Thursday, October 30, 2008

or anything but hope

Strong opinions do not come easily for me.  Even having an opinion at all is sometimes difficult.  I am working on it.  Opinions are important.  They point you in a direction.  They will you.  They ground you.  

Usually my lack of an opinion is simply because I can see both sides of an issue, and cannot commit to one.  Black and white is hard for me.  We do not live in a black and white world.  We function in a million shades of color that are not always easily defined.   

People who define things so easily are hard for me.  People who arrive are hard for me.  How do you arrive?  How do you know when you've arrived, and when do you stop searching?  

They may shake their heads and lament our generation of questioning everything, but they must accept that questions still remain.  We live with them, step around them every day, all day long.  One doesn't have to admit that there is uncertainty, or pry it open, for it yet to exist all around him.  

I am quite comfortable with being unsure about a lot of things.  There are many things that I have never figured out, or thought I had but now realize I don't, and maybe never will.  I am ok with that.

Life lived among shadows is nothing new.  If anything, living without mystery is something new, something that could only evolve in our own well-lit, well-informed society.  

Consider, when was the last time you took a long walk in the dark?  Ever?  Do we ever find ourselves separated from electricity long enough to look up, to marvel, to become aware of the glorious  mystery all around?

We so easily flip a switch, and the mystery evaporates.  It is only the familiar world we know in the light.  And so we assume familiarity with all things.  We examine, and probe, and define, until things make enough sense to satisfy us and we stop. searching.  We arrive.

But shining lights are in fact only shutting out the true reality, the true breath of mystery that hovers all around us.  We cannot turn enough lights on to make it go away.  We cannot answer enough questions.  There will always be more.

Why be afraid of the dark?  

Maybe our generation is in fact old-fashioned . . . maybe rather those who live without questions, who can make so much sense of everything, are they who have adopted the modern worldview.  It is, in fact, a quite new idea, to live without mystery.

In societies that spent time under the stars, there were people who followed them.  In places where it was quiet enough, angels appeared.   An unsuspecting woman gave birth to God.

I am glad that I can say with Paul that I know whom I have believed (2 Tim 1.12) . . . and, along with Paul, that it is fellowship of the mystery (Eph.3.9) . . . .

I want to embrace the mystery.

From the library yesterday, we brought home Owl Moon . . . 
When you go owling
you don't need words 
or warm 
or anything but hope.
That's what Pa says.
The kind of hope
that flies
on silent wings
under a shining
Owl Moon


Heather of the EO said...

I'm seriously so thankful for you.

Me too -- the "seeing both sides to things" part. Well, the whole post actually. But anyway. We just talked about this in my book club last night. About how sometimes it would be easier just to feel you had all the answers, that you are the keeper of the actual final word in truth. That your brain is the one, your heart, your church, your family...yup, you've got the corner on all things and you know what to do with all things because you have all the answers.

For now, I only know one truth. ONE TRUE GOD. He's a million things that aren't all that concrete to our human minds. But we try to keep him simple with our black and white. By arriving to our own personal answers. Some people do that to the extent of arriving and then becoming so passionate that they are RIGHT that they hurt other people nearly constantly.

Geez, Heather stop rambling.

I'll stop with this. That one true God? He does have all the answers and I think we can figure most of them out through His word. But there are some things we just won't know until we're with Him. And I think that's a pretty beautiful mystery.

ANOTHER great post from you, lady.

Ruth said...

Jess, I LOVE your blog.