Job & The Chariot of Fire

jordan-donaldson-jordi-d-106090

“Then ADONAI answered Job out of the whirlwind… ‘Now gird up your loins like a man; I will question you, and you will inform me!'”–Job 38:2-3 TLV

THE MORE I READ The Book of Job, the more I’m convinced that it wasn’t meant to explain the problem of suffering. The suffering itself is a decoy–like the fiery chariot that seperated Elijah and Elisha, when Elijah was transported to heaven in a whirlwind (2nd Kings 2:11). The real subject matter is in the whirlwind, for it is the whirlwind that narrows our focus onto God, making no effort to tame Him. The whirlwind is where our souls are calmed and quieted, like King David when he said, “I do not concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me” (Psalm 131 NKJV).

The God of the whirlwind bows to no one. He’s not some indefinable cosmic energy that we can tap into, but He’s not a flat orthodox figure either. He is not an entity that will morph to suit our fancy or a cracked fresco on the ceiling of a Byzantine monastery. He is who He is.

But He is unchangeable, and who can make Him change? Whatever His soul desires, He does.–Job 23:13 TLV

In chapter 28, Job declares that true wisdom, like gold and precious stones, is hidden in the depth far beyond the surface of things; and, by the same token, those who approach The Book of Job with logic and presumption, reasoning away the mysteries of the supernatural, have already missed the point.  Continue reading “Job & The Chariot of Fire”

The Romance of The Cross

img_20170201_184518_001
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. My photo.

STAY, MY RESTLESS HEART, my wandering feet. The way of escape is here. The place of newness and purpose is here too. Not in the next adventure, the next accomplishment, the next good deed, the next admirer.

Stay and look up, above the spectacles, the sensations, the vanity. There is a cross up there in the sunshine, strong and plain, beckoning you back to Contentment. Back to your First Love–the Christ who willingly went “like a lamb to the slaughter.” Back to the Christ who healed the pastor’s broken marriage and rescued him from the cartel.

How many kings and priests and prophets of ancient times longed to see what you see? You belong to someone, not something. You belong to a person, not a religious tradition or ideal. It is nothing less than the precious body that was broken like bread and the precious blood that was poured out like wine. “God With Us.” God for man and man for God. God and man, reconciled in the person of Jesus Christ.

Stay, my restless heart, my wandering feet. Desire the one who desires you. Continue reading “The Romance of The Cross”

To The Unborn

1989 (2)
My mother and me.

PRECIOUS,

When I was little, a man on an airplane asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Naturally, I hugged my doll close to my heart and said, “I just want to be a mommy.” (I took that doll everywhere, and then I lost her somehow and cried about it for years.)

I was raised to be a housewife, like my mother and my grandmothers and my great-grandmothers. I grew up amid the sub-cultures of two extremely large and traditional families. When one of my cousins from my mother’s family married one of my cousins from my father’s family, I was related to nearly everyone at the wedding. One of my cousins called me the morning of the wedding to ask if she could borrow something to wear. She’s the mother of eleven, soon to be a grandmother. So, obviously, our cradle has been crazy blessed, and the fact that I haven’t yet done my duty to society is so unorthodox, by our standards, it’s almost immoral. But it isn’t because of an absence of desire on my part.

God calls those things which are not as though they are–and I do the same.

Nothing is as painful as love that has nowhere to go, no way to spend itself, and so it makes me happy to think that there is something I can actually do for you today. I just have a few things in my heart that need to get out, and I won’t try to be witty or poetic. I’ll do this now, and someday when I have you in my arms, fresh and sweet with promise, I’ll gladly put my pen away and probably never reach for it again.

The grandmother who I never met became a mother when she little more than a child herself and died young. “No wonder,” people gasp, “after giving birth nineteen times!” But if they asked her she would have told them that delivering all those babies was the easy part. It was actually the child-rearing more than the child-bearing that put her in an early grave.

The pretty teacups that she left behind were all broken and glued back together. Her homemade dresses were folded tenderly away in my grandfather’s dresser drawers.

She deserved her own Taj Mahal for all the cloth diapers she washed by hand. Continue reading “To The Unborn”