Apologies. (part 2)

The Banker's Gamble

Donald Miller was asked after one of his talks from an audience member why he stopped at Christianity.  The person challenged him with a gentle accusation: that he had narrowed the scope of his world- to only see it through the eyes of a Christian.  Why hadn’t he pursued other beliefs?

Don confessed- that yes, he had stopped at Christianity, and that even though he had done a little investigation into other spiritual perspectives, he did stop looking after he found Jesus.  Don told the audience member that if his Christian Spirituality were just a point of view, then it would be easy to continue to pursue various truths in other belief systems, but because Jesus was an actual Person, that it was not unlike being married to someone.  And would you continue to sleep with other people after being married just to see who else was out there?

So I thought about my wife.

            I live with her.  I eat with her.  I laugh with her.  When I hold her, I can bury my face in her hair and breathe her in.  After I kiss her, I can taste her.  I can yell at her.  Cry with her.  Hold her.  Be held by her.  I can do all of these things.  I know her better than anyone on this planet.  Yet she retains her beautiful mystery.  She is her own person- I could tell you about her, but never could I claim to predict her.  Nor could I ever speak like I fully understand her.

            Then it clicked.

            There was no mystery. 

“What would Jesus do?”…Hold on, I’ll tell you- he did it here, on page 743.  There’s your answer.  There’s the scratch to your itch.  Allow me to quench your thirst.  Ahhhh good- now doesn’t that feel better?  No more discomfort.  You can leave here now with another tidbit of knowledge- a better way to live.  And next week I’ll have another.

            If marriages are hard, why does this feel so easy?  So empty.  This is what my relationship with Jesus had become.

            I was waiting for another pill to swallow.  A quick fix- something to bring back the mystery, but for that that, there is no quick cure.  There is only waiting, and listening.  I have been doing this.  During the church services, I pick up some things here and there, but mostly I’m scribbling like mad in my journal.  I sort of… “open the airwaves”, and just write or draw what I see.  That’s what you saw at the beginning of the previous post.  They are some of my most intimate conversations with my Jesus.  I show you them because they aren’t really just mine.  They’re yours too.


I’m staring at the screen wondering what else to add to this thing…I don’t know.  I’ll just tell you that things are better now.  I’m eager to go to church. I’m eager to commune with my Jesus.  I’ll share future stuff here too with you all…when I’m prompted.



2 Responses to “Apologies. (part 2)”

  1. August 12, 2009 at 8:16 am

    For the last several months, I’ve made a point of bringing a small jounal to church with me. Soemtimes, it’s hard for me to commit to writing, so I have to coerce myself. I start by writing the date, and where I am, then I draw a line under it. I pause and cajole my mind and look around and listen to the sermon . . . and then I write the next thing I think. Twenty minutes later, I’m writing with passion and I’ve gone from writing carefully in small letters to scribbling in a hand only I’ll be able to decipher, with big swinging curves and exclamation points, empowered by prayer and praises and desperation and exaltation. I write phrases from the sermon, the text of verses displayed on the screens, sudden responses to triggers in my soul, and prayers to help me live it. Then there’s a prayer, and I close my book, and clip my pen back in my pocket, and try to contain myself until the singing begins. I try to talk myself into remaining seated until a decent-size crowd is standing so I don’t make myself a spectacle, but then that one line, or that chorus will come and I can’t stand to sit; standing is involuntary. And all of that is prompted by a simple cajoling, a simple, intentional rupturing of the protective packaging, tearing the sterile gloves to shreds and touching what’s happening around me. Jesus is happening around me.

    Tony – you’re a treasure. Please don’t keep yourself locked up. Unspent treasure is worthless.

  2. 2 dave powell
    August 16, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    it’s a readying of sorts for me. i go in the back; take all of everything out of my pockets; throw off my hat and my flip-flops; and ready myself physically for the thing the holy spirit has readied me for spiritually. i’m with you, dale; it’s impossible to contain it all until that time when everyone else is up and singing. i want to go and to go all in from the first beat of the kick drum. when the truths that are being preached well up to overflowing in my soul, there has to be a response. i will explode otherwise. i suppose that most folks would prefer the holy spirit on them as to have my guts on them. just saying.

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