Am i There Yet – Together Forever

Posted: July 26, 2011 in Am i There Yet?

“Even if the fig tree does not bloom and the vines have no grapes, even if the olive tree fails to produce and the fields yield no food, even if the sheep pen is empty and the stalls have no cattle — even then, I will be happy with the Lord. I will truly find joy in God, who saves me.” Habakkuk 3:17-18 (GW)

This verse was sent to me and is exactly what i need. It’s been 5 days and no new miracle, no additional divine intervention, yet i had hoped there might be. My mind posses questions to me, almost as challenges. Did i not do enough, did i give in, were my prayers weak, lacking in substance, should i have gone to court, where did i miss it? And if the challenge idea does not work then comes the idea of guilt. i must now tell the ministries regarding what they must give up or what may appear to be what has been lost. i  can’t say that God did not show up, because, i do not know the “what if” as one reader pointed out. It is now time to put in place what i negotiated. i am not going to lay down and just wait for the sky to fall. my hope is that “ed will be happy with the Lord, ed will truly find joy in God, who saves ed.

When i meet people day-to-day it is calculated by number crunchers that at least 25% of them have already experienced some type of hurt that day by a family member. i hear stories all the time about what a family member did to them or did not do for them.

At the end of a concert a man who was seated in the very back, observed a group of disabled adults. Many seemed to have mental disabilities while others had severe physical disabilities, but they all were having a great time. Those who could sing, sang. Those who could dance, danced. Those who needed to lean on someone else did so happily. At the end of the concert this group decided it was time for them to go and the man watching was amazed that there was no chaperon. They were there alone, together. As they left the man observed the closeness with which they all held onto each other, while still singing and laughing. He thought for a moment and wondered what it would be like to give up pretending that he was whole and simply admit and embrace the idea of being disabled. His conclusion was that from that night on he would stop trying to create a beautiful fellowship. My christian “family” comes about not by trying to overcome my needs but by openly confessing them and finding my way to freedom by leaning on each other.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “Dismiss once and for all every clamorous desire for something more. One who wants more than what Christ has established does not desire Christian brotherhood. He is looking for some extraordinary social experience which he has not found elsewhere. He is bringing muddled and impure desires into Christian brotherhood.” If i love the idea of a community more than the community itself then i will actual destroy the community.

The world is continually telling me that i can become someone different, i can be better, new and improved, but they want to sell me something to accomplish it. The word says that all things become new, that i renew my mind, etc., etc., and there is nothing to be purchased. Church, community, relationships are things i am to engage in to remind me of who i am and not who i want to be. For years i was told that i would find myself. For years i thought if i could just do something dramatic i would find freedom from all the suffocating commitments.

Some people think that there is a renewal for “Family life.” i quite honestly do not see it. What i do see is, people are just accepting the fact that they are stuck with it. There is nothing to be done about our dysfunction behavior patterns, our fear of aids, our recognition of economic interdependence and we are left with our need to work together for social, political and ecological crises or die in them.

The word is filled with stories that demonstrate my need for family or community. When Mary conceives the hope of the Messiah in her womb the life of Joseph is dramatically changed as well as mine. When Lot got into trouble it was Abraham who pleads the case before God. The relational stories are the real stories that need to be told. Cain and Able, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, Moses, Aron and Miriam, David and his elder brothers, James and John as well as Peter and Andrew all relationships designed by God. And look at the effect of Adam and Eve on my life when they are removed from the garden. My family or community can affirm or corrupt my humanity. My Community should be a place of finding hope.

So how do i encounter God when i and my family are so dysfunctional and even sinful? There is one path and thus i must walk alongside others and it is there that i discover a hurting world and realize the only possible difference between us… i am found by God. It is in that single truth that i realize my seemingly needy life is filled with significance.


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