“…..Go, and do thou likewise” Luke 10:37
Dear blog; look what God sent me into my inbox yesterday and I am going to have an adult sized tantrum about this verse. When God sends me messages like these, I know I’ve faltered somewhere and I thought I have been good as I keep checking and rechecking and analyzing my behavior so as not to hurt Him anymore. I’m sure He will jog my memory but I thought in the meantime I’ll have one of those tantrums and whine “but God, I tried”.
The morning came and the earth is just about pushing off the moon and night off the horizon, and giving way to the sun which is slowly but vividly coloring the human tragedy that is me, and going beyond boundaries by passing of time. It’s Sabbath. As a rule I never check my emails on Sabbath but I’ve forgotten to turn off notifications on my cell phone and all the emails popped up on my screen and I got an email from a friend and I shouldn’t have read it but I read it.
My brain brought to my attention to the day when I awoke with whispered prayers on my lips and thoughts of taking to my knees, folding my hands together and in between them something I no longer had a hold of, faith and faith at God’s ankles. I was told to pray, but prayers are meant for God, so I gathered the positive thoughts I usually save in my pockets to get me through winter and dark days, and set them afloat. The bells were tolling for me that morning and they never stopped. People usually say pray. And also, that it doesn’t matter whether you believe or not. I remembered that day thinking that prayers didn’t work for me and that God had forgotten that I exist. I wanted to scream this but I had gone mute and I only whispered. I wanted to set myself on fire as an SOS to God to come and save me as I thought He had gone deaf. Prayers are supposed to protect but they didn’t protect my love and I thought they are just words. I’m not a cynic. And it’s not that I didn’t want to believe, it’s just that I tried and hoped and bled and bleeding some new scars onto my knees, my thighs, my soul and still, no relief came; and I searched and searched and oh I searched the heavens, behind the clouds and behind the milky ways and behind my hopes and beyond the skies and all I ever saw were bright blinking stars. I was thinking to myself, it’s not ignorance or cynicism or pride or arrogance and I never have gone to sleep without kneeling as if to be mean or to spite God for all the things which happened to me or because I thought He has forgotten to protect me; I have turned faithless because I’ve chosen to believe I’ve nothing to pray for; isn’t it the reason why everyone loses faith ?
I have fallen in love with characters from books and movies and tv shows, and I turned the beautiful boys He took from me into poems; and I have grown comfortable with this state where I just kneel, eyes closed and nothing came to my mind; I just sat waiting for my faith to get jumped or something, anything to bring my mind back alive to give me that spark to ignite my neurons and open my words and pour something remotely resembling to prayer to God who has forgotten me and I grew numb and I grew comfortable in my disbelief.
Since then a lot has changed. God got my attention by jolting me with another tragedy. God gets His way. My heart broke afresh then and whenever I read these lyrics: “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.”
When He decided He wanted my attention, He got one. Someone said, the same God that opens doors will close doors. It’s easy to allow rejection to lead to discouragement and think that God is not paying attention to my life. But God sees the bigger picture for our lives. He knows where every road is leading and where the dead ends are.
Proverbs 20:24 “Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way ?” Once I realized that He got me in the palm of His hand and nothing happens without His saying so, I began to understand that He closed the doors for a certain reason (I’m not gonna share it with you) and it was important that they closed.
“It is time to seek the Lord.”—Hosea 10:12.
When I returned to church, my Sabbath school teacher who I adore told me why God allowed this and that I should have put my pride and arrogance aside and prayed. You see, in life, God promises us His protection, but He doesn’t promise a trouble-free existence. We still need to walk through the valley of shadow of death and He wants us to trust Him even then and that He will come and rescue us and even if He chooses not to, we still need to trust His wisdom.
In the midst of my heart break, I’m trying to hold on to His words of peace. I’ve some positive thoughts behind my ears from the days before, and for the people I care for I made a corner in my mind, and I’ve firmly molded my humanity into a beating muscle and locked it in my rib cage; perhaps, this is not enough. But this is all I got and it’s all my shaky faith can muster and hold in between my feeble, trembling hands. And when I feel my shaking hands are weak and about to loosen, I keep reminding myself that the God who holds the universe in His hands, has got me covered.
(title credit: Leslie Jamison, The Empathy Exams: Essays)