I have been absent from this world for a while. I am preparing to leave Missouri and head to Illinois for a year on a vicarage assignment. I am hoping through the nest year I will be more faithful in corresponding what is transpiring in Staunton through this medium.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Chapter the Eleventh and a Half: Well...

Since there have been no responses, either no one is reading or no one wants to answer, which is fine...I have the option of letting my last entry hang dead or finishing the thought myself, and since I am who I am, I am going to finish the thought, hence the half in the title.

It was not supposed to be like this, it was not supposed to end the way it ends or begin the way it begins. There was a time when all on this Earth was pure and holy and we as a people accepted everything from God with thankful hearts because we had no choice in the matter. This is not supposed to be the way it is. My friends are not supposed to fall away from faith and enter into relationships that hinder rahter than build. My friend is not supposed to be fallen in battle, nor my great uncle pass away from cancer nor family and friends divorce. This is not the way it was supposed to be. At one time we knew not anger or hunger, threats or curses, death...We knew only life and love, praise and adoration. We did not know how to put someone down, or not see inner beauty, we did not know how to be arrogant or boastful unless of course it was in proportion to our faith. I am sure this sounds like a cop-out method of explaining why things happen, "Oh it was not supposed to be this way so it is alright." Well yeah kinda only with less sarcasm added.
Now it is this way though, and we are stuck holding the conviction of our sin in our hands, on our hearts and headds. We are left with the hammer and nails in OUR hands, with the blood on OUR hands and clothing, it is OUR fault it is the way it is. We are the pickers, we are the eaters. Not forced, not threatened, but led like sheep to enter into the greatest deception this world has ever seen, "I do not exist," whispers the demon that surses our flesh. "I am not here," says the imp that is the son of the morning. The great illusion this world is caught in by its own accord. What a great irony we live in. We are the cause of our own death, the one thing that we are trying to extend year by year and drug by drug, treatment by treatment, when a simple "No thanks" was all we needed. "No thanks, we are not supposed to because we were told, that is good enought for us." Where is the hope in this thought, in this passing paragraph? There is none and nor is there supposed to be, this is what we have to face, we are hopeless beings, cursed to this earth once created in perfection and now cursed by us, the very beings created in it, OF it, to inhabit and live in it, is it not Iraonic do you not think...?
The hope comes in this,
Joe Manar was a mountain of a man, tall and filled out, gentle as a kitten and stronger than an ox. He lived in a west Texas town and ran a little business. He had a wife and two sons, both of whom played football for the local high school. One night his oldest son, John, was coming home from a football game late on a Friday night. His buddy Max drove him because John just did not feel like driving. They drove the 8 miles out of town to John's home and pulled into the drive, a few hundred yards to the homestead and then right into the front yard next to Joe's truck, because there was no cement parking space. Max climbed out of the driver's side door while John was collecting his gear. Max was stoped, dead on his feet by the blinding beam of a spot-light, the sound of a loading shot gun, and the questions, "Who are you, and what are you doing here?" Max could have died without a shot being fired, and he struggled as hours went by it seemed even to get his mouth open through the chattering of his teeth and the pain shooting up from his stomach through his head and down his back. Again the questions were asked, "Who are you, and what are you doing here?" Max thought an answer was quickly needed or his life on this earth would be over quickly. In the minute or less all of this had taken place, John has finally, to the thankful heart of Max, collect his belongings, exited the car and yelled, "DAD! It's alright it's me John and this here is my buddy Max, you know Max, we were just getting back from the game." The sopt light went off and the gun went away and Joe yelled back, "Yall come on in here, there is food on in the fridge drinks there too, I'll be in the living room watching the news, yall have fun." "Thanks Dad!" John yelled back. (Memoirs of Max Lucado)
So is it for all who have entered, and so shall it be for all who believe. We will stand at the gates, in the presence of our Maker, God our Father, and He will ask, "Who are you, and what are you doing here?" And we will have no grounds to answer, no backbone to shout forth, we will be helpless and childlike in that moment. We will realize our worthlessness, and then a hand on our shoulder we will feel, and from behind us the whole time, we will here, "Dad it's alright, He/She is with me!" Open arms we will then see from our Father through his Son who claims us, that is our hope, that is our truth. This world was not supposed to be this way. What a treasure we have in these words...

Just Going,



  • At 3:09 PM , Blogger Cassie said...

    People want to know why things happen, as if the answer to that ultimate question will make things all better. The answer you gave clearly showed the problem and solution of all the "whys" that happen in our world. My point of contention is not the answer to this question, but rather what we do with it. The knowledge of the answer to this burning question does not exempt us from still feeling the sting of the "whys". Too often we stop being real and hide from everything behind the promise of our Savior rather than take strength from it. When we draw strength from the promise of our Savior we are able to present ourselves as we really are, scars and all, to the world. No hiding.

  • At 11:22 AM , Blogger Mark said...


    Sorry I missed the first post, and read your answer to it in 11.5. Good thoughts as usual. I think I was there when we were watching good ole' Joel on the TV, and I do remember having a short conversation about him. I think you are right on about our accountability in the whole thing, it is just that people often do not like to own up to their responsibility in problems. It is easier to push the blame elsewhre.

  • At 4:51 AM , Blogger Anna H. said...

    Hey Sam,

    I also read 11 and 11.5 on the same day, hence the belated comment. I think your answer to the question posed was a good one. Well thought out, well argued, etc. Good job. The problem with the question that was posed, that is, "why do bad things happen if God is supposedly so loving" and whatever variations thereof, is that people aren't really interested in the answer to that question. Everyone knows the world is messed up, f---ed up, for lack of a word that describes it more perfectly. Of course bad things happen. Everyone knows that they themselves have done things that are wrong, they've hurt other people, etc., and that everyone else is in the same boat as well. Very few will dispute the fact that things are not as they should be.

    No, the real question isn't "Why did Aunt Mable get cancer and die" it's "Why did Aunt Mable get cancer and God not cure her?" The end result is the same, but there is a subtle difference that is very important. People know why bad things happen. People know that things are not as they should be. A whiny eight year old at camp tells you that with every refrain of "That's not fair!" What they're really asking is why God interferes in some cases and not in others. Aunt Mable is a saint who is laid to rest long before she should have been, but ornery Uncle Joe, who's a two-pack a day smoking jerk, lives to be a hundred and three. What’s up with that?

    The sticky wicket with that question is that the answer requires faith. A person of faith believes that God has a plan for everyone, and each plan is different. They trust that God knows what he’s doing. From the perspective of heaven, God’s plans work, and they work together beautifully, despite the flaws that Satan tries to weave into the pattern. From the ground, we can only see so far in any direction, and those plans don’t always make sense. In fact, when they appear to make sense is more the exception than the rule, but we press on because we know he loves us more than we could possibly imagine and that he always works for our good.

    Most people, though, simply can’t handle that, i.e. they don’t have faith—yet, anyway. They’re convinced that God’s too big, he doesn’t care, and, above all, he doesn’t really know what he’s doing for their lives or anyone else’s. That’s all a lie, of course. God is the perfect size, he does care, and he knows exactly what he’s doing. We are the ones who are too small, apathetic, and don’t know what we’re doing, but without faith, you’re probably never going to see it that way.

    I don’t know what God is doing any more than the next guy. But I am living in his grace every day. And I’m working on my trust issues and living in faith that he’s got us all taken care of. No easy answers. All we have is Him to cling to.


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