Friday, February 5, 2010

Forgiveness, the past, and Grace

I read a post by my good friend Jeremiah today. ( It has really got me thinking.

I have had a strange painful past, I have had deep a seated worldview that expressed God as either indifferent or not fully the God he claims to be. Either way, it was pretty much a wound that had closed yet closed with some shit in it. This situation, an open wound gets shit in it, then starts to partially heal. Basically a tree enveloping a barbwire fence. That was it. I was no longer bleeding but I was sick.

I was sick. Then I was given the choice and power to let go of the pain, the shit, the pride of being someone.

I grew up with a certain type of pride, I grew up with a deep sense of sexuality, a sick sense of sexuality. The issue that Jeremiah raises is that there is sometimes too much emphasis put on past pain in order to gain freedom. That somehow the fact that I being molested at 4 or 5 is the reason for the shitty choices I make now. That somehow God failed me and therefore I have a right to tell him off and do whatever I want? Right? This pain caused me to do bad things growing up.

Thats bullshit.

I don't mean to say that a persons childhood pain is simple or inadequate, what I say bullshit to, is the fact that I have for a long time defined my worth by that pain, I spent years building up this person that could seen as either martyred or deeply wounded. Somehow thinking that if could be that Christian who was either good or that Christian who was bad then became good I would have the respect and love of those around me. I used my past to measure my present. I said, "I used to do that, I don't anymore." Or I have said, "even though I do this, I don't do that."

The interesting thing is.

Pain sucks. It really sucks, being sick blows! There is nothing in this world to compare with being in pain or sick. Its everywhere I know, but its unique in that it is the direct opposite than how God created the body. It is the everpresent evidence that we are dying, that we are sick, that we are sinful. We? I am sinful! I have sinned! This is what is important, I HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN. So being that I have been forgiven, made whole, pure, righteous, am I still sick? Am I still in pain? In an emotional, mental, physical way, I suppose I am. My body is still gonna die. I am still angry when I shouldn't be, I still lust when I shouldn't. (I just had the urge to say "I lust less than I used to.") I still think about things I shouldn't I still connive, plot, and build conspiracies against those I profess to love. I still and fucking full of myself. So yeah, I'm still sick, and I'm still in pain.

Yet I am not.

Its as if I have gone from being my past and continually building on that, its like I've been taken to the middle of the ocean (and I can walk on water) and all the shitty things I do and say and pursue are the building blocks of a life moving away from God. So I tell my roommate to get bent for not loving me more. I set that on top of the water, laying the foundation for a nice little fortress where he will never be able to touch me with hate or love, nor I him. As I turn to parents and ignore their wanting to show me love and set down that little bit of foundation I notice the roommate piece has sunk. Huh.

So, I'm still sick, I'm still in pain, yet my sin, the sin that I committed, sins that would probably have been committed in one way or another despite my injured heart. That sin, all of the sin just keeps floating to the bottom of the ocean to be crushed and never seen again.

Then again, I think there is a difference between setting down the foundation of sin and holding it, never expressing to anyone how you're drowning because I can't seem to let go. I know full well that life at the bottom of the ocean isn't really that great. In fact it fucking sucks, I still hold on. Building walls around me as I sink twenty thousand leagues.

So I am sick and I am in pain, yet I have been made buoyant, some kind of breath has been breathed in the soul of me. I think the breath was something like this: Yah-weh. So its not so much that I have a past thats painful, its that I have a life that can be painful and I can choose to not sin, choose to let go of my underwater construction projects and float to the open air, float to where the sun will never stop shinning, and if it does it is only to give its sister moon a chance to perform on that beautifully decorated stage.

Jeremiah, I think I maybe more in agreement with you than I had thought, maybe more than you are yourself.


jeremiah said...

You get it. You get it. You have the humility to get it. I'm not alone! Usually only assholes believe stuff similar to me in that area.

And, yes, pain sucks. I never want to undermine someone's pain. I think you know I feel for the pain of your past.

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His purpose was to save us not from pain and suffering, but from meaninglessness. -Erwin Raphael McManus

Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell. -C.T. Studd

Religion exists not because God loves too little, but because we need love so much. In the end, all religions misrepresent God. They either dictate requirements for love or simply become a requiem for love. -Erwin Raphael McManus