Western paralysis part 2

Tuesday 6 May 2008

Almost without realising it, I have fallen back into striving again. I am so much more paralysed, after a period of trying to work out Western paralysis, that I give up. Again, I return back to my own Rome, which is where all my roads converge these days because none of the others make sense and bring me peace, or have the ring of Him about them, except for this:

I can only do what I see the Father doing, what I believe he is asking me to do.

And yet that raises questions of its own.

I do persist in trying to come up with a unified theory of everything. I actually have a theory that there is a unified theory, but that it appears so completely random and utterly disparate and totally contradictory that we can't begin to see it, and so there may as well be no theory at all :)

Still, doesn't mean I'm not going to try to work the whole thing out. It's actually easy to work it out. It comes by listening. It's just that you get one piece at a time, and God's jigsaw puzzle box contains 783,568,140,362,866,266 pieces.

I've stopped being angry at God. Really, being angry at Love is a bit pointless, isn't it? It's like being furious at a baby's gurgle, or hateful towards a flower or unmoved by mountain ranges or moved by Nana Moskouri music. Still, Love behaves in ways certainly have me questioning his motives at times. Actually, it's more how Love doesn't behave. How Love doesn't step in to alleviate suffering. Of course, that's the old hoary chestnut that is probably front and square of most atheists' soapboxes proclaiming the non-existence of God. But why does he not do more? This is why I have been angry at him.

But then ...

You feed them, Jesus said.

I'm thinking of Mother Theresa who spent all those years in Calcutta, seemingly fruitless if you mark it on a chart. No wonder she doubted her faith, being immersed up to her neck in suffering every day. She threw so much into the people of Calcutta that her faith followed in afterwards. I imagine it have come back a hundredfold by now, but still - day after relentless day she spent, and many of those days she must have been wondering, for what? But she went where He asked her to go, did she not?

And so. What we do must come out of the heart of the Father, those things he has prepared for us since before the beginning of the world. We must believe this or else we will all go insane. There is too much suffering, too much that needs to be done, too much that just makes us throw our hands up in the air and do nothing, and too much that we are told and shown by the media. We get to see bad things happening every single day, day after day after day. Some people in times past lived in tiny villages and never went any further than that, and would go for weeks without hearing any bad news. We hear it every single day. And we can't fix the world. If indeed we love who is in front of us, and look inward to those little inklings that might send us further afield, then perhaps that is all that we can do. But is that enough when the entire world shakes so?

There is an interesting article from Mark Satin's Radical Middle newsletter which highlights how it is that the poor, if we really want to help them, require much more than just a bit of cash thrown at them to appease consciences whose hearts really aren't in it. What the world needs now is love, sweet love. But not the pot-fuelled 1960s version. Go read the article; I like what he says there.

It's nothing more or less than what Jesus displayed and spoke and indicated and suggested and provoked and angered about. The difference between hell on earth and the closest thing to heaven on earth we can get in one life is a group of engaged or disengaged people. The life of love lived outward. It's so simple that we can't do it.

I have spent so long composing this post and yet it has all fallen apart in my hands, crumbling. And in the end, I turn back, as always, to God. And ask, what will you have me do? And hope that I listen when he answers. It's all that I can do.


  1. So it actually made sense? Wow.

  2. I read a book once called Esther Ried Yet Speaking by Isabella Alden. It's an OLD book, but one thing that was spoken in the book that I'll never forget was this:

    Christians should stop going out, and start inviting people in.

    It's so much easier to participate in a "ministry" or an outreach.

    The author was specifically talking about inviting people into homes for fellowship. It scares me with some people, but I've been praying to know how to handle situations and be wise in showing unconditional love. I agree it's all we can do to listen to Him and respond.

  3. Jennifer - good quote. And you're so right, it's easier to have a "ministry" out there that we can do between 7 and 10 on a Friday night or whatever than have a whole life that's open, isn't it?


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