The longer I live, the more I realize how futile it is to try to fit life, my plans, my theology into a neat little orderly kit to carry around with ready-made responses. Don't misunderstand. I'm not saying there are no black and white issues, rights and wrongs, lost and saved, good and evil, God and not gods. I'm just saying that the longer and harder I try to know God, His infinite heart and unchanging perfection, the more I realize that I have yet to scratch the surface on all He is.
And yet, He has stooped to choose me and call me as one who would humbly engage my culture and attempt to speak for Him, teaching scripture and making disciples. So I seem to always feel like I need to have a "take" on current issues or events. I feel like folks are waiting on me as a leader to weigh in on controversial subjects. I always want to seize teaching opportunites or chances to take new ground for the kingdom or to demonstrate that being a Jesus follower is the only real way to make life work.
But as I grow, or perhaps, mellow with age... I find that I'm loath to jump in during the heat of a moment. It must be from years of having to eat my words or see the scars they've caused in my rear view mirror. Or maybe I've learned that keeping my mouth shut makes me seem wise when I'm really just as bewildered as everyone else. Or maybe just chicken of being opposed or missunderstood or misquoted.
I've found there are two camps of extremes. Just like when Hollywood turned the Bible into a miniseries... Grace leaners were over the moon about seekers finding truth and law leaners were quick to point out the slightest inaccuracy in the script. Both were trigger quick to take their opinions to the web, the water cooler , and the airwaves. But I found myself wondering what it all must look like to the non-churchy folk. Wondering if maybe we should be more concerned about positioning ourselves in their lives so that if God spoke, we'd be there to offer a hand or point the way.
Unfortunately, non-polarizing middle ground doesn't sell books or produce thousands of blog hits... But where I live, with my sleeves rolled up and my hand to the plow of local nitty gritty ministry, it's the fine line I walk when tragedy strikes or our country is attacked or the next fill in the blank controversy is raised. You have the "Give thanks for all things" and "Weep with those who weep" sentiments of grace giver types like Ann Voskamp or Rick Warren. But the other end of the spectrum is the "It's better than we deserve" reformed elitists like John Piper and John MacArthur. Or the "that theology is abusive" knee-jerk, anti-establishment pot-stirring rant-makers, like Rachel Held Evans ...as they all blog, tweet, facebook and speak to the media. I'm closer to the former crowd, but do I really have to pick a team? I choose team "Shut up and pray!", or team "How can I help?".
If you are within the sphere of my influence, or the sound of my voice, or the stroke of my touch know this: God will not be figured out but He can be known. God's actions either by direct influence or by allowances, are always perfect and always steeped in love. God wants us to be His ambassadors calling all men to repent, without timidity. God wants us to lay down our rights and our comfort and our agendas to meet needs.
We need to talk things out and talk others through it. We need to remember lost people act lost. We need to scour the Word and know what it says, and doesn't say. We need to fall down in tears/prayers with burdens for others when we realize that but for grace it could be us. We need to be gentle and compassionate and quick to take action to meet a need. We need to speak up, and know when to be silent. We need to be uncompromising with the essentials of the truth but show humility in dealing with the mysteries of God hidden, for now, in the gray areas, and yes there are gray areas. We need to look evil in the face, or in the mirror, and stare it down with the confidence of an assured victor; knowing this world is not our home and that He will complete His sovereign will as sure as the dawn.
I guess I'm just figuring out that I don't have it in me anymore, no more dog with a bone tenacity and self-assuredness. It was once said about me that "She's not always right but she's never in doubt". Well, I've grown. Apparently the beginning of humilty is to know what you don't know, and for me that's a lot! I don't know why daddies must stand in the rain waiting to recieve that body of his crushed 9 year old who he just dropped off at school. I don't know why children would be blown up at a race to celebrate life. I don't know... you name it... abuse, addiction, cancer, depression, bankruptcy, loss, abandonment, betrayal, war, terror, oppression, racism, poverty, distorted sexuality, slander, violence...I. Don't. Know.
But I do know that nobody wins a blame game. I know that the world wants to see a little less talk and a lot more action. I know I have a lot to learn and I need Jesus to teach me. I'm in over my head. But, I know I can trust Him even as I fear Him. I know He's our only Hope, the Source of Life, the Pearl of Great Price.
And I know I want to make THAT my mission, my trademark, and my legacy...not this blog.