Saturday, April 12, 2008

the invisible visitor

I'm just thinking out loud here. We spent a cold day inside today and watched about 10 episodes of joan of arcadia. At dinner we prayed and it was so normal to have Jesus with us as a natural and normal presence at the table.

But I was caught with a feeling watching the show today. A feeling that was far away but now seems fresh. In the series Joan keeps to herself her encounters with God, there is a great unbreakable barrier that nobody can break through. Her mother is scratching the edges of her dormant faith, but unable to crash through and really wrestle with God in a real way. Her Father has a bigger wall...a wall of anger and judgment against God...and the concept of God...a great mysterious wall hidden in his past. The two brothers, also silent, are discovering themselves and life and seem too preoccupied to even trip over the obvious.

this was MY house growing up. And so Joan and I sit at the table, while the great shadow of God engulfs us and seemingly nobody else. It is an awkward place to be. The edge of insanity, or sanity fighting for position in a room where silence is demanded.

and yet the invisible stranger kept coming into my life. Every day i would see him in new hints and allegations. and as the coincidences mounted i found myself talking to my diary / my invisible friend...on cold rainy nights like tonight. And tonight the mystery of who he is stretches out like a canopy above me. It's not that I don't know him, but knowing him...being intimate with him...increases both the familiarity AND the mystery in equal measures.

and i have some small slice of peace that i am digesting tonight. The peace of knowing him and being known by him. The peace of grace and the awe of wonder that keeps me on my toes and out of the dark tunnel of entitlement or self-righteousness.

my house is his home, which is funny because i'm renting. and perhaps, that is all we are ever doing. Just renting...while our true home, not heaven so much as his presence, already surrounds us and also calls us upward and inward and outward.

joan is just a character, and yet...she is the embodyment of our collective search, she is all of us. But i am glad that it gets better, and that the fragile relationship becomes stronger. Strong enough for fear, anger, and doubt. Things i used to be afraid would destroy our relationship. Now I see them for what they are. They are proofs of how far we have come as friends; proofs that i haven't had a spiritual lobotomy; and proofs that God is tough enough to take it.

i guess i simply wish for everyone that they would invite him to the table for dinner. Beyond the expectations, accusations, and other tests we send at him...he is a great dinnerguest.



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