What? Here? Now?

living the unpaved.


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An Autobiography (or, a story in twelve parts) Piece Two

To lose life, but that was not the end of that year from hell. Oh no. Life was lost in different way, again. Divorce.

Severance.

Separation.

And all the other horrible words you can think of for such an act where people no longer are married and live under the same roof.

But this story is not about that story, only the effects of that story. That, coupled with death, makes for an interesting combination.

The human mind can only take so much tragedy, yet in the face of extreme tragedies, more resilience than we knew we had surfaces.

Surface it did, along with questions. Questions about life, about living, about dying, about the breaking point of relationships. It was then that the ultimate question came about in the mind of one so young.. the ultimate wondering.

Is there more to God than this?

There has to be more to God than this…

No longer cut and dry, no longer scripted faith, no longer easy answers. The world of black and white and white and black had a big grey lump dropped in the middle of it.

If you were to ask that question to yourself, what response would you give? Is there more to God than what you are seeking right now? Is there more to God than what you are being given by the institution that represents His name?

I return to C.S. Lewis, because so often someone else’s words are so much better than my own; he speaks in the Screwtape letters, of a person praying to God. The demons laugh amongst themselves, saying ‘Oh how much more powerful the prayers of Christians, if they would only pray to the God we know, that big huge powerful, frightening presence, instead of a spot on the wall, or some vague painting in their minds..” To pray to God as He knows himself to be, not as we perceive him to be.

At this turning point, the institution the young mind found itself in no longer served what God seemed to be screaming out in words as silent as a rainstorm.


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The Autobiography (or, a story in twelve parts) Piece One

An autobiography of sorts. Which is to say, is not really an autobiography, because it is not solely my story, nor even a remotely fascinating one. It lacks dragons, swords, a recognizable climax, and a certain ending. But there it is, and I suppose there is no where better to start than the beginning…

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away… No, that can’t be right, this story is not at all that kind of story. It is one far more humble, non-descript, something you might miss if you weren’t looking too carefully, or if you had not actually lived through it yourself. The only reason it bears being told is the wonderful intersections it makes. Nevertheless, it begins, like all stories do, with someone being born.

Someone is born, into a humble world, into a meager existence, into a life with parents, family, and a house. Life passes as normally as it can, for the first many years, through elementary school. The first life changing thing comes about.

Glasses.

Ever had glasses? If you haven’t, you should try wearing these plastic contraptions around on your face for a while. You’ll find you see the world a little differently. These manufactured windows offer a small glimpse into what life must have been like for a first grader with sight issues in the early nineties. Your life can never be the same after glasses, you know. The temptation to destroy or throw off these weighty pieces of glass is overwhelming at times. Glasses change the way we see things, whether we want that view altered or not.

Fast forward a few years, and as our subject grows (literally) taller than the rest of friends, the next life changing thing happens.

First love. Or as much love as you think you are capable of at such a young age. Which, to someone then, love is overwhelming, overpowering. It often restricts breathing, or common sense. I think it is the first glimpse of passion. Sadly, this passionate loving is often discouraged or stamped down out of fear by people much older, who experienced this passion in their own lives, and saw it wasted, or similarly stamped out.

Unfortunately, much like Romeo and Juliet, such passionate young love comes to tragic endings. A candle burns at both ends, it will not last the night. But oh, my foes, and oh my friends, but it gives a lovely light.

It gave a lovely light. The subject of love dies. And here’s where I must pause, and turn this into my story.

C.S. Lewis speaks at length on losing the subject of love, the subject of desire. Although my faith journey to this point was scripted at best, it was here that I began to seek out the source of such powerful love, of such great passion. Both in wonder, awe, and anger. For really, what better test of character, what better test of hope, than to lose life.