Sunday, December 16, 2007

forceful men

Due to the fact that nobody seems to care to post anymore and I am therefore not sufficiently entertained, I thought maybe I'd post for once. I shouldn't have to do this, though. Don't give me your excuses: that it's Christmas, or that you're writing a book inspired by your blog, or that you need to spend more time with your family, or that you're in the hospital having a baby. I've heard enough. Get back to work!

I'm snowed in, however, and have lately been thinking of things I'd like to post about, so I'll cut you some slack for now.

I've been describing my semester (yes, I still think in semesters) in terms of the difference between a chisel and a sledgehammer. These are two metaphorical tools that God uses on my hellbound devotion to spiritual greatness.

Over the years, He's been kind and gentle: "tink tink" goes the chisel, oh so softly. Lately, it's been otherwise. He's coming at me with the ferocity of a rescuer, crushing that little beast within with a sledgehammer or a jackhammer or a hammerhead shark. What have you. At the risk of seeming melodramatic--oh forget it, the whole point is not worrying how I "seem"--this has been ridiculously painful. I'm really attached to my little beast. I feel comfortable with it, though it does trap me and keep me perpetually depressed.

I believe God is teaching me to be happy. I've never felt I deserve to be happy unless I prove I have the discipline and maturity to handle it well. BUT "the splendor of a soul in grace is so seductive it surpasses the beauty of all created things" (The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning).

Find the overarching theme here:

"Her world has collapsed. The God she had fashioned in her own image, so pleased with her piety, has vanished." (TRG)

"Many of us do not want the truth about ourselves; we prefer to be reassured of our virtue."

"A vast horde of souls were rumbling toward heaven. [They came] marching behind the others with great dignity, accountable as they had always been for good order and common sense and respectable behavior. They alone were on key. Yet she could see by their shocked and altered faces that even their virtues were being burned away." (Revelation, Flannery O'Connor).

"I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it" (Matthew 11:11-12).

Could it be that "spiritual greatness" is of very little consequence? After all this time?

The forceful men and women taking hold of the kingdom are the tax collectors and prostitutes, the dim-witted disciples and the little kids; these are the people who truly know Jesus.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Meghan and Kevin,

You do not know me. I used to attend NLC many years ago (1998-2002). During my time there, I had the opportunity to hear Kevin's testimony (following a great difficulty). I remember being touched with this brother's words because in his hurt, he had placed all his trust and hope in the Lord and His Provision for his life. I remember praying that one day that God would heal him and renew his spirit, that He would bring comfort and a new beginning for him. I am so glad to see that He has answered my prayers, adding to this blessing a wife that has obviously (from the photos) swept him off of his feet.

Perhaps this is a silly note, and I hope it is not getting too personal. I just wanted to let you know that there is someone in the world (and I'm sure there are others) praying for you and your husband and is thanking the Lord for bringing you together.
As my husband prays for us in our daily family worship, may the Lord of infinite power and mercy 'knit you together' as you grow in the knowledge of Him.

Oh and praise Him for the sledgehammer moments, they are what will make us able to stand under great oppression (spiritual or physical). Marriage is full of those times. Being chosen for them is an honour that God gives out of His Grace to those He Loves.

- A sister in Christ