I love history.
I must get it from my mother.
My mother reads dull books that smell like barn wood and dust, thick as a meatball sub, that probably no one has read in a half century.
Church history being her favorite.
Home schooling has allowed me to put my nose in all those, to many people, dull history book again. I suppose I love history because history makes me feel small, and that’s a good thing It brings into focus that the sun does not rise and set “on the direction that America is heading”
With the advantage of century- long hinds sight I can see in the corner of my mind eye’s God’s sweeping hand, hidden in names and dates of rulers and countries you can’t pronounce or can longer be found on our world globe.
It makes me feel better about “why the long wait” in my own life.
Some may view this as confirmation that God is indeed that far removed “something” our there, who occasionally sweeps in to shake the planet up. I have on dark mornings that turned into darker days, held such views.
But then Jesus stands close and that fuzzy “its the just the universe, man” philosophy burns up in His presence. A presence that can’t be put into scientific terms or explained with scholarly apologetics.
Madeleine L’Engle wrote in her memoir A Circle of Quiet:
its an odd thing, another paradox, this balance of involvement and detachment…(then later)… the paradox- I have to use what intellect I have in order to write books, but I write the kind of books I do in order to glimpse things that are on the other side of the intellect”
She was writing, specifically, on the philosophy of the writing process and the art of creativity.
But it reminds me, as I study the history found in the Bible, world history found in textbooks, biographies I read, and I then process the horrible things whole people groups suffer through for centuries at a time, of our paradox of faith.
Why did the children of Israel have to wait 400 years before Moses came busting in on the scene…and again the near 400 years “of silence” between the old testament prophets and the advent of Christ?
Why did it take more than 300 years of Roman tyrants making martyrs out of the Church before God gave the vision to Constantine, that led to him becoming the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity?
Why is Africa still the way it is?
China still has its one child policy?
Imperfect prose was hosted today by Kimberly Conway Ireton and she wrote on having deep depression and a deep love of God, and how, oh how can the two exist?
How can our faith increase, our love of God increase, all while taking that “happy little blue pill” as she says?
I have lived in that paradox for a long, long time. Actually, most of my life, as had several family members.
Kids just do what they always do: push anything that is lying low in us to a not too attractive front and center.
And so, that is when the proverbial stuff hits the fan, and I realized I better start doing something different cuz just praying about it and keep telling my family I am sorry was not cutting it.
There was damage being done. To all of us.
Which of course, led to the mental struggle: my brain could not wrap its minds around my spiritual state and my mental state and how the two are connected like an inhale and exhale of breath, and yet to unbend what felt broken to straight I sought two different paths-
medicine and faith
It was like that far off God who seems to be biding His time in heaven while people perish and the reality of the nearness of Emmanuel God with us, through the perfect bond of the Spirit.
Because God and Son and Spirit are one, and they are all love. Nothing so perfectly illustrates this as The Book of John in the New Testament.
On a good day, it makes my head spin.
On a bad day, it makes me feel like this whole faith thing is pretty foolish.
But perfect understanding and intellect is not required for perfect faith. Faith simply believes.
The struggling question about depression and christian faith and how people won’t talk about it, get visibly uncomfortable, or make you feel bad, is the fall out.
It often becomes our own downward spiral, because we too are uncomfortable with what can’t be easily explained or shrugged off.
But, for others in my life,mostly my husband.
But, for the invisible hand of God who is okay with me being upset and mad, and did not and still does not need me to understand everything about Him to receive comfort from Him.
Linking up today with Emily Wiernga at Imperfect Prose.
May Emmanuel, God with us, be with you this Christmas season. Especially for those who know very personally the cold statistic that depression and suicide goes up during the holidays.