There is Some ''thing" worthy of the name God. I am sure of this. But this week, on reflection, God is hard to see.
They put several thousand dollars worth of titanium into my wife's spine just a week ago, and already she feels better than she has for months. As for me, I am exhausted from sitting for hours in bad hospital chairs, and from helping her slowly work through mundane tasks that now take for ages since she is wearing a neck brace. There has been a constant stream of phone calls from work even though I am supposed to be having the week off.
Where is God in all of this? I have no idea; I have been too tired and too busy. When I ask myself tonight, "Where / Who is God?" I have no idea. God seems irrelevant and indiscernible.
Also this week has been the unfolding disaster of New Orleans with hundreds, or maybe more, dead. Where is God for those trapped and too poor to leave the city, and now dying of starvation or being raped by mobs? Is God there? The answer that God is being raped with the woman who is being raped, seems empty words- and if God is above all that then why has god not stopped it?
Clearly, I am part of the problem- of this lost god. I have let myself be so busy that I have lost touch with who I am. The wonder of life has been drowned out by the noise of my busyness.
But I am only part of the problem. The church also fails to speak a language that connects with where people are at. One of my friends wrote in an email recently that he has never heard a sermon on work, "even though that's what I spend 6 days out of 7 doing!" So in a New Orleans, or in many other situations, people just make no sense of what the church says.
I am struggling to express myself, but it's like this. If you look at the old Celts they had a prayer for nearly everything. Like for going to bed and for getting up, and for milking the cows, and for travelling Those prayers would not work today; we see God rather differently. However, it would still help to have a prayer for Anterior Cervical Diskectomy and Fusion. The problem is that there is not one. We have no way of relating to God beyond the old asking prayers.
The challenge for me is to avoid being so busy that I lose the sense of God. The challenge for the church is to learn some new prayers; to speak of God and think of God in ways that relate to real life, not the imagining of centuries ago.
Posted September 2005
Direct Biblical quotations in this page are taken from The New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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