So I went to church today. The bell choir and a violinist did a version of â€œIt is Well with my Soulâ€, that made the hair on the back of my neck tingle. Hymns really resonate with me. There is something about a song that has been around for a while that makes me feel connected to the wider church body.
The pastor gave a sermon on Prevenient Grace. The idea that God has and always will call us back to Him, even when we are not seeking Him. The pastor used the illustration of a wireless network to highlight the point. How the router is always calling out with a signal regardless of whether or not a PC responds. He said grace was God calling us, we choose whether or not in respond to the signal. It was a cool idea, but I cannot help but think my antenna is broken.
I am really trying. I am attending a Lenten Bible study, I am doing devotions, I am trying to plug into ministry, but so far I am still feeling disconnected.
It is funny Jenn and I were having one of our late night discussions a few days ago. We were discussing how for about 5 years, I was on a spiritual high. I was leading a small group that turned into a full fledged ministry. I had just completed the first phase of ministry candidacy. I was going to seminary in the fall. My job was going awesome. I was unbelievably happy. I remember driving to the hospital the day of my sonâ€™s birth. While driving in, we talked about the perfection of our lives. Wondering how our lives could possibly be better.
The rest of that day I see in flashes. The anxious waiting, the smell of cauterized skin, the blue baby with a flipper, the desperate attempts to resuscitate, the worried glances of the nursing staff and pediatricians, telling Jenn there were problems, calling work and instinctively saying â€œeverything was OKâ€, then crying uncontrollably when my mom asked how it went. Then the litany of bad news, incomplete digestive track, hole in his heart, club foot, tethered spinal cord, the year of surgeries, the allergies, the asthma, the incontinence and on and on. I collectively think of all of this as the Beast.
Make no mistake, I love my son. I am crazy about him!!! I blame him for NONE of this. It is just easier for me to think of all the illness as a separate entity, the Beast. The Beast keeps attacking our family and we keep beating it back.
The thing is I wonder if I ever had faith before Ethan was born. Was everything before then just silly superstition that I followed to â€œkeep the good times rolling?â€ God was my cosmic slot machine. Faith was mostly an insurance policy to maintain prosperity. In a flash it was all gone.
My faith is still there, it is just different. I no longer think of friendship with Jesus. He is more like a demanding boss who occasionally displays moments of benevolence. I loath the fact that I let all this bring me down. I feel so weak and stupid for relying on pharmaceuticals to maintain mental stability. I hate that my body has gone to pot. But damn it the Beast is not going to win. I cling to the verse â€œGreater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.â€ So God if you are reading this blog, I am not giving up. Would it kill You to give a little guidance?