Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Get a Life

(the following is (another) response to a recent sermon. It may only make sense to me, but I needed to get it out of my head and in writing. I'm working through some things. Feel free to ignore me.)

It's a little stone, it's a little mortar. It's a little seed it's a little bit of water...
in our hearts, in our hearts this kingdom's coming. - Sara Groves

There is still hope.

We may look around, disgusted by the disgusting things people are doing in the disgusting world.

But there is still hope.

We look at it, we see no end to the pain and depravity, the lost and the broken, the ugly and the wrong. We can see no end to it. And then we're tempted to say, no this is not going to get better. I will not be so clueless as to say that the world can get better. I mean, after all, the Bible says that it will get worse and worse in the end I guess I'll just ride this out because I'm one of the chosen who belongs in Heaven. I'll be right here waiting for that because it's not going to get better's just hopeless.

Many of us really do believe that at least at some level, and we're wrong.

Sure, the truth is that there isn't an end to it. There's not supposed to be an end to it, not in this life. But if we simply say that it cannot get better, what are we doing here? If we cannot be positive, if we cannot say there's hope, why don't we just throw in the towel now?

I heard the words, if you think that way (believing that the world can change and get better) you need to get a life.

OK. I will get a life. A life of hope in the getting better.

When we turn our noses up in disgust, when we see something we cannot stand that goes against our personal beliefs, we are doing nothing to bring that hope. If we stay in our small circles with people just the same as we are and we talk about how wrong everyone else is, it's true, there is no hope. But you know what? The things we see as disgusting, they are a result of a poverty of the soul. The death and destruction, figuratively or literally, the kind that's brought on by man? That's a poverty of the soul and of the spirit. And it calls for acts of love.

When we step out in love, stand in the face of injustice, and serve the world around us...well, that's kingdom work, hopeful work. It is getting a life.

Heaven is still touching Earth in everyday miracles large and small. People are still reaching out and living in a freedom that is so contagious, it changes things, and it changes lives. Lives that looked so hopeless and are not.

There is hope.

When you speak of the world with such a lack of hope, it makes me want to stop caring about the world. I don't want to stop caring. So please don't tell me to get a life.

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:..18 & 19


Tooj said...

THIS is one of the most relatable posts about religion (for ME) that I've read. I get so weary of hearing that Heaven is what everyone waits for, lives for, breathes for.....and I always wonder what in the world they do each day of their lives? Passing their neighbors on the street...people who desperately need a simple pat on the back and brighter outlook.

Do they just go home "and pray for them?" I don't get that. Prayer might make you feel as if you're helping, but it's not touching the flesh here on Earth in a simple, kind, heartfelt way. Life here on Earth is what we DO KNOW for certain....despite all beliefs that faith in God and the Heavenly life after death is certainty. What you can feel and touch and speak needs our kindness and attention today.

I always feel touched by your posts, but certainly by today's. I do not mean to belittle the concept of faith and God by claiming its uncertainty. That only pertains to me, and my struggles to understand the life of a religious follower. Love and kindness should be our goals, everyday. And that, my friend, is a good life. Happy Wednesday.

MidnightCafe said...

Heather, I think you said this well. I know you were struggling with what/how to say this. It's SO true. If this world is going to hell in a handbasket, why should we bother? The truth is that we should bother because there are people all around us whose lives really can change for the better, and we can be instruments for that change. It isn't that we can change the trajectory of the world, but we CAN affect the lives of individual people. ***applause***

kirsten said...

Heather - I have a response to almost every sentence that you wrote in this post: SO insightful! so hopeful. Sadly the responses have to wait as there there are deadlines for me tonight. But this phrase - this PROMISE - "kingdom life"- this is the source of hope, of joy, of *potential*. Christ asks for nothing less, than trying to live the kingdom life.

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