January 29th, 2005



Extolling promises God never made. Moving the boundary stones of God's grace from where He's placed them. We are too often careless with our words about Him. He's reimagined and redefined based on our sensibilities. We don't mean harm by any stretch. But we subtly treat Him as someone less than God—as an idea that can be reworked to support our notions of family or righteousness or love. Like Uzzah, we reach for the Ark because we're afraid it will topple on its own (2 Samuel 6:6-7). It's absolute mercy when we aren't struck dead. And maybe, like David, we should consider the possibility that we shouldn't be carrying His presence the way we are in the first place.

I hate it in a way that I can't escape. I hate when He's reduced to an idea to play with, or a blessing-giver to seek, or a vague comfort while we're going our own way. And I hate that some part of me wants Him to be any or all of these things instead of being who He is.

Honestly, I want my desires to be His promises, rather than letting His promises become and transform my desires. So it's nothing but tension: I get pissed when God is treated like a tumbling ark, yet I'm doing the same damn thing or worse in my own life. He invites my trust and I refuse Him. He speaks wisdom and I question Him. He offers truth and I ignore Him. I find things beautiful and desirable that I know He hates. I pursue and treasure them anyway.

So can the Uzzahs of this world be any worse than I? Maybe I'm not kidding myself as much about who He is, but over and over again, I'm acting as if who He is doesn't matter. I can be righteously indignant until I'm blue, but at the end of the day, I know who I am, too.
  • Current Music
    Jars of Clay, "Worlds Apart"

Companions over tea

Firelight from the hearth, tea in a simple cup, Celtic music in the background. Perhaps this makes me a SNAG (Sensitive New Age Guy), but this is a good night, where I can find a kind of peace that doesn't have to deny longing.

My longing of late has been for another. I can tell by where my thoughts turn in the restless spaces and by who comes to mind. Yes, I want another with me, though I know I'd likely be a disappointment in a relationship right now. Hell, I'd suck at even initiating a relationship now. If I sense I'm not wanted—a sense that can be born of my insecurity as easily as of reality—I'll back away and stay at a distance. Thinking back, I've got my reasons for responding that way, screwed up as they are.

And I'd suck at being with someone, at communicating well, at listening and connecting, at being able to explain who I am and what's inside in a way that could make any sense. All I want is to skip all that and just be with someone who gets me, and who can accept what they can't get with a security and peace that can only be found through love. No games, no agendas. Just be.

Not tonight, I'm afraid. But it helps to know what I want, even if I never have it. It helps the longing be what it is, and starts to clear the brush away for what else it might point to. The heart reveals itself a layer at a time, and one longing often reveals another beneath. Desperation makes me reach for the nearest counterfeit to make the longing go away, but there is no peace in that.

It's not the kind of love I talk about much, because most of the time I just feel disappointment when I do. Tonight, though, I'm letting that longing be a companion over tea rather than being overwhelmed in sadness or anger or all the ways I flee. It's not going to kill me to long for something beautiful, and I don't have to settle for anything less.
  • Current Music
    Iona, "Machrie Moor"