Monday, September 24, 2007

overturning tables

Below is a quote from the book Divine Nobodies by Jim Palmer. The quote is long, but it is certainly worth reading.

"I don't really want a relationship with God. Here's what I want. I want to share with God all I feel, all I need, all that grieves me, all that makes me happy, the puzzling things, the fun things, and the hard things, but I would prefer that God keep his stuff to himself. I don't want to hear about his pain and share in his grief...This goes way deeper than feeling guilty about doing more; I'm trying to figure out how I got to the place where the things that break the heart of God are so marginal to mine. I'm starting to wonder if I can even have a "relationship" with God this way, and I'm left with the question of how much I really want to know God. There's no having it both ways. Whether I like it or not, the God who dances over the breathtaking sunrise weeps over each victim of brutality."

Those words are quite unsettling to me.

Having a relationship with someone means sharing their joy in the good AND sharing their pain in the bad. One look at my marriage and I can easily see how true this is. If Betsy gets hurt or angered by something or someone, as soon as I hear about it I am instantly hurt and angered as well.

That is true with my wife. But is that true with my God?

Sure, I get an empty feeling in my stomach if I watch a Dateline NBC special report about human-trafficking or read a book about third world hunger and disease. But, unfortunately, it pretty much ends there.

Yesterday Mark taught about Jesus clearing the temple in John 2. In case, you are unfamiliar with that story...its the one where Jesus gets pissed-off; about the lack of reverence and passion of God's people; about the exploitation of the poor; about the...whatever, he just gets pissed.

And based on that Mark challenged us with these words, "May we, as His followers, hurt where Jesus hurt; get mad where Jesus got mad; overturn tables where Jesus overturned tables; and love as Jesus loved."

To that I say, Amen.

(Rembrandt's rendering of the event in John 2)

No comments: