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Hope, love, and stinking corpses

Strange day; can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe God is stirring up my insecurities and dealing with them. It's scary, honestly. There's stuff I'd rather He not touch, but really, is that love? This morning John preached on Christ's bold claim, "I am the resurrection." One of the implications of this is that He is invading my life with His.
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, "Lord, he whom you love is ill." But when Jesus heard it he said, "This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it."

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

—John 11:1-6
Jesus waits, waits until Lazarus is clearly, hopelessly dead, rotting and stench-laden. He waits so that the glory of God may be displayed— that much is certain. Yet it can also be argued that He waits for a complementary reason— because He loves Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. He makes them need a miracle.

When Jesus asks Martha if she believes He is the resurrection, "She said to him, 'Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world'" (John 11:27). Her answer is safe and orthodox; it lacks nothing in truth and everything in hope. She can believe in Him for eternity, but not for her life or her losses. She doesn't dare let herself hope for His intervention in the here-and-now.

So too the stinking corpses of my own life, the things I've given up hope on. What does it mean for Him to call them forth, even and especially the small and mundane ones? What does it mean for me to stray from the safe "faith" that keeps Him away from those, placing His power and healing in the far future and trying to bite back my grief and ignore the stench? What does it mean to have faith that inspires hope?

I struggle with the ordinary things, to a sometimes embarrassing degree (odd how I find myself being embarrassed more and more often). For example, I'm coming to grips with the need to get healthier, yet something about that simple thing almost shuts me down. Considering some of the other things I'm willing to wrestle with, it seems silly the ways I get hung up on normal life.

Gattaca is on; maybe one of the perfect movies for my motivation and definitely one of my favorites.

I was never more certain of how far away I was from my goal than when I was standing right beside it.


You are the authority on what is not possible, aren't you Irene? They've got you looking for any flaw, that after a while that's all you see. For what it's worth, I'm here to tell you that it is possible. It is possible.


You want to know how I did it? This is how I did it, Anton: I never saved anything for the swim back.

—Vincent Freeman, Gattaca


Thanks, I needed that today.


You're most welcome— I did, too.
What channel is Gattica on?


Our local UPN affiliate.


Yeah, so many people are like Martha, willing to trust God for eternity but not for the here and now. Makes me wonder if I'm like her, too...


I think life on this side of heaven has made us all like that to some degree. Will we let Him free us from that?

What we could all learn by not saving anything
for the swim back.


Not a bad time to start, Padawan.
There's stuff I'd rather He not touch, but really, is that love?

This, I think is the heart of being a believer. Do we trust Him enough to let Him poke around in our hearts, renovating, cleaning out the gunk, without knowing what every step in the process will entail? I can only pray I trust Him that way.


Yes, it's about love on both sides: does He love me enough to touch those things, and do I love Him enough to trust Him?


Thank God He does, and is teaching me to.
Considering some of the other things I'm willing to wrestle with, it seems silly the ways I get hung up on normal life.

I hear this one! Maybe one of the less noble motivations I've had for wanting to be a missionary. The illusion that normal life goes on hold.
Of course it just atrophies my already low daily coping skills to always be going off to exciting things every 6 months.

I'm so glad that you're on lj and that you share your heart... even without particulars you're very encouraging and convicting.


Thank you. Lots of my particulars are only convicting to me. :)


I understand :) Particulars are not always necessary from a readers standpoint.


I still write for myself in most respects, but I use a kind of shorthand— I always know what I mean, even months and years later. I'm thankful that my journal can sometimes be accessible to others as well.