Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Non-Resolute Christianity

I am sitting under a jealous sun in an empty, robin-egg blue sky.  I'm sipping a cappuccino with soft jazz swirling over and around my head.  The morning could not be more glorious . . . for me . . . unless I were sitting outside a coffee shop somewhere around the Mediterranean.  Italy would be fine . . . as would Morocco or even Libya.

But life is this odd mixture of the constant glorious and the repugnant pain of complexity.  There seems to be no middle ground unless you are in a coma.  But who knows what dreams may come even in the midst of a coma.

I'm still thinking of the family I observed yesterday at the memorial. I saw the brother of the deceased (horrible and inorganic word) here at this same coffee shop yesterday.  I tried to talk to him.  He was a shell and I'm not sure why.  I mean, not that it is not justified, but I just don't know if he were a shell prior to this or if his shell-ness is a factor of loosing his sister.

I just watched the film, "A Screaming Man" last night.  It is the film I will be showing at our next film-club.  I've gotten out of the habit of previewing them, but this time I thought I would. It is a complex film of human relationships and it takes place in Chad.

So I sit soaking up the glory of the morning with the gentle sea breeze reaching out and touching my nose with a kindness.  But I think about the complexities of life . . . even this side of the cross.

In the Bible belt I had the corny bumper sticker on my jeep of "Jesus is the Answer." I remember a student on campus asking the rhetorical question . . . "so dude . . . like, what is the question?"

In our minds, Jesus was the answer to all questions.  The problem was, we didn't mean that just figuratively but literally.  He is not.  I can say that without guilt because I don't think that was His intended role as the fill-in-the-blank answer to everything.  He is the hope that the complexities will one day be resolved in ways we can't even begin to understand.

On this side of the cross there are many questions that go unanswered.  Life is complex and very messy and it comes full to the brim with loss and grief, yet without casting a shadow over the equally prominent glory.

Denise is not coming directly home tonight as she is stopping by a friend's house . . . who is dying of cancer.

The persona of my mother is fading week by week behind the veil of dementia. At what point do you say goodbye?  When will she forget me for good?

My marriage can achieve the ideal . . . but only on the surface. My wife is satisfied with that, as I use to be. But I know that there are irreconcilable  differences between us as there are in ALL relationships.  We came from different cultures, different ways of looking at the world, and I've lost hope that we can be of one mind as had imagined that Jesus would be the answer. So, we suppress the differences the best we can. She stands perpetually disappointed in me that I don't follow the norms and conform to her world. I stand perpetually disappointed in her that she can't understand me.

But I'm not talking about me, but the human condition.  The only perfect marriages are those who are perfect with the veneer of perfection.  Most settle for that.

So, Jesus didn't resolve all, nor did He intend to. But I sit and soak up the sun a minute longer . . . under the robin egg blue sky.  The metal table beneath my laptop is in cyclic humming like a bee with the repetitive vibrating of my cell phone.  The hospital is calling, my patients are calling, my staff is calling, my vendors are calling. The first call I return will be greeted with anger . . . "Why didn't you pick up!  I'm in pain and you weren't there for me . . . asshole!"  So once again, I will leave this 8 minutes of thinking and typing and fall back into that imperfect world . . .and once again without the luxury of proof-reading and without the luxury of universal answers to anything.

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