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Saturday, May 17, 2008

He was so cold


 the moisture in an air-conditioned funeral home was condensing on his head. this was because he was not embalmed. My father's wife asked them to hold off on the cremation so that my sister could see him one last time.
A couple of years ago, a man co-ordinating a retreat asked me to teach on the study of scripture. He said the Holy Spirit directed his request. I was sick with anxiety. I had never before felt humbled and greatly honored simultaneously. While researching, I stumbled across another author quoting Philip Yancy's Disappointment With God:
  • “Power can do everything but the most important thing: it cannot control love. In a concentration camp, the guards possess almost unlimited power. By applying force, they can make you renounce your God, curse your family, Work without pay, eat human excrement, kill and then bury your closest friend or even your own mother. All this is within their power. Only one thing is not: they cannot force you to love them. This fact may help explain why God sometimes seems shy to use his power. He created us to love him, but his most impressive displays of miracle—the kinds we may secretly long for—do nothing to foster that love.”
When It became clear that I was getting a divorce, I purchased the book and read it in it's entirety. In my emotionally raw state, Phillip's writing struck me powerfully. Possibly a week or ten days after I completed it, I found myself reeling from the death of my father. At this time it feels as though I read it years ago.The divorce papers sit in a kitchen cabinet in my new, beautiful, empty house, unsigned. My to do list has been put on hold, at least until tuesday. Since the tornadoes passed through the Macon state campus, I'm told that this semester will not begin on time. Last month, I could look back on the last six or seven years, and God's hand on my life seemed undeniable. My sight grows dim, My dreams are a joke, and I wonder if I deceived myself. I have journals going back to a time when I wrote prayers to a God whose name I did not know, I know If I could bring myself to read through them, I could trace my path as my Savior drew me to Him, and taught me his name. My faith is in shreds, I am suspicious even when comforted. Seven years Papa. 10 percent of my life. I have followed you, as best I could. My anger grows, I am surprised and fear you. I'm sorry. I have never been more aware of the gulf between souls. I know many suffer greater pain than this. I am so tired in the deepest part of me I yearn for rest. Reassure me of your love. Tell me again that this matters to you.

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