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.

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