Tuesday, April 29, 2008
i walk with a limp.
I am way too sensitive.
Every once in awhile, I have a cup of coffee with a friend…we have been friends for a long time, and every time we get together, he challenges me to be a more honest person .Usually I leave stinging, with wounds raw from truth and conviction. But I admire his honesty and transparency, and the fact that no matter how hard the subject he will never shy away from telling me the truth. We talk about God, about faith, about relationships. We are on two different hemispheres when it comes to faith…but he constantly challenges me to take a reevaluate the reasons I believe what I do. Sometimes we get into knock-down, drag out arguments about abortion, about homosexuality, and the crucifixion. Sometimes we just talk about the things going on in the world. “Why did Jesus have to die?” “Is abortion still wrong, if it will save the child from suffering?” “How can you be a loving Christian if you are against gay people?” These kinds of questions keep my poor mind working overtime, leave me stuttering about sovereignty and sanctity of marriage, and the facts about late term abortion. Come to think of it, I speak “Christianese” pretty well as a second language. At least I think so.
But whenever I walk away from these conversations, I walk away with an emotional limp. My bruised “feelings” often leave me beating myself up about my lack of argumentative skills, my lack of evidence to support my faith, my apparent intellectual deficits. I always go in with my guns blazing, ready to defend MY faith, touting page after page of Lewis, Kierkegaard, Strobel… But nevertheless, I just leave with a limp. With hurt feelings, and my bruised ego. Yet there is something that keeps me coming back, that keeps me talking with him, a tiny part of me that holds onto the truth I know I find after our conversations. Because I realize that even though it stings, the prick that draws the blood of conviction also helps me bleed out complacency. My conversations constantly keep me aware of my beliefs, and prevent me from becoming stagnant of superficial.
The other day he said to me “Do you know whats going on in China, Grace? It’s a lot bigger than what is going on around us here in the US”. Did I know what was going on in China. No. Are you kidding me? Half the time I have no idea what is going on my own country, and definitely had no idea what was going on between China and Tibet. Once again…a limp. I walked away feeling, well, a little less than a good citizen. I had no clue there was ANYTHING going on between China or Tibet.
Limp. Limp. Limp.
It made me think of Rob Bell’s book Velvet Elvis, where he talks about Jacob wrestling the angel. He came away with a limp too. And it produced a stronger faith. Did it hurt Jacob? Probably. Maybe Jacob went to bed that night saying, “Man, I’m sooooo inadequate.”, that he didn’t measure up to God’s holiness, that he was so imperfect. Then comes the sting…the drop of “truth” blood…he WAS inadequate.
Limp Limp Limp.
His hip was broken, But his Faith? Strong.
And Jacob had a permanent reminder of the strengthening of his faith. A limp. So maybe my limping is leaving a scar on my pride, but its probably making me stronger.