Billy Joel was right when he sang “honesty, it’s such a lonely word.” And I know Jesus said the “truth shall set you free” to which I always add “but first it will piss you off.” I crave brutal honesty with my God, at all cost, at the expense of propriety.
I often ask myself happens in a relationship when people are brutally honest? Growth, intimacy, destruction, despair, loneliness, resentment? All of the aforementioned?
I know personally I can be brutally honest with God and there will be no real repercussions; not like there can be when I dump truth on to the people in my life. You see the one problem that most people create in their relationship with God is in assuming God has an ego. Only those with egos get their feelings hurt, feel jealous, harbor and nurture resentments, plot and plan revenge and retribution. But God has NO EGO therefore God cannot like other human beings be ‘wounded’ by any unrefined truth laid bare in prayer.
Oh how so many would be freed up in their relationship with God if they could just fathom deeply, experientially, that God has no ego; that God is Love, pure love, holy love, perfect Love. God is free of the ego, unlike you or I.
But I digress, because my point is not so much that God does not have an ego. No, that is just the precursor, ,my point is to share about two of the greatest struggles I am living in and through right now.
The two ‘issues’ are this: one, I know God has the power to do miracles in the world and in my life but I do not necessarily believe that God has the willingness/desire to do so in my life; and two, I experience God these days more so as an historical Memory rather than a Present Reality.
I do not feel judged when I write these lower case truths. In fact, there is a certain freedom that occurs when unburdening myself of the need for propriety when praying.
So I live with this creative tension that God is all powerful but not necessarily all willing. I live with a rich historical sense of God and God’s presence in my past, but not so much today (or the last 12 months for that matter).
I try and come up with metaphors to explain these two things more ‘rationally’ or easily, but to no avail. I am not saying I have no faith nor am I saying I will never get over or through this. What I am saying is I must start from where I am rather than where I am not. And where I am is struggling – wrestling as it were – with God.
I believe the greatest gift I can give to people is me being as real and authentic as possible and in that posture pray somehow, some way, you see the grace and love of God. The best way for me to help people, to walk with people as they grow spiritually which is my calling, is to be velveteen rabbit real, even when that ‘realness’ makes people uncomfortable, gasp, or wonder if I have fallen away.
Indeed, Jesus was spot on when he said that we would know the truth and that truth would set us free. So, even though I am fighting and struggling, I am indeed free in God’s love to do so, free to be fully human, and velveteen real.