Well, It’s Monday
As I look out the cafe window, studying the March clouds, I’m reminded that clouds do look different during the spring season than in the summer storm season, than in the breezy fall season, than in the quiet snow of winter. Mid- March clouds have that look of “we may dump rain on you, or we may not. . . but probably will” look about them. The spring winds, though, always remind me of J explaining to Nicodemus that the wind will blow where it will, not telling us where it came from or where it intends to go, much like the movement of the Holy Spirit in and around our lives. Sometimes we feel the presence of God, oftentimes we don’t.
The March wind comes and goes, sometimes violently bending the still unclothed limbs, and we feel it. Maybe the fact that Easter is approaching makes me think about God in the wind. It’s almost like the warmer weather is being forced on us, or the kingdom of God is coming and must be dealt with. So, how do I tie this in with the theme of today’s blog?
Christ has entered the city for one final Passover. Change is coming. The Man who brought a message of love is about to be brutally murdered because some religious leaders couldn’t deal with who he really is, the Son of God.
Meanwhile, the air is light and breezy, it feels good on skin covered by coats and jackets all winter long. Spring is about to come again. Dead seeds fallen to the ground will rise from the earth again to feed the hungry. They had to die in order to realize their destiny, their purpose.
It bothers us. We want the love, we want the peace that comes with that love, but not the cost, even if we don’t have to pay it. Love has to die. There seems to be no way around it. “Something is coming and you can’t stop it,” the wind seems to say with greater force each new day as spring approaches.
I need to take a deep breath for a minute. One of the nuances of my blog is to begin with a thought and do a quick reflection on it, which is why I limit myself, generally, to 500 words. I want to get in and out quickly without belaboring or over thinking an idea. And let’s face it, there’s something cool about having that “eureka!” moment. Look at what I just discovered! Wow! The problem is that for the idea to stick, I need to reflect on that thought and what it can ultimately reveal to me.
God shows me something new, or gets me to look at something a little deeper or in a different light, and I get a sudden caffeine like rush. Happens to me in church all the time, but I’ve usually forgotten it by the time I get in my car and turn on the ignition. “Man, I’ve never thought about that before! Wait a minute. What was I thinking about? Oh, darn, the radio is playing a cool song.”
That’s why I’m revisiting this blog (and the ones to follow), it feels like God wants me to go deeper with this idea. Reflecting on the death and life of Christ is an easy thing, and dare I say it, a pleasant thing on the windy days that follow all the snow, ice, and slumber. But it was just a moment, how often (other than Sunday mornings) have I really reflected on the death and life of my savior? I’m supposed to die everyday after all. Of course, dying everyday takes a conscience effort from the moment I wake up. When I wake up, all I’m thinking about is which coffeehouse house to go to this time.
Right now, I’m going to think about it. There are three things this blog is trying to get me to think about: God is love, love is opposed, and that love had to go away to send us comfort. I don’t need, at this moment, to rush off and reread the pertinent chapters (1 Corinthians 13, 1 Peter 5, John 15) again. I need to reflect on them. No, that’s not quite right either, they need to sink in on a soul level. God is love and there is an active evil trying to keep me from that love, or at the very least, keep me from feeling that love, or worse yet, get me to believe that its gone. Maybe that is why the Holy Spirit is called Comforter by J. Comfort is desperately needed in the midst of a seemingly unending opposition to love. It’s not only a war out there, it’s a war right here in my heart and it’s not ending anytime soon.
“I’ve felt the presence of that abundant life in what I’ve called elsewhere moments of ‘joy out of nowhere.’ A joy that can only come with feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit when I’m not expecting it.”
Hate, Part 2