Sunday, August 8

God's megaphone

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” C.S Lewis

I wonder why, in the overwhelming evidence, I continue to expect and hope for that expression of what I know must exist in this world. I wonder why, if I am such a demonic and evil person who instills fear and elicits unachievable goals in the world around me, I am not more prone in the darkness of the day to reject the failing and inadequate attempts of love, compassion and mercy that are ‘attachment’ free until they are touched and found to be tied to a ball-and-chain of impossible demands for satisfaction and perfection.

We demand perfection in others and yet fail to see it in ourselves. We say that joy, love, compassion and grace flow from a relationship with God but limit that relationship in the light of another’s touch. We expect more from ourselves and fail, especially when others demand the same level of perfection from us.

Someone asked me today if the relationship that was recently ended by the other person was a source of ‘sorrow’ or ‘oh well’ for me. I simply said that it was both….and that I would survive, as I have the other relationships that I had invested myself honestly into that had resulted in a source of bitterness and pain. As I wander into the new season of this life, realizing that I am far from where I was but definitely am not (nor in this world will I be) finished with the journey, I am shocked at the impressions that I am getting from the ‘other side.’

No reason given, yet there is anger. No justification pinpointed, but judgment pronounced. No authority reasoned, but behaviors decided. I am surprised, despite the ‘honest tears’ that just like I had found myself almost a month ago, I am wandering into a new minefield……not one I expected.

Oh, far be it from me to ever say that there isn’t work to be done, the funny thing is in all of this mess is that I never declared myself complete or finished up……perfected in the corrupted body of a sinful man. Such is an oxymoron and therefore foolish to even contemplate. But the harshness that has greeted my overtures and the ‘friendly’ nature of my contacts with them….I am shocked.

Oh, I’m not surprised that my comment made in error of the ease to which she was ‘dealing’ with the relational explosion was met with emphatic denial at such smooth movement into the future beyond this place. I was wrong and as in the other times I have been wrong, I will and have been the first one to admit such errors. But the other comments and overtures that have elicited similar ‘expressions?’


And yet, in so many other places where the heart has been opened and flayed, there is a surprising rallying of support and utterances of complete reversal. Where understanding is given to the fallacy of humanity and forgiveness is passed as the main dish to a dinner well pass overdue. Amazing, again not from sources that I would’ve expected or elicited such commentary before. Oh, there is no doubt that in the passage of things there is plenty of blame to hand out to all the parties involved in the moments of my life. But, in the discussions that are suddenly happening in the glaring harshness of the sunlight, there is a discernible progression from the old nature to the new nature.

At least in other’s eyes.

But in the truth of the moment, I did ask a question that I had already discerned the response. But I didn’t anticipate the lopsided commentary attached to the ‘short’ answer. The perfection that they would elicit on the pulpit, they also would elicit at home….regardless of the impossibility of such goals, though the striving and desire to achieve such within the relationship we share with Christ is of the nature of a driving force for any Christian. As we are called to come alongside 'each other' from pastor to fellowship, holding each other to accountability, such expectation has to be in the home...

I was once called David…….and the funny thing is David had some epic failures in his life, failures that drove a nation to ruin and several people to their deaths. Failures that prevented him from building God’s resting place and caused the sword never to leave his household. Failures that lead his son, Solomon, into a different path with the same results…..willful detachment from the relationship with God that lead to all-too human destruction.

I would have to agree with her, there’s no reason I should be a pastor. And I have been saying that since October 2004.

I think I realize where I have gone wrong….I have made a human relationship my idol, the passion to serve in ministry my idol and a hope to find some semblance of grace in humanity the altar to which I sacrificed to them; all superior to my relationship with God. Oh, I will not try and claim innocence in the last relationship that failed…..there is plenty of unbiblical and sinful behavior that I, as the man, should have been more exacting in their exclusion from the relationship rather than their acceptance. That is my failure, instead of being a blessing; I was part of the curse.

I failed to be the man God intended.

No, there’s no way that I should be a pastor of a church…though pastors aren’t called to ‘preach the gospel’ but rather equip the sheep, who are called to ‘preach the gospel and make disciples of what they have been taught.’

We are surprised daily by the failure of such leaders in our communities, our churches, and our congregations.....isolating them to a standard that allows no grace, no mercy or no quarter when they show that they are human too, shaped by the experiences and traumas of their lives as each one of us are.

Today my ex told me that the pastor who was the leader of the church where I discovered Christ is getting a divorce, his wife already departed. I wonder if they will crucify this pastor on the altar?

There’s work to be done, admittedly, in my life….held to the accountability of friends and the mercy of Christ…in the relationship I have with my children, the relationship I have with those who are important in their lives, and the relationship I have with the One who gave them to me.

The one thing they said before they left that has left a crease on my forehead is;

“You are the image they have of God.”

But since when has God been a failure?

I responded un-honorably to the email I had received with the answer I had expected and I will and am apologizing for my less-than-Christian response....

I am making headway but still have far far longer to go before I can say I reflect the perfect image of God to my home, my family and my friends.

But I know that I ask forgiveness and it is given, tasked again to the purpose and perfection that is only achievable in Christ and I get up in the morning begging with my heart for the opportunity to serve.

At least my children are more forgiving, understanding, merciful and yet demanding....just like God is to me.

That is an image of God I think I do show.

And for now, that is enough.

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