social spark Aisling Beatha: Summer Art journal Book Study - Part 9

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Summer Art journal Book Study - Part 9

Here we are at the next season and the next word or spiritual practice in the Brian D McLaren book - "Naked Spirituality", more from the season of perplexity and the word "No!"

Summer Reading Art Journal   Chapter 18 No!
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Sometimes the prayer of aspiration works like a long doorless passageway.  You keep trudging along until you're ready to collapse.  You turn a corner, come to a door, open it and suddenly you're outside.
BUT SOMETIMES it doesn't go that way.  Sometimes the void expands.

Doubters, atheists & sceptics have an important part in the community of faith.  Their "No!" comes from a sadness that a truer, brighter, bigger, better, REAL God isn't showing up, only an imposter.   It's also a refusal to accept the true god's absence.  No!  I will NOT accept this!

This daring word, NO! has more holiness to it than it gets credit for,  Through it we refuse to let God off the hook, we demand not to be abandoned.  We stamp our foot in God's presence. We raise our fist and we say "I will NOT accept this!"


Summer Reading Art Journal   Chapter 19 No!

However one reads the beginning of the book of Job, the middle rings with Job's refusal to paper over the ugly cracks in reality.  SCANDALOUSLY, God agrees with Job.

No! is the response to all that is unacceptable, a refusal to accept everything that is not as it should be, in our worlds, our lives, our emotions, our thinking, our relationships, our situations, NO!  No isn't a rejection of God, it is a refusal to accept the unsatisfying attempts to let God off the hook.  And it's a parallel refusal to give up hope altogether.

No! then is actually a YES! to a deep and pure belief that G-d, if G-d exists, would rather us be honest doubters than hypocritical believers.  AND that if G-d exists, G-d is even more opposed to and heartbroken by the current status quo than we are.  BUT it doesn't feel like a "yes" most of the time,  It feels like death and then it gets worse.

The only sane alternative is to hold the pain, to feel it, to lie down in front of it and let it crash over us and as we do, to voice our protest, disappointment, rage and refusal with No! shouted, screamed, groaned, whispered, however we need to express it, however we have the strength left to express it, No!


So far in this summer journey of reading and exploration I have shared with you


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