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!"
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
- The making of the art journal itself
- How I prepared the art journal pages
- The summer reading list I had been hoping to get through - although it looks like the one I already finished and this will be IT since this is proving to be so engrossing.
- The Journal Spots I also made and the pages for the first 3 chapters that introduce what the rest of the book is about
- My Art Journal page on the introduction to the first season of the journey and my pages on the 2 chapters for the first word or "spiritual practice", HERE!
- My art journal pages for the two chapters on the next word or "spiritual practice", THANKS!
- The next two pages in my art journal for the 2 chapters on O! or worship.
- The introduction to the 2nd season or stage, the Summer of Complexity and the first 2 pages on Sorry!
- The idea of petition, of asking God for what we need to meet life's challenges, rather than asking for the challenges to shrink to meet our capacity as we see it with HELP!
- How the ache of petition can move us to the compassion of intercession with PLEASE.
- The move into the season of Perplexity and two pages on the question "WHEN?"
You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.