Monday, January 21, 2013


I was thinking about wrath lately. You know, that thing we completely misunderstand, get angry with and blame God for, and then praise and thank Jesus for rescuing us from. As maligned as God’s wrath is, and as much as we believe Jesus rescued us from His wrath, and regardless of what we do and do not understand about all of this, something continues to intrigue me about the whole thing.

Many of us are obsessed with God’s wrath, and despise His love.

It made me think of Khan. Wrath, that is, not God or Jesus or love. I’ve never really been a fan of Star Trek, but I certainly understand enough about story telling to know that watching one on the tube or in the theater would be pretty lame without some conflict. Even if that conflict exists in our own hearts. Even if that conflict seems to drown out the real message. Even if that conflict is allowed to consume us to the point of resisting resolution.

A friend of mine recently reminded me that the opposite of love is not hate; rather, it’s apathy. Hate still expresses a great deal of interest, a fair amount of passion. Apathy, on the other hand, is demonstrative of indifference - not just lukewarm, but absolute disinterest and unwillingness to engage at any level and in any way.

We can get distracted from the gift of grace when we fail to recognize that our life isn’t an episode of Star Trek. Our life isn’t even a series of real events that follow the patterns of a tale. Our life isn’t even our own. The story is too amazing to be understood with our fallen selves as it requires a faith in knowing that all that has happened, is happening, and will happen has already been forgiven. Fully. Completely. Without exception.

Sometimes wrath is all that makes sense to us, because love is simply beyond us.

I wonder, though, if a good place to start is by abandoning our tired messages and failed ways of approaching others. Perhaps we should stop scaring everyone into thinking God is just like us, anything like us. Maybe we could focus on how much He is the exact opposite of us. And, when the Jesus I know and others know becomes the Jesus we all can know, wrath becomes less our obsession, and love becomes more our passion.

I think we should start telling that story, the real story, because it truly is an amazing story.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. ~ Matthew 5:48

I used to take pride in how bizarre my behavior could be. My words, my actions, my indifference - all designed to demonstrate my unwillingness to not only conform, but also my desire to stand out as negatively as possible. Pathetic cries for attention, no doubt. I never cease to be amazed how my tattered self is still so intensely desired by the perfection of Christ. Yet, even in my redemption and my salvation, I have discovered that my journey still bends toward that broken path. Perhaps I'm less destructive in my ways, but now, instead of heading straight into the fire, I run away with cowardice. My knowledge of how imperfect I am has led me to have constant excuses as to why I should never even pursue perfection.

I know I have a fickle heart, and a bitterness, and a wandering eye, and a heaviness in my head. ~ Adele

Where I once explored new and exciting ways to sin at will, I now passively, apathetically, and willingly succumb to the contentment of doing nothing. Deceived into believing this is much better than the days of yore, I consistently fail to even attempt anything that might be considered perfect. Yet, that is exactly what we are called to do. Are we perfect? No. Can we be perfect? No. Should we pursue perfection? Yes. My ability to analyze my errant thoughts and actions on a daily basis is no different than my ability to analyze my correct thoughts and actions on a daily basis. Knowing I am a sinner is too often equated with not knowing the difference between right and wrong. Oh, we know it. All to well we know it.

Flawed as we are, our ultimate completeness begins now with our own efforts to follow in His footsteps. A worthy pursuit indeed. No the now? Yes the now. Most definitely yes.