On The Absence of God

10 08 2018

On the Absence of God :: A Poem in 5 Parts

[Part 1: The Pitch]

When God doesn’t pitch up
what should we do?
SHOUT LOUDER
sing longer
look more earnestly to the sky
sing songs that are pitched so high
God must be forced to rescue his angels?

When God doesn’t pitch up
what should we do?
TELL STORIES
especially good ones
repeat them as if they are our own
though we feel God has left us alone but
God must be forced to rescue his angels, right?


[Part 2: The Betrayal]

When God doesn’t pitch up
I feel betrayed
because I am loyal and faithful
and I have been hopeful
and still am
and God chooses to remain absent
chooses not to micromanage our pains
and maybe makes small incremental changes
but who cares about them, right?
God promises much
but delivers little
invites us to trust
yet doesn’t stick to his side of the bargain
this is the
Intentional and Deliberate Absence of God.


[Part 3: The True]

God doesn’t have to pitch up
for all he has said to be true
God never promises to make us feel better
the heart of the Gospel is the incarnation and death and resurrection
and ascension of Jesus Christ
and all we have and are stands on this truth:
that it is not the power of love but
the power of resurrection that defines us
as beloved.


[Part 4: The Theology Riff]

He is cosmically present
yet we make him comically absent
We are ontologically changed
yet pathologically obsessed with not noticing
His world cries out in unbearable pain
yet we cry out for the bearable numbing of ours
We do not deserve to be hurt free
He doesn’t owe it to us to make us better
His first priority
is not our serendipity
Our wounds are our connection with the cosmic reality
of a holy brokenness
His absence the consequence of the blinding naivety
of our broken holiness


[Part 5: The Beginning]

For he is here
We are changed
His world is hurting
And that is that.


I wrote this over several days during New Wine. It is part of my honest wrestling with some of the implicit theological assumptions that the emphasis on prayer ministry gives to the character of God and our response to them. I write as someone who believes in prayer ministry, in the charismatic gifting, and as someone who often feels on the edge looking in. And my brain doesn’t have a pause button.

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4 responses

10 08 2018
Cheryl

Yes yes on the edge looking in. Occasionally we catch a glimpse of part of something which could be bigger or deeper or wiser…..but we don’t know and as we try to catch it again it has gone from our sight.
But we have been given this longing to connect despite our lack of understanding. From where? and so we must walk onwards.

12 08 2018
Kevin

Yes onwards we go, trying to catch a glimpse of God…

12 08 2018
fireflyby

If I be the talent… which I don’t, these words could be mine. And what I mean by that, is that they beautifully reflect the mystery of the connect and disconnect between our humanity and God’s omnipotence. Jacob’s night of wrestling…
Xx

12 08 2018
Kevin

Yes… and you DO have the talent, moreso than me!

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