Jan 5, 2008

Stirring the Pot

I became aware of one of my gifts about two years ago. I'm calling it a gift because despite the apparent destruction that comes initially, there is always a redemptive outcome eventually. I've named it Prophetic Atomic Bomb or Bob for short. (I call everything Bob. It's my favorite name for stuff, events, chairs.) So I use Bob, most of the time unknowingly, to stir up a mess of trouble. Or a pot of stuff. I see or sense something and act on it. Whether it's writing, or having a conversation or just ranting to my often-patient husband, daughter or friends. And then the demons of hell are unleashed. Some refer to this event as the Sh*t Hitting the Fan or Nuclear Holocaust. Not exactly beneficial to my self-esteem, but I need humbling if I plan on walking out Micah 6:8.

Apparently, I've done it again. Somewhere along the way in this desert journey, I've unleashed some sort of Angry Christian spirit that has come after me and my daughter. I'm actually excited and terribly curious to see how God will, once again, redeem this. I love to watch Him work.

I have a cousin that I haven't seen in 15 years or so. A guy I drop a Christmas card to every year but never hear from. Well, he emailed me this year. I was so glad to hear from him until I read what he had to say. Something about the end of the world and a 74 disc DVD set that he sent to his mother full of warnings, predictions, and get out of Hell Free cards. He admonished me to log onto a particular website, so that I too could fully comprehend the terrible destruction that is upon us. I felt so loved (mild sarcasm). After all the dire warnings and demands that I understand our doomed plight he ended with "I hope this finds you well". Really?

Time in this desert life has encouraged me to look at me and make changes in how I love people. So instead of my usual response of "wow, what a nut job you've become!" I responded with joy at his search for truth and then shared with him titles of books I've been reading, the url for my blog and encouraged him to check it out, if he so desired. Lovely, encouraging, hopeful and bragging a wee bit on Jesus.

Well, to my great surprise (or not, I'm not sure), my dear cousin responded within 5 minutes to my end of what I thought was conversation. Turns out, this wasn't a conversation, it was a lecture and I had failed the pop quiz. The anger, arrogance, vitriol and rage with which he responded almost knocked me off my chair. Who the h*&ll was I talking too? Has this guy been pent up in the west desert of Arizona so long he's lost his mind? What church has he been going to? But as I sat and pondered his end of our "conversation" I saw so clearly that this is the church I was a part of for so long. The one that made me sick of spirit and depressed. My cousin's response did not resemble Jesus in any way, shape or form. Test the spirits, Paul admonished. Did anything my cousin extend to me resemble Peace, Patience, Kindness, Self-Control, Love, Joy? Nope. And all because he is caught up in an End of the World panic. Perfect love casts out all Panic.

News Flash! The end has been coming for a few thousand years now. You can read all about it in a little book I like to call Revelation. I'm pretty sure Jesus' message to the 7 churches in the beginning of this tome by John had something to do with faithfulness, compassion, giving. Pretty sure there wasn't anything in there about Arrogance, Panic, Fear, Rage and dissing your cousin. Pretty sure. But I'll need to read it again to be certain.

Let's say it is the end of the world and we're all going down a deep dark rabbit hole. My guess is, God already knows. He knew before the Bible was written because like Dr. Who, God travels in time, except He doesn't really travel because He is in all times at ... uh, all times. So if God knew about this end of world freak out, but told us to love our enemies, care for widows and orphans, give to the poor, multiply food, heal the sick, comfort the sad anyway, how does Doomsday dismiss the two greatest commandments? Love the Lord your God with all your Heart, Mind, Soul & Strength and Love Your Neighbor as Yourself except in the case of world crisis? Don't think so.

Then, my daughter read the blog of a leader at a teen intensive she went to this past summer at a Prayer ministry in KC. J's doing research for her senior thesis and wants to use this guy's comments to support her presentation on what's wrong with the church. Turns out, he's made her famous. He's written an entry decrying her leaving early from the intensive and how she manipulated God by "laying a fleece before Him." The blog is written with the same shockingly sad arrogance, know-it-all, holier-than-thou crap my cousin spewed. No humility. No wondering. No questions. Just cement-like certainty that he's right, she's wrong and his hope that she doesn't end up in Hell for offending God this way. Again, I really want to live in Micah 6:8. This has given me the desire to pursue it more diligently.

And this KC ministry is founded on God's letter of love in Song of Solomon. You know, the God that is the Kindest, most Gentle, most Loving, most Compassionate, most Patient, most Joyful, Most Hopeful person you will ever meet. Did I see that Jesus in this man's writings. Nope. And we read several of his entries. they were all so arrogant it actually made me frightened for him. Boot shaking, get on the floor and duck down real low fear.

So the cat's out of the bag, Pandora's box is opened, The bats of hell have been unleashed, and the wild dogs of the north are on the move. I'm sure I could think up more metaphors, but you get the point. What a Mess. But God does the best stuff with Mess. I'm not kidding. Look at me. I can't wait to see what He'll make of this and how He'll use it to change me.

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