Monday, December 17, 2007

Well Water

When I was a kid we lived in a house that had well water. Sort of. The well was running dry. The water was brownish and the pump once sucked air.

I don’t know if there was a drought or some subterranean dilemma causing my parents to promptly move to another house.

Sitting in church today I felt a little lift. Not a big one, just a little of my old self responding to the worship music. I shut my eyes, stood up, raised my hands. I was the only one standing.

I didn’t care.

For a moment I felt connected to God.

It was like the water pump in my well had gulped a small surge passing through the water table.

I was watching TV last night with Brenda and an ad came on for worship CDs. The faces in the commercial seemed completely transported by the music they were singing. The advertisement implied that purchasing these CDs would make me feel good too.

I didn’t say anything. But I was thinking about something.

I was thinking that faith isn’t like that for me right now. All joy for God's love, radiance beaming from my face.

I don’t feel enraptured by the relationship I have with God.

I feel something more... serious.

I don’t hold God responsible for the problems in my life. I understand how the choices people make, a natural result of free will, can create situations which harm me. I also understand how a living world, such as ours, will have disasters which hurt people as well... earthquakes which shrug mountains, volcanoes which vomit toxic gases.

I love God.

Not because of what He can do for me, healing me of my psoriasis (which is acting up again, splitting my skin), or leading people to come alongside my wife and encourage her... I love God because...

How can I explain this?

I am so very sad, so very tired. So much so that I have trouble praying.

But I pray, I still pray, sort of.

I have been having trouble asking God for things, even things that are very important to me. Instead I have been having conversations with Him. Just stating what is going on, what I am feeling, what I think.

I know He is listening.

More importantly, I know He is real, He exists, because I can sense Him in the wonders of the universe, the elegance of the balance of things great and things very small. I know He is real because of the odd gaps which continually appear as science pushes forward and our Lord smoothly maintains the space for faith, deftly sidestepping faith-destroying proof.

When I raised my hands in worship this morning it wasn’t because of the wonderful skills of the worship team or the inspired lyrics and melody of the song writers.

I raised my hands because I knew He was there, holding me close while He holds the universe together.

This isn’t to say the music had nothing to do with my response. In fact the lyrics of the song which opened and closed the service fit the sentiment I am awkwardly trying to express here:

"It Is You"

As we lift up our hands
Will You meet us here?
As we call on Your name
Will You meet us here?
We have come to this place
To worship You
God of mercy and grace

It is You
We adore
It is You
Praises are for
Only You
The heaven's declare
It is You
It is You

Holy, holy is our God Almighty
Holy, holy is His name alone, yeah
Holy, holy is our God Almighty
Holy, holy is His name alone

It is You
We adore
It is You
It is You

As we lift up our hands
As we call on Your name
Will You visit this place
By Your mercy and grace
Holy, Holy is His name alone

I love Him because He is God and I am not.

I have felt this low, this sad, only a few times in my life. I do not think my marriage is going to make it (I may be wrong). I have been thinking about divorce and that I won’t make a decision about it until after the holidays (no sense in creating that association for my children).

I do not despair or blame God, or think suicidal thoughts (though I couldn’t help staring at a policeman’s gun the other day, which was weird, thinking about that deadly tool hanging so casually from his hip).

I still feel God is near, though our conversations often begin with:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!...”

My pump has been sucking air of late, the water is brown...


I am here, He is near, that is enough.

Fresh water will somehow flow again, I know it.


jennifer said...

"I raised my hands because I knew He was there, holding me close while He holds the universe together."

Still peeking in here, Will, and continuing to hold you and your family in prayer as you continue your journey. May you each know the truth of your words.....

Gem said...

Your postings are so full of inspiration I had to bookmark this page.I'll be stopping by again very soon. Thanks!

Grace, Every Day said...

Love this post and the inspiration that comes to me through the Holy Spirit, through your thirst...

Lift your hands, turn your face, open your heart again and again as He prompts. He will not leave you alone...