Slightly revised reflections from one of my first attempts, nearly 10 years ago, to craft a blog post.
Previously PUBLISHED ON April 11, 2010
I believe my faith has moved from “truth and principle” as the driving force to a picture of “God initiates; Ron responds.” I’m leaving behind: Ron does A, B and C … so God will do D.
Love grows. Strong initiator + eager responder.
We have serious questions about each other. Why suffering? Why unexpected death, illness, financial struggle, relational struggle?
Scripture looks less like truth and principle and more like paradox, irony, with beautiful relational interplay’s. And Oh? Did I mention mystery?
Communion shifted from somber reflection on sin and failure to:
- a “kiss from God”
- “God and man at table are sat down”
What is it about bread? So plain, ordinary, often accessible, that, when brought to Christ, yields a kiss, a healing, scales falling from my eyes?
“Hunger and thirst, O Christ, for sight of Thee
Came between me and all the feasts of the earth.
Give Thou Thyself the Bread, Thyself the Wine
Thou, sole provider for the unknown way.”
~Radbod of Utrecht~
I notice a shift from “I choose,” (that Arminian shadow placing undo power and hubris in my hands) to “I respond.” Response means I’m watching intently for God’s creative new initiations (do you hear the chimes dancing in the wind?) and readily responding, often secretly, to His whispers, crumbs, presence. Hey! The good news is not truth nor principle as much as the Person behind it all.
Now, that ushers in art! Art is a way I can explore this person. Art is the means of my discovering how wonderful I’ve found Christ to be. The passions run deep and strong. Passions that look like a Cellist weaving and swaying, eyes closed, as music fires like neuronal transmissions from his fingers and bow.
No more dulling my pain, suffering, confusion, or blasphemies. I remember Christ, the suffering servant, I notice alongside me. Art lets me catch the hints, the glimpses. For the moment, that’s enough.
O, how can I write about this?
O, how can I praise with new words right for these moments?
Editors note 12/1/19: Ten years have passed since thinking this way and I’m not so sure “Ron responds” hasn’t shifted so sometimes it looks like: “God initiates; Ron squirms, questions, demands, screams, bawls, whines, shakes his fist, crosses his arms and stomps his feet, then comes to the end of himself, lays his deadly doing down, and learns to trust.”
 Arminianism, a theological movement in Christianity, a liberal reaction to the Calvinist doctrine of predestination. The movement began early in the 17th century and asserted that God’s sovereignty and man’s free will are compatible.