reincarnation of Paul the Apostle who later was divinely upgraded to being both the second coming of Jesus Christ, and the Antichrist, all at the same time. He tells us that sin is no more, and that he comes to rule the earth.

Such impositions on the mortal mind stagger my imagination. Again, because audacity seems to outdo itself with every new messiah, once only male but now female too. What Bible verse cannot be twisted by our imaginations to serve our glorification? I think back on my own life and shudder with shame, for I am no different in kind, only in degree. How simple the story is, that God has revealed through Jesus Christ His Son, and how believable it is, once we admit the truth about ourselves, which we must admit before we can ever admit the Truth about Him.

Enigma—that is what life is, and we ourselves, all enigmas awaiting resolution. Everything partial, all things opaque to us except ourselves, and yet we cannot even see ourselves clearly. My favorite poet writing his 'Song of Myself,' how luxuriant, how confident his pronouncements. I love his Leaves of Grass, not because they are true the same way that Christ is True, but because he reveals in them the truth about himself and about us, even about me, who for all our wonderful beauty, life, energy, darkness, pain, and weakness, remain asleep and dead, until He bids us, 'Rise!'

Evening confession. Outpourings of a blind old Greek with a Jew's heart, rich in his poverty, owning nothing but his own sinfulness, seeking no one but the Eternal, even knowing that finding Him is the losing of himself. The end of all things is nigh, but not as prophesied by bibliolators or boasted by Sabine women clothed in the sun who use the moon as a swing. The dragon that seeks to swallow the Man Child is not the same as the dragon whose year in Chinese tradition it is, that harmless creature who carries the Son of Heaven home when his mandate is foreclosed.

Infinite Mercy stands waiting, hidden behind our walls, to reveal Himself, at every moment knowing exactly where we need Him most, and why we are in need. He does not wait as we wait. He is ready when we call, echoing unknowingly His calling us. His forgiveness covers even our audacity in believing we are God, that we do not need Him, that our freedom originates in ourselves. His salvation in bathing us does not drown us in the process, but makes us clean again, forgetting our uncleanness forever.

Yes, and the Woman clothed with the sun, yes, we will find out exactly who She is.

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