Friday, July 16, 2010

how can we allow this?


there are thousands that will die between the time i write this blog and the time you read it. in a world where 30,000 young children die everyday from starvation, 1 billion people do not have access to clean water and the majority of our world lives on less money in a year than i will pay in rent this month.

it is not hard to see there is a problem... i have found that this leads many to a frustration with God. a frustration that often ends in the abandonment of their 'belief' in a God who could allow such. putting our maker on trial saying 'how could you allow this?'.

however what is horrifying about this question is that it is one all men should ask themselves. 'how can we allow this?'. perhaps the change of the world to come will be mainly in ourselves. we will no longer be content to fatten our savings and cushion our beds while billions literally billions go their whole lives without simple necessities such as water, food, and shelter. without protection, medicine, and safety.

i fear the question may one day be turned around and no longer will we judge our maker and ask 'how could you allow this?'. but he will ask man 'how in a world that had more than enough for all who lived in in, how could YOU allow this?'

he shall ask us again
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily;
if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness...And the LORD will guide you continually" Is. 58 6-11

Monday, July 12, 2010

Love.

Context is what allows us to understand almost any aspect of life. Context is responsible for creating hopes, fear, relationships, literature, history, and all of life. In order for me to step into a book or a circumstance and understand everything I see I must know at least a broad context of what is going on. Because man is by nature very observational and recognizes the context of the world around him, this is often taken for granted.

But we have all stepped into a story many chapters from its beginning. We are all in a story, and this story has a context. I believe that our not often "misunderstanding of the story" is the why so many wrestle to find their purpose, their role, and their Maker.

Any reading of our "story" or any understanding of who we are must center upon its beginning. I believe that the bible is true and I believe it gives the context for the story we find ourselves in. It is one about God. But this does little unless we know who God is. It is not enough to simply read, memorize, or meditate on what sentences in the Bible says, if we do not understand the Character of the author and centerpiece of the story. He is love. All Christian study and further I believe all life only makes sense when it is understood in light of the Character and nature of God. If we miss the fact the our father is a Good father, and a loving father we will make his instructions and guidance to us (revealed in scripture) as a attempt to simply exercise authority and not an expression of His great care for us. The bible says God is Love. All that he does is done in Love and because of love.

But this needs clarifying"Love" is everywhere. And it is something that being defined wrongly. It is more that infatuation, sex, attraction, or companionship. It is not simply romance, though all the virtue and wonder of romance is part of Love. No one denies love, it is referenced in the books we read, the relationships we have and often wrongly ascribed to the emotions we feel. But this is not Love. It is more.

'Love is patient and kind, selfless and humble. Love seeks not its own good, but the good of the one Loved'. 'This is Love, not that we loved God but that he loved us'. So deeply that he was willing to come and die and lay down his life... for us.

In bodies filled with Sin and hormones this type of love seems bland to us. We crave romance, eros, and ecstasy and I think we should. Yet, we still see only half the story, but one day 'we will see in full' and we will find our burning for love was never for a woman or for a man. But for God. This is why young men and young women crave beauty and sex rather than compassion and faithfulness. I see it is my own heart that is 'deceitful above all else'. But I don't wish simply sex and beauty for others. For those who I care about most I wish more, much more. And when the dust settles I wish more for myself. I wish care, companionship, purity, strength, laughter, joy, and peace. I wish faithfulness, trust, and love.

Money, sex, pleasure, they eventually give way and will always be just beyond our grasp. But if we are brave, strong and courageous, and broken we may drink from a cup that overflows with the greatest love we could ever know... and if this cup fills our mouths we shall dance like few ever dream of... Strong and courageous.

"But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,

Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,

Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;

For love is sufficient unto love."- The Prophet (1923)

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